Curricular Framework - Education for Advancing Circular Economy

Circular Economy as a perspective is inspired by the natural world where there is no concept of waste. Everything in the natural world is a resource for the next level or step in the cycle of interdependence. This framework is an attempt to capture the concepts of circular economy and present them to the stakeholders in the school system to develop the literacy that will help in advancing a circular economy. A circular economy is an integrative concept that brings together many literacy outcomes that are already being facilitated by Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) through its focus on different environmental issues and quality education. The idea is not to create a new set of learning outcomes but through this document analyse, collate, and facilitate learning outcomes that support our transition to a circular economy. We have used the word ‘advance’ as we believe that all of us, as global citizens and consumers, play an important role in any transition. As citizens, we can influence our socio-political systems to agree on the need for changing the current production and consumption systems and put in place frameworks that support the transition. As consumers, by our choices, we can support corporations that produce products and services that promote principles of a circular economy. The transition requires that we not only look at managing problems downstream but also focus on solutions upstream in the production and consumption systems by reimagining the design of the products and materials used to eliminate waste. The framework presented is intended to support curricular developers in integrating the concepts into our teaching, including in the educational standards that guide the curriculum and in the content we use to engage educators and students in the classroom and beyond. The framework is not an exhaustive document and will evolve as we get more experiences and understanding of how educators are creating effective and engaging lesson plans and ideas to bring the circular economy concepts to classrooms. These learning outcomes are designed to be achieved over three years and should build on each other to help students understand how a circular economy can help support a more sustainable future.