Successful sustainability education: adapting to the educational habitat

Buchan, Janet (2004) Successful sustainability education: adapting to the educational habitat. In: [Presented at the Educating for Sustainability Education Conference]. From: Effective Sustainability Education Conference: what works? why? where next? linking research and practice, 18-20 February 2004, Sydney, NSW, Australia.

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Abstract

As a matter of survival, we need to educate current and future generations to live sustainably. Education is the way knowledge, ideas and skills are passed on from generation to generation. The learning environment, from the home to institutions, is the habitat that supports education. Effective sustainability education requires a thorough understanding of the habitat in which that education is to take place. Just as organisms are adapted to, and survive best in certain habitats, so too our approach to sustainability education must reflect the learning environment and its learners.

This paper outlines research into managing educational environments and provides simple and practical guidelines to enhance the planning and implementation of environmental education programs. The realities of the variety of learning environments are outlined: from institutional structure, functioning and organisational management, to the home front and vagaries of human nature. A simple model for defining and understanding different educational habitats is provided for educators planning sustainability education programs.

Despite knowing what to do in order to live sustainably, the majority of people fail to follow sustainable living guidelines. New solutions are not easily found within the old system. One needs to step outside the current system in order to solve the problem. It is appropriate that we take lessons from our natural environment to manage the learning environment in which sustainability education is to take place. Adaptive management principles from natural resource management have been used to develop an Adaptive Management Conceptual Framework to guide decision making in the learning environment. This framework can be used by educators at all levels to implement the NSW Environmental Education Plan and it links the Plan’s pre-determined indicators to their monitoring, with a defined management strategy.

Item ID: 35006
Item Type: Conference Item (Non-Refereed Research Paper)
Keywords: sustainability, adaptive management, environmental education, adaptive management conceptual framework
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Date Deposited: 09 Mar 2017 01:28
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050203 Environmental Education and Extension @ 50%
13 EDUCATION > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy > 130202 Curriculum and Pedagogy Theory and Development @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9607 Environmental Policy, Legislation and Standards > 960703 Environmental Education and Awareness @ 50%
93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9303 Curriculum > 930399 Curriculum not elsewhere classified @ 50%
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