Next Article in Journal
Analysis of the Temporal and Spatial Distribution of Lake and Reservoir Water Quality in China and Changes in Its Relationship with GDP from 2005 to 2010
Previous Article in Journal
Sustainable Development for Solar Heating Systems in Taiwan
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Sustainability 2015, 7(2), 1985-1999; doi:10.3390/su7021985

Educating the Aware, Informed and Action-Oriented Sustainable Citizen

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Iowa, 4111 Seamans Center for the Engineering Arts and Sciences, Iowa City, IA 52241, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Ian Thomas
Received: 2 November 2014 / Accepted: 31 January 2015 / Published: 12 February 2015
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Education and Approaches)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1599 KB, uploaded 24 February 2015]   |  

Abstract

The Introduction to Sustainability course at the University of Iowa seeks to educate the aware, informed and action-oriented sustainable citizen. A phenomenographic analysis and retrospective pretest were utilized to determine how students formed conceptions of sustainability as a result of completing the course. The study indicated that student conceptions of sustainability can be characterized by the “aware, informed and action-oriented” spectrum. In written reflections following service-learning experiences, students provided ample examples of “awareness moments” where they expressed a first encounter with a wicked problem. In these same reflections, students provided examples of being able to move beyond awareness toward an action-orientation. Many students that were called to action through a service-learning experience expressed hesitation regarding their level of knowledge regarding certain issues. But, many students with this hesitation decided their next action step would be to become more informed. Therefore, even when confronted by a sustainability issue or dilemma that students felt were beyond their knowledge level, they many times expressed an action pathway to become more informed. By challenging student thought processes and exposing the immediate need for global change, the Introduction to Sustainability course empowered students to become aware, informed, and action-oriented sustainable citizens. View Full-Text
Keywords: aware; informed; action-oriented; service-learning; phenomenography; retrospective pretest aware; informed; action-oriented; service-learning; phenomenography; retrospective pretest
Figures

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

Scifeed alert for new publications

Never miss any articles matching your research from any publisher
  • Get alerts for new papers matching your research
  • Find out the new papers from selected authors
  • Updated daily for 49'000+ journals and 6000+ publishers
  • Define your Scifeed now

SciFeed Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Schroer, A.L.; Lowman, H.E.; Just, C.L. Educating the Aware, Informed and Action-Oriented Sustainable Citizen. Sustainability 2015, 7, 1985-1999.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Sustainability EISSN 2071-1050 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top