Education for sustainable development: to justify of implementation




sustainable development, theory of sustainable development, education for sustainable development, quality education, sustainable development goals, the integration of sustainable development in education systems, the integration of education in sustainable development


Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) is at the heart of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and has been widely recognized as a key factor and an integral element of quality education. It is part of Goal 4 and permeates all other goals of sustainable development. The problem is that the Ukrainian experience of remote observation of the global process of sustainable development and the formation and implementation of Education for Sustainable Development shows that we are on the margins of these events. We need to understand the global context of our stay in the world in order to change our position and our role in the fateful events and movements of the century at their deepest level of cause.

Emphasis is placed on the fact that the theory of sustainable development is an alternative to the paradigm of economic growth, which ignores the environmental danger of development on an extensive model. The three components of sustainable development - economic, social, environmental - appear as aspects of a single, holistic process of social development. But despite all the declarations to achieve a balance between economic growth, social community development and the environment a quarter of a century after the Rio Conference (1992), this has not happened. Sustainable development requires a change of outlook. That is why issues related to the transformation of our way of thinking, changes in the value-semantic paradigm of life of national societies as part of global humanity are on the agenda. Education can play a significant role in this complex matter, and it must itself change into a new way of becoming a person adapted to living in a world of instability, uncertainty, complexity and contingency.

The purpose of the paper is to justify the implementation of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) in Ukrainian education as the agenda for its reform based on documents from the UN, UNESCO, OECD and the like. The content of the concept of Education for sustainable development and its evolution, the trends in the integration of education in sustainable development and the role of education in achieving sustainable development goals are analyzed.

Author Biography

Lyudmyla Gorbunova, National Academy of Educational Sciences of Ukraine

Doctor of philosophical sciences (hab.), Leading researcher at Institute of Higher Education; deputy Editor-in-Chief of Journal «Філософія освіти. Philosophy of Education», Vice-president of the Ukrainian Society of Philosophy of Education


Brundtland Report (1987) Our Common Future: Report of the World Commission on Environment and Development, United Nations. URL:

Gorbunova L. (2019) Education for Sustainable Development: Towards a Concept and Methodology. Filosofiya osvity. Philosophy of education, No 1(24), 52-78 [in Ukrainian].

Learning Metrics Task Force (2013) Executive Summary. Toward Universal Learning: A Global Framework for Measuring Learning. Montreal and Washington, DC: UNESCO Institute for Statistics and Center for Universal Education at the Brookings Institution. URL:

Leicht, A.; Heiss, J.; Byun, W. J. (eds) (2018) Issues and trends in Education for Sustainable Development, UNESCO Publishing. URL:

Leicht, A.; Combes, B; Byun, W.J.; Agbedahin, A.V. (2018) From Agenda 21 to Target 4.7: the development of Education for Sustainable Development. In: Leicht, A.; Heiss, J.; Byun, W. J. (eds) (2018) Issues and trends in Education for Sustainable Development, UNESCO Publishing. URL:

OECD (2015) Skills for Social Progress: The Power of Social and Emotional Skills. Paris. OECD. URL:

OECD (2016) The Education 2030 Conceptual learning framework as a tool to build common understanding of complex concepts, 4th Informal working Group on the Future of Education and skills: OECD Education 2030, Beijing, 2016. URL:

Sachs, J.D. (2012) From Millennium Development Goals to Sustainable Development Goals. Lancet, 379: 2206-2211. URL:

The World We Want (2013) Breaking down the Silos: Integrating Environmental Sustainability in the Post-2015 Agenda. URL:

UNESCO (2000) The Dakar Framework for Action. Education for All: Meeting our Collective Commitments. The World Education Forum. Dakar: UNESCO, 17. URL:

UNESCO (2005) United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005-2014): International Implementation Scheme. Paris, UNESCO. URL:

UNESCO (2008) EFA-ESD Dialogue: Educating for a sustainable world. Paris, UNESCO. URL:

UNESCO (2009) Bonn Declaration. UNESCO World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development. Bonn: UNESCO, pp. 1-31. URL:

UNESCO (2011) ESD: Education for Sustainable Development – building a better, fairer world for the 21st

century. URL:

UNESCO (2012) From Green Economies to Green Societies:. UNESCO’s Commitment to Sustainable Development. URL:

UNESCO (2013) Concept note on the post-2015 education agenda. URL:

UNESCO (2013) Global Citizenship Education: An Emerging Perspective. URL:

UNESCO (2014) Shaping the Future We Want: UN Decade for Sustainable Development (2005-2014) Final Report. Paris: UNESCO. URL: http://unesdoc. (accessed 28 January 2017)

UNESCO (2014) Teaching and Learning: Achieving Quality for All. EFA Global Monitoring Report 2013-2014. Paris: UNESCO. URL:

UNESCO (2014) Aichi-Nagoya Declaration on Education for Sustainable Development. Okayama, Japan: UNESCO. URL:

UNESCO (2014) UNESCO Roadmap for Implementing the Global Action Programme on Education for Sustainable Development. Paris: UNESCO. URL:

UNESCO (2016) Education 2030. Incheon Declaration and Framework for Action. Towards Inclusive and Equitable Quality Education and Lifelong Learning for All. Paris: UNESCO. URL: .pdf (accessed 17 May 2017).

UNESCO (2016) Global Education Monitoring Report – Education for People and Planet: Creating Sustainable Futures for All. Paris: UNESCO. URL:

UNECE (2012) Learning for the Future: Competences in Education for Sustainable Development. Geneva: UNECE. URL: (accessed: 17 May 2017).

United Nations World Summit (2005) 2005 World Summit Outcome. URL:

United Nations General Assembly (2013) Progress report of the Open Working Group of the General Assembly on Sustainable Development Goals. URL:

United Nations (2015) 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals. URL:

United Nations (2015) The Millennium Development Goals Report, 2015. New York: United Nations. URL:

von Weizsaecker, E., Wijkman, A. (2018) Come On! Capitalism, Short-termism, Population and the Destruction of the Planet. Springer. URL:

Zablocki V. (2002) Development of a sustainable concept. In: Philosophical Encyclopedic Dictionary, G.S. Skovoroda Institute of Philosophy of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Kyiv, “Abris”, 554-555 [in Ukrainian].


Abstract views: 713



How to Cite

Gorbunova, L. (2020). Education for sustainable development: to justify of implementation. Filosofiya Osvity. Philosophy of Education, 25(2), 56–81.






Download data is not yet available.

Most read articles by the same author(s)