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Sustainability 2019, 11(1), 241; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11010241

The 5E Model of Environmental Engagement: Bringing Sustainability Change to Higher Education through Positive Psychology

1
MOBI Research Group, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, 1050 Brussels, Belgium
2
The Department of Public Policy, Tel-Aviv University, Tel Aviv 6997801, Israel
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 20 November 2018 / Revised: 11 December 2018 / Accepted: 27 December 2018 / Published: 5 January 2019
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Abstract

What is the role of universities in advancing sustainability? This paper delineates a unique program for promoting sustainability that was applied in Vrije Universiteit Brussels (VUB). The unique characteristics of the program are described in light of the positive sustainability framework. The five components of the program are designed to promote sustainable behavior of participants, through promoting goal-oriented hope: setting a goal; believing that one can successfully achieve the chosen goal (agency thinking); viewing the potential paths for achieving the goal (pathway thinking); and trusting other members of society to follow the same desired goal (social trust). The five components of the program are designed to jointly raise all the elements of hope. It starts with goal setting (estimate), which is aimed at evaluating the impact of the university on the physical environment. Secondly, the entire community of the university should be engaged in achieving the desired goal. The third component of the method is education about the potential options and actions for achieving the designed goal. Then, enabling the achievement of the goal takes place (meaning making it easy). Lastly, participants should be encouraged to pursue the goal by positive rewarding. View Full-Text
Keywords: higher education; education for sustainability; positive psychology; environmental behavior; positive sustainability higher education; education for sustainability; positive psychology; environmental behavior; positive sustainability
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Macharis, C.; Kerret, D. The 5E Model of Environmental Engagement: Bringing Sustainability Change to Higher Education through Positive Psychology. Sustainability 2019, 11, 241.

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