About Stephen Sterling

My perspective, reflected in many years of research, writing and teaching, is based upon an ecological, systemic or holistic way of seeing the world – and also, of seeing education and learning.

Stephen Sterling

This informs my critique of mainstream education and learning. And it inspires the elaboration of more holistic approaches – necessary to help meet the challenges of complexity, uncertainty, and unsustainability that characterise our times.

It is gratifying to be able to say that my output of books, chapters, papers, articles, and numerous keynote addresses have in sum had significant and widespread impact on the field of sustainability education, affecting policy and practice across the world.

More than ‘ESD’ or ‘EfS’

The name of this website is Sustainable Education. It is not ‘education for sustainability’ or ‘education for sustainable development’- or one of the other labels that characterise this area.

Why? Because I maintain that the urgency of global issues and the unsustainable culture of our times requires a sufficient questioning and re-thinking of the aims and purposes of education as a whole (particularly as they have been shaped by an instrumental culture in the past 20 years) – rather than a simple ‘integration’ of ESD/EfS into otherwise unchanged policies and practices. And this urgency also requires us to critique ESD/EfS where they fall short in affecting transformative change in educational thinking, policy and practice. The term ‘Sustainable Education’ indicates a change of culture. But ultimately, it is not the label that we use that’s important – it’s the assumptions and values that inform our thinking and practice.