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Special Issue "Adult and Community Education for Sustainability"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Education and Approaches".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2017)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. John Fien

RMIT University, 124 La Trobe St., Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia
Website | E-Mail
Interests: education; learning and capacity building for sustainability; urban resilience

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Many strategies for advancing the sustainability transition have been proposed, including natural resource conservation, human-centred development, more participatory democracy, cultural and spiritual renewal and reducing inequality. Together, not in isolation, these can contribute to “The Future We Want”. However, achieving any and all these aspects of sustainability depends upon learning and capacity building. Progress has been made in building the groundwork for this has been achieved during the 2015–2014 UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development. However, the education of children and the greening of vocational and university education have been to the forefront in this with insufficient attention to adult and community education for sustainability.

This does not mean that practitioners and scholars have not been engaged in facilitating learning based approaches to social change in arenas outside of formal education. However, the literature on their work is dispersed across the many fields in which they operate such as social work, adult education, community development, geography, social change, urban and regional studies and so on. The aim of this Special Issue of Sustainability is to bring together a representative range of innovative practice in adult and community education for sustainability as the basis for, first, analysing common themes, underlying philosophies, approaches and issues and, second, proposing a framework for advancing the theory and practice of the field.

Prof. John Fien
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Education for sustainability
  • Adult education
  • Community education
  • Social learning
  • Non-formal and informal learning
  • Action learning
  • Learning through participation
  • Learning and social capital

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Social and Solidarity Economy, Sustainable Development Goals, and Community Development: The Mission of Adult Education & Training
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2164; doi:10.3390/su9122164
Received: 29 September 2017 / Revised: 18 November 2017 / Accepted: 20 November 2017 / Published: 24 November 2017
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Abstract
A utopia of sustainable development is becoming established on the international stage. To get there, varied and complementary strategies must come into play—among them education. This trend is turning to the “Social and Solidarity Economy” (SSE), especially since the approval by the United
[...] Read more.
A utopia of sustainable development is becoming established on the international stage. To get there, varied and complementary strategies must come into play—among them education. This trend is turning to the “Social and Solidarity Economy” (SSE), especially since the approval by the United Nations (UN) of the 2030 Agenda; the fulfilment of which demands adult education strategies and programs in line with the principles and values of sustainability. This article offers a response to that demand. It aims to carry out a reflective analysis that reveals the similarities between the principles and values of the SSE and those guiding the UN’s 2030 Agenda, with its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Based on the results of this analysis, we will argue that training in the competencies for sustainability, essential in achieving the SDGs, is among the main functions of education within the SSE framework. Further, in order to make educational programs more sustainable, such training must be included in their operating objectives. The work uses a hermeneutic methodology based on the existing literature and gives particular attention to UNESCO’s directives on training in key competencies for sustainability. The significant contribution the results make is to show: (a) the emphases of each approach and their similarities; (b) how the two are complementary; and (c) the potential, and need, for creating synergies based on their respective strengths. A further original contribution is a proposed basic guide for the design of training activities geared towards gaining the normative competency that UNESCO has identified as key to sustainability. This innovative proposal will be useful for improving the quality of adult training programs, thereby contributing to the achievement of the SDGs in communities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Adult and Community Education for Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Levels of Governance in Policy Innovation Cycles in Community Education: The Cases of Education for Sustainable Development and Climate Change Education
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 1966; doi:10.3390/su9111966
Received: 26 August 2017 / Revised: 16 October 2017 / Accepted: 24 October 2017 / Published: 27 October 2017
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Abstract
While there is little doubt that social networks are essential for processes of implementing social innovations in community education such as Climate Change Education (CCE) or Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), scholars have neglected to analyze these processes in the multilevel governance system
[...] Read more.
While there is little doubt that social networks are essential for processes of implementing social innovations in community education such as Climate Change Education (CCE) or Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), scholars have neglected to analyze these processes in the multilevel governance system using Social Network Analysis. In this article, we contribute to closing this research gap by exploring the implementation of CCE and ESD in education at the regional and global levels. We compare the way CCE is negotiated and implemented within and through the global conferences of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) with the way the UN Decade of ESD is put into practice through networks in five different German municipalities. We argue that the role of social networks is particularly strong in policy areas like CCE and ESD, which are best characterized as multi-level and multi-actor governance. Based on data derived from standardized surveys and from Twitter we analyze the complex interactions of public and private actors at different levels of governance in the two selected policy areas. We find, amongst others, that the implementation of CCE and ESD in community education depends in part on actors that had not been assumed to be influential at the outset. Furthermore, our analyses suggest the different levels of governance are not well integrated throughout the phases of the policy innovation cycle. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Adult and Community Education for Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Moral Education for Sustainable Development: Exploring Morally Challenging Business Situations within the Global Supply Chain Context
Sustainability 2017, 9(9), 1641; doi:10.3390/su9091641
Received: 31 July 2017 / Revised: 25 August 2017 / Accepted: 11 September 2017 / Published: 15 September 2017
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Abstract
This study presents the need for moral development education of current and future professionals so they can help build sustainable companies and global supply chains. Grounded in Ha-Brookshire’s moral responsibility theory of corporate sustainability, the authors explored a set of real-life business situations
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This study presents the need for moral development education of current and future professionals so they can help build sustainable companies and global supply chains. Grounded in Ha-Brookshire’s moral responsibility theory of corporate sustainability, the authors explored a set of real-life business situations where business professionals experienced morally challenging dilemmas. The study was conducted within the context of the textile and apparel (TA) industry because of the global and fragmented supply chain nature of the industry. The real-life business situations were interpreted using Kohlberg’s moral development stage theory. The results of in-depth individual interviews followed by three focus groups of industry professionals in spring 2017 showed that participants have experienced a variety of morally challenging business situations throughout their careers. This includes simple problems at the individual and firm levels, as well as wicked and complex problems at the industry and global levels. The study concludes that for TA businesses to be truly sustainable, professionals’ moral ability is critical and, therefore, appropriate moral development education is necessary. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Adult and Community Education for Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Researching the Professional-Development Needs of Community-Engaged Scholars in a New Zealand University
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1249; doi:10.3390/su9071249
Received: 13 June 2017 / Revised: 28 June 2017 / Accepted: 11 July 2017 / Published: 17 July 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (209 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We explored the processes adopted by university teachers who engage with communities with a focus on asking how and why they became community-engaged, and an interest in what promotes and limits their engagement and how limitations may be addressed. As part of year-long
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We explored the processes adopted by university teachers who engage with communities with a focus on asking how and why they became community-engaged, and an interest in what promotes and limits their engagement and how limitations may be addressed. As part of year-long research project we interviewed 25 community-engaged colleagues and used a general inductive approach to identify recurring themes within interview transcripts. We found three coexisting and re-occurring themes within our interviews. Community-engaged scholars in our institution tended to emphasise the importance of building enduring relationships between our institution and the wider community; have personal ambitions to change aspects of our institution, our communities, or the interactions between them and identified community engagement as a fruitful process to achieve these changes; and identified the powerful nature of the learning that comes from community engagement in comparison with other more traditional means of teaching. Underlying these themes was a sense that community engagement requires those involved to take risks. Our three themes and this underlying sense of risk-taking suggest potential support processes for the professional development of community-engaged colleagues institutionally. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Adult and Community Education for Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Integration of Sustainability into Architectural Education at Accredited Korean Universities
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1121; doi:10.3390/su9071121
Received: 21 April 2017 / Revised: 11 June 2017 / Accepted: 19 June 2017 / Published: 27 June 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (5274 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper examines the integration of sustainability principles into architectural education programs at South Korean Universities that have been accredited by the Korea Architectural Accrediting Board (KAAB). Accreditation requires the successful implementation of 30 so-called Student Performance Criteria (SPCs). Similar to recent improvements
[...] Read more.
This paper examines the integration of sustainability principles into architectural education programs at South Korean Universities that have been accredited by the Korea Architectural Accrediting Board (KAAB). Accreditation requires the successful implementation of 30 so-called Student Performance Criteria (SPCs). Similar to recent improvements to international architectural education, different principles of sustainability have been successfully implemented by the KAAB. This paper identifies eight sustainability-related SPCs that can be utilized to teach sustainability. The analysis of 48 accredited five-year architectural education program curricula in South Korea has revealed which sustainability-related SPCs are addressed each semester. Furthermore, the average number of credits per sustainability-related SPC in different course types, such as theory courses and design studios, has been identified. Theory courses with an emphasis on sustainability education have been defined as sustainability core courses. The results reveal that a majority of existing programs primarily address environmental aspects of sustainability. Furthermore, a sequential course structure analysis elucidates three main curriculum types, with different potential for integrated sustainability education in sustainability core courses and design studios: (i) sustainability core course preceding (high potential); (ii) sustainability core courses and design studio, accompanying (high potential); and (iii) sustainability core course following (low potential). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Adult and Community Education for Sustainability)
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