Cultural Ecology...

A cross-curricular educational framework for becoming a cosmopolitan citizen


A wiki promoted by Resilience-UK

National education strategies throughout the world acknowledge the need for learning about how to become a global citizen. This need is usually framed in relation to breaking down the barriers between peoples that lead to the toleration of injustice, inequalities and a global culture of relentless consumerism. The Welsh Government, for example, categorised this objective in 2008 as education for sustainable development and global citizenship (ESDGC) and defined it as follows:

“…. ESDGC should not be seen as an additional subject. It is about values and attitudes, understanding and skills. It is an ethos that can be embedded throughout schools, an attitude to be adopted, a value system and a way of life. ESDGC links the environment and the people who live in, and from it. It looks at the world and the ways that all living things relate to each other. It recognises that the world is unjust and unequal, but that it can be shaped and changed by the attitudes, values and behaviour of the people who populate it. ESDGC encourages and supports the development of thinking skills, and helps involve and engage young people in their own learning”

The aim of this wiki is to function as a portal for accessing online educational resources for those wishing to build a personal body of knowledge for living sustainably with resilience. For the bigger picture of culture as a subject go to the following mind map:

The challenges for education at all levels are:

  • to provide opportunities for teachers and learners to consider global issues within and between traditional subjects;
  • make links between what is personal, local, national and global;
  • engage in culturally-diverse experiences;
  • critically evaluate their own values and attitudes;
  • and develop skills that will enable them to challenge injustice, prejudice and discrimination.

Actually, these challenges were recognised in Wales as long ago as 1994 when the teacher’s resource centres in Pembrokesire and Carmarthenshire began to develop a cosmopolitan educational framework linking culture with ecology. Welsh teachers embraced ESDGC, recognising its potential to enhance and enrich education. This initiative, which was centered on the community served by the school as an outdoor laboratory, was based on Agenda 21 of the 1992 Rio Earth Summit. During the past two decades, this cross curricular, cross cultural framework has been developed as an educational resource freely available on line. The material consists of pdf files, mind maps and self-learning modules. It is currently being accessed internationally by around 2 million unique visitors a year.

'Cultural ecology' is a production of