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Special Issue "Environmental Education for Sustainable Development"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 May 2015)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Armin Lude

Ludwigsburg University of Education, Biology and Biology Education, Reuteallee 46, D 71634 Ludwigsburg, Germany
Website | E-Mail
Interests: education for sustainable development; environmental education; biodiversity; mobile learning; biology education

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Education for a sustainable development (ESD) claims to be a basic tool to develop a sustainable future on our planet and also to enhance the quality of teaching. Therefore, there is a need of pedagogical and educational grounded concepts that are evaluated scientifically in order to get to know the fundamentals and success factors of teaching sustainable development.

This Special Issue aims to focus on the pedagogical aspects of sustainable development. We think, that papers that cover research on teaching education for sustainable development in school settings as well as in out of school contexts can find a place in this Special Issue. These could be formative as well as summative evaluations, studies on teaching or learning concepts or teaching settings that motivate and empower learners to change their behavior and take action for sustainable development. Similarly, works on ESD in higher education institutions would be of great interest to readers.

Thus, this Special Issue aims to provide a comprehensive overview of current research activities related to this topical theme.

Prof. Dr. Armin Lude
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

  • sustainablility
  • sustainable development
  • future
  • education
  • teaching
  • learning
  • conservation
  • environmental behavior
  • concepts of teaching and learning
  • key issues for sustainable development
  • participation
  • research

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Social Science in Forestry Curricula: A Case Study of Colombia Forestry Programs
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 36; doi:10.3390/su8010036
Received: 2 November 2015 / Revised: 28 December 2015 / Accepted: 29 December 2015 / Published: 31 December 2015
PDF Full-text (174 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Tropical forest management depends greatly on complex social interactions. To understand the underlying human causes of deforestation and to plan forest management, it is of great importance to incorporate social science in the study of forestry. There is insufficient information about the incorporation
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Tropical forest management depends greatly on complex social interactions. To understand the underlying human causes of deforestation and to plan forest management, it is of great importance to incorporate social science in the study of forestry. There is insufficient information about the incorporation of social sciences in undergraduate forestry programs. Foresters are well prepared in ecology, silviculture, forest measurements, and operational topics such as logging, but their knowledge of basic elements of social sciences is limited. This study explored the extent to which tertiary forestry education programs in Colombia include social science. It also examined students’ perceptions of social sciences courses in the curriculum. About 10% of course credits are in economics, administration, and foreign language, courses on social science are listed as optional. A high percentage of current sophomore (fifth semester), junior, and senior students do not have clear knowledge of basic social research methods, although a majority have used social science techniques at some point in their academic careers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Education for Sustainable Development)
Open AccessArticle Pedagogies of Preparedness: Use of Reflective Journals in the Operationalisation and Development of Anticipatory Competence
Sustainability 2015, 7(8), 10554-10575; doi:10.3390/su70810554
Received: 8 May 2015 / Revised: 28 July 2015 / Accepted: 30 July 2015 / Published: 7 August 2015
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (470 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In higher education there is a growing demand for graduates with the competence to transform our society toward a sustainable future. Part of this competence in sustainability is anticipatory competence, the ability to engage with multiple futures, manage uncertainty and hold a worldview
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In higher education there is a growing demand for graduates with the competence to transform our society toward a sustainable future. Part of this competence in sustainability is anticipatory competence, the ability to engage with multiple futures, manage uncertainty and hold a worldview that the future can and should be steered toward a more just sustainable path. In order to further examine and operationalise anticipatory competence, a course “Sustainability and the Future” was developed and run in the University of Vechta, Germany, as part of an action research cycle exploring key competencies for sustainability in higher education. Reflective journaling was used to explore the competence acquisition process along with focus groups with students after the course. The analysis of this programme shows that while certain subject areas such as values, transport and population models provoke more critical reflection on the future, skills such as the ability to work with emotional aspects of the future, for instance hope, were perceived to be necessary for anticipatory competence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Education for Sustainable Development)
Open AccessArticle Using Mobile Devices in Environmental Education and Education for Sustainable Development—Comparing Theory and Practice in a Nation Wide Survey
Sustainability 2015, 7(8), 10153-10170; doi:10.3390/su70810153
Received: 5 May 2015 / Revised: 28 June 2015 / Accepted: 24 July 2015 / Published: 30 July 2015
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (2013 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Mobile electronic devices (MED) with integrated GPS receivers are increasingly popular in environmental education (EE) and education for sustainable development (ESD). This paper aims at identifying the possible applications of these devices, as well as identifying obstacles to such utilities. Therefore, a two-part
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Mobile electronic devices (MED) with integrated GPS receivers are increasingly popular in environmental education (EE) and education for sustainable development (ESD). This paper aims at identifying the possible applications of these devices, as well as identifying obstacles to such utilities. Therefore, a two-part study was conducted: An expert Delphi study and a nationwide online survey in Germany and Austria. In this paper, the results of the online survey are reported and compared to the findings of the Delphi study. The questionnaire of the online survey was based on a theoretical framework comprising different dimensions for the use of MED. Overall, 120 projects were included in the study. The most common target groups were school classes and the devices most frequently used were GPS receivers. The projects addressed the criteria of ESD, such as elaboration of local/global perspectives of sustainability and competencies of EE like pro-environmental behavior or attitudes. All projects were classified according to their educational design in a 2 × 2-scheme. The most common activities were predefined routes within a narrow instructional setting. Divergences between expert views and practical realization are identified and discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Education for Sustainable Development)
Open AccessArticle Education for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR): Linking Theory with Practice in Ghana’s Basic Schools
Sustainability 2015, 7(7), 9160-9186; doi:10.3390/su7079160
Received: 4 April 2015 / Revised: 1 July 2015 / Accepted: 2 July 2015 / Published: 15 July 2015
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1318 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Current understanding of disaster risk reduction (DRR) concurs that, when provided the right education, children have the potential to reduce their own vulnerability and the vulnerability of others in their community. What, then, comprises the right education for DRR? Research has established the
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Current understanding of disaster risk reduction (DRR) concurs that, when provided the right education, children have the potential to reduce their own vulnerability and the vulnerability of others in their community. What, then, comprises the right education for DRR? Research has established the need for disaster education to address the causes and effects, prevention and response, and management and recovery from disaster events. The educational process must include diverse and practical techniques that reinforce disaster knowledge and builds a culture of safety and resilience amongst students. Drawing on syllabus content analysis and field research in two rural communities in semi-arid Northern Ghana, this study explored the presence and nature of DRR within the syllabi of the basic school system. By comparing the result of the content analysis with results from interviews and questionnaires completed by teachers and students, significant gaps were identified between the disaster pedagogy outlined in the syllabi (theory) and that which occurs in the classroom (practice). It was realized that while the theory outlines active and innovative techniques for teaching, learning, and evaluating DRR lessons, various challenges hinder the practical application of these techniques in the classroom. The study concludes that a lack of teacher training and professional development, and inadequate teaching and learning materials, generally account for these results. A new and consolidated effort is required from all stakeholders to train teachers and to provide the appropriate learning materials to improve on the current DRR education. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Education for Sustainable Development)
Open AccessArticle Conservation Messages in Speech Bubbles–Evaluation of an Environmental Education Comic Distributed in Elementary Schools in Madagascar
Sustainability 2015, 7(7), 8855-8880; doi:10.3390/su7078855
Received: 27 March 2015 / Revised: 23 June 2015 / Accepted: 2 July 2015 / Published: 8 July 2015
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1125 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
In this paper, we present the results of a survey of an environmental education program applied to a cohort of 542 students in six primary schools at Lake Alaotra, Madagascar. The educational materials used were a comic book and additional materials designed specifically
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In this paper, we present the results of a survey of an environmental education program applied to a cohort of 542 students in six primary schools at Lake Alaotra, Madagascar. The educational materials used were a comic book and additional materials designed specifically for local conditions in rural Madagascar. The comic book conveyed mostly system knowledge and, to a lesser extent, action-related knowledge. The additional materials posed practical tasks to students and were meant to stimulate teamwork and group discussion of students. There was a control and two treatment groups. A questionnaire was applied to test students’ environmental knowledge at three different points in time. The survey showed a significant increase in environmental knowledge of students receiving environmental education compared to controls. This effect significantly increased with additional education materials fostering peer-to-peer learning by students instead of when teacher-centred learning was provided. Students that used those materials also had the highest scores in tests one year after environmental education ended, thus indicating the usefulness of innovative and locally meaningful materials in environmental education. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Education for Sustainable Development)
Open AccessArticle Training Conservation Practitioners to be Better Decision Makers
Sustainability 2015, 7(7), 8354-8373; doi:10.3390/su7078354
Received: 1 May 2015 / Revised: 28 May 2015 / Accepted: 18 June 2015 / Published: 29 June 2015
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (100 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Traditional conservation curricula and training typically emphasizes only one part of systematic decision making (i.e., the science), at the expense of preparing conservation practitioners with critical skills in values-setting, working with decision makers and stakeholders, and effective problem framing. In this
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Traditional conservation curricula and training typically emphasizes only one part of systematic decision making (i.e., the science), at the expense of preparing conservation practitioners with critical skills in values-setting, working with decision makers and stakeholders, and effective problem framing. In this article we describe how the application of decision science is relevant to conservation problems and suggest how current and future conservation practitioners can be trained to be better decision makers. Though decision-analytic approaches vary considerably, they all involve: (1) properly formulating the decision problem; (2) specifying feasible alternative actions; and (3) selecting criteria for evaluating potential outcomes. Two approaches are available for providing training in decision science, with each serving different needs. Formal education is useful for providing simple, well-defined problems that allow demonstrations of the structure, axioms and general characteristics of a decision-analytic approach. In contrast, practical training can offer complex, realistic decision problems requiring more careful structuring and analysis than those used for formal training purposes. Ultimately, the kinds and degree of training necessary depend on the role conservation practitioners play in a decision-making process. Those attempting to facilitate decision-making processes will need advanced training in both technical aspects of decision science and in facilitation techniques, as well as opportunities to apprentice under decision analysts/consultants. Our primary goal should be an attempt to ingrain a discipline for applying clarity of thought to all decisions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Education for Sustainable Development)
Open AccessArticle Fostering Sustainable Energy Entrepreneurship among Students: The Business Oriented Technological System Analysis (BOTSA) Program at Eindhoven University of Technology
Sustainability 2015, 7(7), 8205-8222; doi:10.3390/su7078205
Received: 4 April 2015 / Revised: 5 June 2015 / Accepted: 18 June 2015 / Published: 25 June 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (127 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The Business Oriented Technological System Analysis (BOTSA) program is a new teaching and learning concept developed by Eindhoven University of Technology (the Netherlands) with participation from innovative companies in renewable energy. It is designed to stimulate sustainable entrepreneurship among engineering students in this
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The Business Oriented Technological System Analysis (BOTSA) program is a new teaching and learning concept developed by Eindhoven University of Technology (the Netherlands) with participation from innovative companies in renewable energy. It is designed to stimulate sustainable entrepreneurship among engineering students in this field. The program combines the placement of students in companies to study and contribute to the development and incubation of sustainable energy innovations, with a curriculum at the university designed to support these internships from a scientific perspective. The teaching method assists students in developing a broad system view that enables them to analyze the potential of, and bottlenecks to promising innovations from a realistic business perspective. This empowers students to identify those techno-economic aspects that are critical to innovation success, and advise the entrepreneurs about these aspects. Experience indicates that teachers, students, and entrepreneurs find BOTSA a valuable way of coaching, learning and working. Theoretical support for this method is found in system analysis originating in evolutionary innovation theory in combination with concepts of entrepreneurship, business model generation and sustainable/green innovation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Education for Sustainable Development)
Open AccessArticle Effect of a Toolkit and a One-Day Teacher Education Workshop on ESD Teaching Content and Methods—A Study from Kosovo
Sustainability 2015, 7(7), 8051-8066; doi:10.3390/su7078051
Received: 11 March 2015 / Revised: 7 June 2015 / Accepted: 18 June 2015 / Published: 24 June 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (326 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Environmental education in Kosovo is currently under reform. The new strategy for sustainable development demands a strong focus on education for sustainability in schools. However, a lack of teacher education might impede new approaches in the classroom. This study investigated how teachers in
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Environmental education in Kosovo is currently under reform. The new strategy for sustainable development demands a strong focus on education for sustainability in schools. However, a lack of teacher education might impede new approaches in the classroom. This study investigated how teachers in Kosovo approach locally-relevant environmental issues in the classroom before and after a one-day in-service workshop on teaching approaches related to education for sustainable development (ESD). Data were gathered in nine classes with a systematic observation scheme and processed using Flanders’ interaction analysis categories system. During the workshop, a specially designed toolkit was introduced to the participants (nine biology teachers from the upper secondary level). The toolkit included teaching approaches suitable for ESD and focused on air and water pollution, waste management, energy saving, and the conservation of biodiversity. Before the workshop, teacher-talk occupied more than 90% of a typical 45-min lesson, and instructions were frontal and directive. After the workshop, pupil-talk strongly increased (up to 88%), and pupils were actively engaged in activities suitable for ESD. Supportive training can thus help teachers to improve their instructional practices. However, only those teachers who had reported support from head teachers and colleagues were still frequently using the toolkit after one year. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Education for Sustainable Development)
Open AccessArticle Linking an Integrative Behavior Model to Elements of Environmental Campaigns: An Analysis of Face-to-Face Communication and Posters against Littering
Sustainability 2015, 7(6), 6937-6956; doi:10.3390/su7066937
Received: 6 March 2015 / Revised: 20 May 2015 / Accepted: 21 May 2015 / Published: 29 May 2015
PDF Full-text (1365 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Diverse elements of anti-littering campaigns may be effective at addressing different causes of littering. Therefore, a complementary approach combining various elements is needed to ensure the behavioral effectiveness of corresponding campaigns. The present study investigates personal, problem-centered face-to-face conversations compared to three different
[...] Read more.
Diverse elements of anti-littering campaigns may be effective at addressing different causes of littering. Therefore, a complementary approach combining various elements is needed to ensure the behavioral effectiveness of corresponding campaigns. The present study investigates personal, problem-centered face-to-face conversations compared to three different types of anti-littering posters (witty, authoritarian, environmentally oriented). In total, N = 147 persons participated in the questionnaire-based survey. Pictures of the three anti-littering posters were presented to all respondents, but only 82 of them additionally took part in problem-centered face-to-face conversations. Participants of the latter condition liked the conversations significantly more and judged them more effective for reducing littering than each of the three posters. Intentions for future behavior also improved more in the condition with face-to-face communications than in the reference condition in which only the anti-littering posters were presented. Regarding the posters, it was found that the witty and the environmentally-oriented poster were liked more and judged to be more effective by the respondents than the authoritarian poster. Findings are discussed in relation to the design of campaigns, which combine elements with reference to an integrative behavior model covering a broad range of factors, including processes of justifications, habit formation and reactance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Education for Sustainable Development)
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