The call for a kind of education which can contribute to a sustainable future has resulted in the “education for sustainable development” (ESD) campaign. What is implied here is that a sustainable future can be achieved if people are properly educated. ESD ignores the current, popular perception that the future is non-shapeable and determined regarding sustainability issues; ESD presupposes a necessary understanding of a future that can be formed. The logic of standard education supports the perception of a future non-shapeable through the promotion of competencies designed for flexibility. Nevertheless both systems still conceive of education mainly as training, closing down the future. In this contribution, I argue that ESD needs to take current educational systems and today’s society with their non-sustainable future-building practices into account, because otherwise ESD would not make any difference to the educational and societal status quo. My main objective is to show that education must be thought of as something other than just training: considering education predominantly as subjectification holds the possibility for open and alternative futures. In this article, I discuss the potentials of this understanding (and the notion of an open future) for education with a view to sustainability. I explicitly address an interdisciplinary audience with the aim of raising awareness that education is more than training.
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Holfelder, A.-K. (2019). Towards a sustainable future with education? Sustainability science, 14(4), 943-952. doi:10.1007/s11625-019-00682-z.
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