Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 3

Education for Sustainable Development Related Abstracts

3 Beyond Rhetoric and Buzzword, Policies and Politics: Towards Practical Institutional Involvement in Science and Technology Teacher Education Programmes for Sustainable Development

Authors: Alvin Uchenna Ugwu

Abstract:

The United Nation’s 2030 agenda and Global Action Programme (GAP) for implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), has mandated all sectors in the societies, including education, to develop strategies towards actualizing sustainability in all facets of the society, by the year 2030. Education is no doubt a key tool for social change. However, educational institutions in most African nations need a paradigmatic shift to strike a balance between policies (curricular) and practices, with regards to Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). The paradigm shift in this regard is described as whole-institution/school approach. The whole institution approaches advocate action-focused ESD. In other words, ESD policy and curriculum makers, formal and non-formal education institutions, need to ‘practice what they preach’. This paper is developed from an ongoing study carried out by the author and guided by two research questions: -What are the views of intermediate phase science and technology preservice teachers on the ESD content included in the science and technology modules? -What challenges or enable intermediate phase science and technology pre-service teachers to learn about ESD in science and technology modules? The study drew from the views and experiences of preservice science teachers, learning about ESD in a university’s college of education in South Africa. Using qualitative case study research design, the research data were generated via questionnaires and focus group discussions. Analysis of generated data indicates that universities and institutions of higher learning need to demonstrate practical involvement while implementing ESD in societies, rather than just standing as knowledge media. Findings of the study further suggest that natural sciences and technology courses in teacher education programmes and other institutions of higher learning, should be perceived as key transformative tools in shaping the consciousness of students towards integrating and fostering ESD in developing countries such as South Africa. Thus, this paper seeks to promote ‘Whole Institution Involvement’ in teacher education colleges in South Africa, as a measure of improving ESD in higher education settings. The paper suggests that in order to achieve ESD in higher education settings and beyond, policies and practices should be reexamined beyond rhetoric and buzzwords. The paper further argues that implementation of ESD is largely influenced by context, hence two different contexts should be examined empirically.

Keywords: Education for Sustainable Development, higher education institutions, pre-service science teachers, qualitative case study research, whole institution involvement

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2 Education for Sustainable Development Pedagogies: Examining the Influences of Context on South African Natural Sciences and Technology Teaching and Learning

Authors: A. U. Ugwu

Abstract:

Post-Apartheid South African education system had witnessed waves of curriculum reforms. Accordingly, there have been evidences of responsiveness towards local and global challenges of sustainable development over the past decade. In other words, the curriculum shows sensitivity towards issues of Sustainable Development (SD). Moreover, the paradigm of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) was introduced by the UNESCO in year 2015. The SDGs paradigm is essentially a vision towards actualizing sustainability in all aspects of the global society. Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) in retrospect entails teaching and learning to actualize the intended UNESCO 2030 SDGs. This paper explores how teaching and learning of ESD can be improved, by drawing from local context of the South African schooling system. Preservice natural sciences and technology teachers in their 2nd to 4th years of study at a university’s college of education in South Africa were contacted as participants of the study. Using qualitative case study research design, the study drew from the views and experiences of five (5) purposively selected participants from a broader study, aiming to closely understating how ESD is implemented pedagogically in teaching and learning. The inquiry employed questionnaires and a focus group discussion as qualitative data generation tools. A qualitative data analysis of generated data was carried out using content and thematic analysis, underpinned by interpretive paradigm. The result of analyzed data, suggests that ESD pedagogy at the location where this research was conducted is largely influenced by contextual factors. Furthermore, the result of the study shows that there is a critical need to employ/adopt local experiences or occurrences while teaching sustainable development. Certain pedagogical approaches such as the use of videos relative to local context should also be considered in order to achieve a more realistic application. The paper recommends that educational institutions through teaching and learning should implement ESD by drawing on local contexts and problems, thereby foregrounding constructivism, appreciating and fostering students' prior knowledge and lived experiences.

Keywords: Qualitative Research, Education for Sustainable Development, Sustainable Development Goals, context, natural sciences and technology preservice teachers

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1 Raising Awareness of Education for Sustainable Development Oriented School Programs and Curriculum

Authors: Dina L. DiSantis

Abstract:

The Japan-U.S. Teacher Exchange Program for Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) provides an opportunity for teachers from the United States and Japan to travel to each other’s countries in order to experience and learn how each country is implementing efforts to educate for sustainability. By offering programs such as the Japan-U.S. Teacher Exchange Program for Education for Sustainable Development (ESD); teachers from both countries become more aware of what ESD school programs and curricula are being implemented in both countries. Teachers gain a greater sense of global interconnectedness when they are given the opportunity to share in each other’s culture and life. The primary objectives of the program are to foster a mutual exchange between the teachers in the United States and Japan, to increase an understanding of culture and educational systems, to give teachers opportunities to collaborate on lessons and projects in areas of sustainability and to enhance professional development opportunities for both U.S and Japanese teachers. The two areas of focus for teachers, are food education and environmental education. Teachers from both countries collaborate and design curriculum and projects for their students in order to help them become more aware of the importance of global sustainability. An overview of the program and the results of an international collaborative project, encouraging local eating and forging a cultural connection to food will be presented.

Keywords: Environmental education, International collaboration, Education for Sustainable Development, food education

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