The definition above is the most widely used and cited definition of sustainable development. However, more than 300 different definitions of ‘sustainable development’ have been published showing that this is not an uncontested concept. This open-endedness frustrates some educators, who feel they need to know the boundaries of things, how one thing is different from another, if they are to teach it well. But sustainable development is an open-ended process, a vision that society must work towards, which may manifest in different ways in different contexts.
The term sustainability is therefore often used, rather than sustainable development, in order to reflect a sense of process or movement. Scott and Gough (2003) proposed that sustainability is:
In fact, Scott and Gough (2003) argue that the process of sustainable development is unlikely to take place without substantial learning that is multi-sectoral, multi-leveled, multi-disciplinary and diverse.
It is for this reason that there is need for sustainable development to obtain its meaning in local context, while also referring to the international definition of sustainable development quoted above.
(extract from Sustainability Starts with Teachers (Lotz-Sisitka et al, 2017)