The SHES Roundtable is an ongoing effort to produce a living set of consensus-based recommendations concerning the pedagogical and administrative aspects of interdisciplinary environmental and sustainability education. Roundtable participants have agreed that while both specialist and more holistic approaches are needed to address environmental issues, the SHES style of interdisciplinary environmental education seeks to provide the latter. Ongoing discussions of terminology in the environmental education domain led to consensus that the interface between human systems and the environment is the focus of the field with a holistic endpoint being desired, though more reductionist approaches can be part of an ultimately holistic program.
The vision of the SHES Roundtable is to promote the emergence of societies that facilitate, enhance, and sustain indefinitely the well-being of human individuals, their communities and their environments. The instrumental SHES mission in support of that vision is to sustain the viability of human and environmental systems through the maintenance of their structural integrity, functional utility, adaptive resilience, as well as the number and diversity of system interactions to support the vision. Pedagogically, the SHES goal then is to facilitate social learning to build knowledge of, capacity for, and commitment to the viability of human and environmental systems and their interactions.
The task of institutions desiring to support SHES programs is therefore to develop courses, programs, and administrative structures that support this pedagogical goal; to recognize and elucidate the extent to which the interactions among human systems and environmental systems shape the fate of both. It also implies that neither stewardship of the environment nor the well-being of human individuals or communities can be achieved without a strategy for managing the interactions among those systems that is both holistic and adaptive.