Education Policy​

In Germany, the mandate to schools in terms of „education for sustainable development“ has existed for over 40 years.

The directive “Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)“ has been firmly embedded in education curricula for some time and articulates the goal of “contributing to innovative lifestyles and societies that enable a future-oriented and responsible transition to a sustainable world“ (Ministry of Education and Cultural Affairs Baden-Württemberg, Germany, 2016). The history of this directive is surprisingly long. As early as 1980, the Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs (KMK) passed a resolution on „Environment and Education“ (KMK, 1981). It states:

“It is (…) a mandatory mission for schools (…) to promote a responsible handling of the environment (…). The school is all the more obligated to do this, as the burdens on the environment (…) have increased threateningly. Schools can and must make their contribution to the solution of this urgent problem due to their educational mission” (KMK, 1981, p. 1).

However, even forty (!) years later, it has still not been made sufficiently clear how the officially recognized United Nations’s  Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) should be implemented in music education in the context of the current climate crisis:

„The 21st century has been defined by ecological crises, and these crises have been absent from most critical conversations in music teaching and learning (Shevock, 2020, S. 174).

Envisioning the future, we may ask ourselves: What will music education have contributed to overcome the current crisis? How will we have dealt with this complex issue?