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Healthy Children, Healthy Planet: The Case for Transformative Sustainability Education in Schools and Early Childhood From an Australian Perspective (pp. 561-570) $45.00
Authors:  Susan M. Cooke, Julie M. Davis, Grant A. Blashki, and Andrew F. Best
Abstract:
Climate change is an urgent global public health issue with
substantial predicted impacts in the coming decades.
Concurrently, global burden of disease studies highlight
problems such as obesity, mental health problems and a
range of other chronic diseases, many of which have origins
in childhood. There is a unique opportunity to engage
children in both health promotion and education for
sustainability during their school years to help ameliorate
both environmental and health issues. Evidence exists for
the most effective ways to do this, through education that is
empowering, action orientated and relevant to childrenís
day to day interests and concerns, and by tailoring such
education to different educational sectors. The aim of this
discussion paper is to argue the case for sustainability
education in schools that links with health promotion and
that adopts a practical approach to engaging children in
these important public health and environmental issues.
We describe two internationally implemented whole-school
reform movements, Health Promoting Schools (HPS) and
Sustainable Schools (SS) which seek to operationalise
transformative educational processes. Drawing on
international evidence and Australian case examples, we
contend that childrenís active involvement in such
processes is not only educationally engaging and
rewarding, it also contributes to human and environmental
resilience and health.
Further, school settings can play an important ecological
public health role, incubating and amplifying the socially
transformative changes urgently required to create
pathways to healthy, just and sustainable human futures, on
a viable planet. 


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Healthy Children, Healthy Planet: The Case for Transformative Sustainability Education in Schools and Early Childhood From an Australian Perspective (pp. 561-570)