Mona Lissa CHIRIAC, Al. I. Cuza University, Romania
Corneliu IATU, Al. I. Cuza University, Romania
As signatory of the Agenda 2030, Romania has assumed the responsibility to work towards reaching the Sustainable Development Goals. The Romanian Department for Sustainable Development is an active governmental body awarded by the UN for its achievements, most recently, for innovation in public administration. Undoubtedly, many efforts have been made to raise awareness of the importance of Education for Sustainable Development and there are pockets of good practice in the country, but if the goal is for ‘all students to gain knowledge and abilities needed to promote sustainable development’, as it is mentioned in the 2018 Romanian Strategy for SD, then to what extent has the general young adult population been reached effectively?
Given that the Romanian school curriculum dates prior to 2015, when Agenda 2030 was signed, we are interested in the source of students’ knowledge about SD, their interests in SD themes and how school education has helped promote the concept of SD.
Our study, in its pilot stage, aimed to gather ground information about students’ perceptions and their school experience regarding the concept of SD. Semi-structured questionnaires were applied to 496 geography upper secondary school students, from rural and urban settings and from classes with different specialisations (Maths/Sciences, Humanities, Technological and Vocational). Generally, the results show a considerable difference between the learners’ perspectives depending on their rural vs urban residence and their class specialisation. School, and in particular Geography and Economics as well as the internet seem to be their main sources of knowledge about SD.
As keen promoters of school geography for the understanding of SD these results help us, in a large sense, argue the case for the need to modernise the Romanian geographical curriculum by aligning it to the current themes of geographical interest, thus establishing its relevance and unequivocal importance in educating our young.
Mots clés : Education for Sustainable Development|Geography|students’ perception