Transforming education for the just transition
Society faces many challenges in promoting a just transition to a low-carbon economy, a transition that does not create or exacerbate injustices. Notably, the just transition can only be attained with new educational approaches which revolve around social, climate and environmental justice. This paper advances that for a just transition, the shift to a greener economy cannot be driven by the traditional neoliberal engine, which has captured educational practices. Rather, the necessary educational transformation needs the principles of critical pedagogy and the dimensions of justice provided by the JUST Framework. We bring these two important schools together and draw on the experience of the global periphery and Latin America in particular, to develop a unique theoretical framework that contributes to the literature on education for sustainable development. Therefore, this conceptual research provides a theoretical framework that should guide education for a just transition. This paper establishes what is referred to as CCR Education Framework which involves: Critical thinking about climate, environmental and social costs of fossil fuels; Coexistence with nature and the other; and Resistance against neoliberalism and other forces that jeopardise the just transition. The CCR Education Framework is a response to the question of what education needs to include to achieve a just transition. The paper also opens the discussion about the implications of the Framework in terms of teacher training and education and appropriate pedagogical approaches. The key theoretical advancements here is that education for the just transition must affirm the importance of teachers and students as agents of transformation, and promote critical educational practices and approaches which support the transition to a low-carbon economy, and which value the characteristics of justice (which include equity, equality, fairness, and inclusiveness) to build a curriculum that advocates sustainable growth and a societal just transition.