Sustaining our environment

Sustainability education

The more we understand the environment, the better we are able to care for it. Sustainability education provides the information we need to make informed choices. Who Cares about the Environment in 2012? shows people believe education and community engagement are important initiatives of the government towards protecting the environment.

OEH plays a leading role in sustainability education in the NSW community. Programs are also supported by conducting vital research into what the community thinks about the environment, and using the results to design the education initiatives that OEH and others carry out.

Sustainability education and engagement in NSW

A suite of research was conducted in 2011 to explore current and emerging trends in sustainability education and engagement in NSW, and governance frameworks to build and support this field and its activities. The research process included:

  • an advisory group with members from OEH and the Australian Association for Environmental Education (NSW Chapter)
  • an initial strategic forum with 50 practitioners in 2010
  • structured interviews with 25 sector representatives
  • an online survey reaching 358 practitioners
  • a comparative analysis of governance frameworks for sustainability education across five jurisdictions, nationally and internationally
  • a synthesis of the research.

Research reports

  • Sustainability Education and Engagement for NSW: Learning for Sustainability Research Synthesis (LfSResearcSyn.pdf, 226KB) brings together and analyses the findings of the full suite of research, and the preceding strategic forum.
  • Sustainability Education and Engagement for NSW: 2011 Online Survey (LfS2011Survey.pdf, 1.25MB) explores trends and needs in the field of sustainability education and engagement in NSW with 358 participants from organisations across the local and state government, formal education, business and community sectors, considering practices and approaches, opportunities and challenges, language, and views about future needs
  • Governance for Education for Sustainable Development (FienGovEfSDRpt.pdf, 1.36MB) An Analysis and Synthesis of Governance and Related Frameworks, Policies and Strategies in Education for Sustainable Development Across Five Jurisdictions: England, the Netherlands, Germany, Ontario and Victoria examines governance frameworks and models and their associated engagement approaches and tools, and explores characteristics of good governance for sustainability education.

Find out more about the following sustainability education topics

  • Sustainable schools - an initiative to assist students, teachers and parents to learn about the environment and put sustainability into action in their school
  • Education for Sustainability Hub - a professional learning tool that connects sustainability practitioners with professional development providers and resources
  • Ethnic Communities - OEH works in partnership on publications and programs about the environment to engage people from ethnic communities in sustainability
  • Engaging Communities - an easy guide to help engage communities in environmental planning and decision making
  • Sustainability case studies that provide real examples of how education is being used to encourage waste reduction and improve resource recovery
  • Sustainability education and training for existing employees and those entering the workforce through the Vocational Education and Training (VET) system.

Sustainability education in the 2012 State of the Environment report

Page last updated: 04 October 2013