Social, Transformative, and Sustainable Learning in a Jamaica ...

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Abstract

Jamaica faces major environmental threats related to socio-economic inequalities deriving from its sustainable development path; the latter stems from the island’s relationships with international policies as a Global South country. Within this context, sustainable learning can be crucial to address environmental and societal challenges. Current literature on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) emphasizes the need to (i) explore the contributions of local sustainable learning models to the global ESD policy framework, and (ii) link local contributions to national and international contexts. Studies on ESD in Jamaica highlight the need to bridge disconnects between sustainable learning in schools and communities. This article contributes to addressing these gaps through the ethnographic exploration of social, transformative, and sustainable learning in a Jamaican school and community. Findings show the predominance of issues around learning, values, and leadership within sustainable learning. Local attitudes of resistance towards transformation coexist with the transformative role of civil society organisations (CSOs), leadership and counter-cultural values. The relationships between local issues and broader national and international policies uncovered several disconnects. Understanding local sustainable learning experiences and their interrelations with the broader ESD context reveals insights to envision more effective sustainable learning approaches within ESD in Jamaica and abroad.