SUSTAINABLE LITERACY FROM THE TEACHING OF CHEMISTRY

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Author: @madridbg. Using public domain image. Edited through Power Point 2010.

Welcome to all those readers of the Hive community. Continuing with the theme of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), in this opportunity we will be addressing the different components that we can address from the teaching of chemistry to achieve the desired balance that our planet requires in the social, economic and environmental.

INTRODUCTION

For over 40 years, International Literacy Day has been celebrated by UNESCO as an entity whose vision is to ensure access to quality, relevant education with lasting or meaningful learning.

In this sense, literacy at a sustainable level is based on the establishment of relationships between the fields of environmental, economic and social knowledge, which exceed the limits imposed by the disciplinary organization of traditional teaching that has been practiced for a long time. As expressed by the Ministry of the Popular Power for Education (2007), in the Bolivarian National Curriculum, the disciplines offer an interpretation from one angle of reality; while this is not presented in a parceled manner.

Therefore, the nature of learning must be a progressive process determined by the levels of cognitive development presented by the learner, taking into account the diverse spaces, times and forms in which it takes place, that is, teaching must be approached from the social bases, spinning the economic balance and maintaining the vision of an environmental balance.

According to the above, through this publication we will make a tour of the different components that an Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) must have from the environmental, economic and social points of view.

EDUCATION FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT RATIONALE AND STRUCTURE

Talking about Sustainable Development involves three fundamental aspects that must coexist in balance, they respond to a series of principles whose fulfillment orients us to improve the existing relationship between the environment and society. Therefore, an education that advances towards sustainability must respond to a series of components that we will describe below:

SOCIAL COMPONENT

As mentioned, Sustainable Development is oriented towards achieving a better quality of life for the population (overcoming poverty, satisfying basic needs and equalizing income) by reallocating economic resources to meet these needs and maintaining a harmonious balance with the environment.

According to Contreras (2009),

poverty reduction will require considerable economic growth, on a par with the development of the people, but the ecological limitations are real and this greater growth of the poor has to be compensated with a stabilization of production for the rich. It is also of utmost importance to achieve demographic stability, stop over-consumption, move towards the formation of human capital, educating them for peace and health so that they have the knowledge that will allow them to act around the achievement of economic, social and environmental balance.

In reference to the formation for peace, it is necessary an education oriented to the nonviolence and the formation of the freedoms (education for the autonomy, the resolution of the conflicts in a nonviolent way and the disobedience in front of the injustices.

Image 3. Eradicate poverty. Author: Vinson Tan ( 楊 祖 武 ) en Pixabay. Edited by @madridbg through Power Point 2010.

For its part, health education is conceived as a system of habits, knowledge and skills that promote a balance between the physical, social and psychological. Where knowledge related to nutritional habits, anti-drug education, sexual education, environmental hygiene, among others, is reinforced. So that the community in general acquires the necessary training according to these aspects.

Image 4. No to violence. Author: John Hain en Pixabay. Edited by @madridbg through Power Point 2010.

ECONOMIC COMPONENT

Currently, measures are applied to sanction companies that in one way or another exercise a degree of pollution on our planet, under the slogan that the polluter pays, which is an advance in terms of environmental preservation. However, in my opinion, this is not the best solution to the planetary difficulties we are experiencing; on the contrary, measures must be taken to change the paradigm that promotes pollution prevention as a policy inherent in Sustainable Development.

To this end, the market can take advantage in its favor and in favor of sustainability of the opportunities provided by the application of national and international environmental regulations, the implementation of cleaner and more efficient production processes, as well as the addition of value to raw materials. Bearing in mind that in a sustainability scheme what counts is not the growth of production but the quality of the services provided and the culture of the population based on the consumption of resources.

Based on the above, it is necessary to educate for solidarity or sustainable consumption, as a measure to reduce the waste of natural resources, excessive pollution and accelerated production of waste.

Image 5. Pollution-free production. Author: Benita Welter en Pixabay. Edited by @madridbg through Power Point 2010.

ENVIRONMENTAL OR ECOLOGICAL COMPONENT

The economic and social development of any population, is inevitably linked to the ecological and environmental, for this reason, it is not possible to conceive the development of humanity without the support of nature. In a sustainable model, the population must have the necessary tools for the use of natural and energy resources, starting from the capacity of regeneration of these and the generation of waste to the capacity of assimilation of the ecosystem.

In function to the premise before raised, the Environmental Education is presented like a tool that allows the formation of the society and the acquisition of friendly knowledge to the environmental development.

Environmental Education (EA), was a concept that was coined in previous publications so we will focus on instructing the reader on the need for this to promote commitment and contribute to social change, cultural and economic, from the development of a wide range of values, attitudes and skills that allow each person to form their own criteria, take responsibility and play a constructive role. Finally, Environmental Education tries to develop competencies for action, training not only for individual action but also for collective action, especially in the processes of planning and decision-making, the search for alternatives and the improvement of the environment.


Image 6. Principle of sustainability. Author: Imagen de Yves Bernardi en Pixabay. Edited by @madridbg through Power Point 2010.

PRINCIPLE OF INTEGRATION: CHEMISTRY FOR EDUCATION FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

Chemical processes are related to the different transformations that matter can present, understood as everything that has mass and occupies a place in space, that is, all aspects concerning life and biological processes, are supported by chemical principles.

In this sense, to instruct the reader on the mechanism of integration that should exist between chemical principles, society, economy and environment, we will rely on the proposal presented by Parra (2010), in his work entitled.

"Teaching Chemistry for Sustainable Development: An Instructional Proposal for University Education".

The author proposes an equation, which allows correlating the components studied previously. The approach relates aspects of the discipline, Chemistry (Qca), Economics (Ec), Society (So) and the Environment (Am); under conditions of interdisciplinarity (InDi) as inputs to a pedagogical equation, in order to obtain an education oriented towards Sustainable Development (ESD) and transdisciplinary learning (ApTr).

Image 6. Equation for sustainability. Author: Parra (2010). Edited by @madridbg through Power Point 2010.
Under this approach, it is necessary to respect a series of criteria or principles that allow to give guarantee on the operation of the proposal, among which they stand out:

1. Principle of integrality: which refers to the set of didactic experiences built on the basis of a pedagogy that promotes interaction and unification among different fields of knowledge and chemistry.

2. Principle of operability: it is related to the capacity to apply the approach to the pedagogical practice in the conceptual framework of each subject or didactic unit to priority issues in sustainability. It is necessary to leave aside the fragmentation of knowledge, the ideal would be to approach each conceptual content from different perspectives or disciplines.

3. Principle of rationality: it is about rethinking education in chemistry, with emphasis on reflecting on whether it is optimal and consistent with the requirements that the planet needs after its deterioration. In other words, the aim is that scientific content be approached with simplicity and with basic applications to promote sustainable development.

4. Principle of analysis: focuses on the transfer of the fundamental idea of this proposal, whose premise is the structural simplification of knowledge. What is sought is an education oriented towards the solution of problems in sustainability in order to understand them and establish connections that allow the acquisition of knowledge that will last over time.


Image 8. Sustainable Literacy. Author: @madridbg. Using public domain image. Edited through Power Point 2010.

FINAL CONSIDERATIONS

Dear reader, the central idea of publishing this type of content lies in the need to address Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) at all levels of formal and non-formal education, since it is the only mechanism that will allow us to move towards sustainability.

In this sense, it is necessary to emphasize that the implementation of ESD needs didactic strategies that allow the impulse and participation of students and the community in general in order to produce knowledge based on the principles of sustainability.

Therefore, the young future leaders of our planet must acquire knowledge, conscience, attitudes and behaviors that allow them to be present individually and collectively in favor of environmental preservation.

BIBLIOGRAPHIES CONSULTED

Contreras, Gianella (2009). Environmental Awareness from Sustainable Development: An Education Proposal. Graduate work to apply for the Magister Scientiarum in Geography, with a mention in Teaching. University of Zulia. Maracaibo. Venezuela.

Ministry of the Popular Power for Education (2007). Bolivarian National Curriculum. National Center for the Improvement of Science Education Foundation (CENAMEC). Caracas. Venezuela.

Parra, Yonathan (2014). Teaching Chemistry for Sustainable Literacy: A Comprehensive Educational Approach and a University Instructional Proposal. Ibero-American Congress on Science, Technology, Innovation and Education. University of Zulia.

UNESCO (2006). United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005-2014): International Implementation Plan. Section V, literal A, numeral 4, page 21.


OF INTEREST


For more information related to the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, do not hesitate to visit #stemsocial and #stem-espanol, they are communities that promote scientific advances in these areas.

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