from Sustainability Education Research Day, 23.10.2020

Extract from Lili-Ann Wolff’s opening words

Education has always been regarded as a means to correct the society’s inconveniences. Yet, we shall not underestimate the role of politics and economy, if we want to change the world.

Politics and economics govern education and we are all, as teachers, teacher educators and researchers, more or less entangled in contradictory values and power constellations. In the contemporary Covid-19 crises, one might ask, what is the basic role of education? Maybe, the entire idea about education needs a transformation. As long as there is an illusion about education, including sustainability education, as neutral and unpolitical without connections to economic interests, nothing will ever change.

Education needs to raise doubts about questions like the immanent idea about what education is, what it means to be human, and what a just global society is. How education research can become more critical and itself make a change and promote societal change, is another side of the sustainability education quandaries. Simultaneously, education must leave the door open and inspire the students of today and tomorrow to create new visions and paradigms to make this world a better place.

The present time is the time to act and make a change.