A Politics of Care and Responsibility

Art and Education for Sustainable Development


  • Censu Caruana University of Malta
  • Isabelle Gatt University of Malta
  • Raphael Vella University of Malta
  • Charmaine Zammit University of Malta


Education for Sustainable Development, care, human rights, big ideas, real-life issues


This article evaluates an EU-funded research project called Visual art education in new times: Connecting Art with REal life issues (CARE), which studies the infusion of principles of Education for Sustainable Development in art education. It describes the central goals of this project and presents some findings related to a group of teachers’ participation in an online course related to the project and lessons they implemented subsequently. Informed by a relational framework that revolves around theories of care and responsibility, the article argues that art education can promote a commitment to action on issues of sustainability, extending our sense of care towards the broader environment, other species and ecosystems, and future generations. By developing lessons based on ‘big ideas’ like diversity, the public and conservation and change, teachers participating in CARE helped students understand connections between things, the importance of interpersonal relations and the value of collaborative learning for sustainability. Finally, CARE also embraced and promoted the idea that tertiary institutions can play a significant role in addressing real-life sustainability problems through teacher training.

How to Cite

Caruana, C., Gatt, I., Vella, R., & Zammit, C. (2021). A Politics of Care and Responsibility: Art and Education for Sustainable Development. Research in Arts and Education, 2021(4), 236–258. https://doi.org/10.54916/rae.119523