Special Issue "Environmental Education for Sustainability"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 1 May 2020.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Walter LEAL
E-Mail
Guest Editor
Research and Transfer Centre “Sustainable Development and Climate Change Management”, Hamburg University of Applied Sciences, Germany
Tel. +49-40-42875-6313; Fax: +49-40-42875-6079
Interests: theory and practice of sustainable development
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The role played by environmental education, or education for sustainable development, as many call it, in pursuing and achieving sustainable development, is an important one. Environmental education encompasses education for, through and about the environment, with the ultimate aim of, not only leading to short-term, but to long-lasting, awareness, changes in behaviors and in lifestyles, which, combined, may lead towards a more sustainable world. In this context, it entails aspects as varied as curriculum development and planning, pre-service and in-service teacher education, content development and a healthy combination of theoretical teaching and field work.

The current debate on the role of environmental education in achieving sustainable development as a whole and in pursuing the Sustainable Development Goals in particular provide a good momentum to build the capability and the capacity to engage people in this fast-growing field. This Special Issue "Environmental Education for Sustainability" intends to document and promote scholarly research and projects that show how environmental education can help towards the implementation of sustainability efforts. Emphasis is given to both formal and non-formal education, as well as to innovative teaching methods, inclusive approaches and transformative processes which may lead to a better interaction between environmental education and sustainable development. Papers are welcome in one or more of the following areas:
* competences regarding environmental education for sustainability
* pedagogy and teachers´ training at the primary, secondary or tertiary levels
* school policies and school practices
* university curriculum and practices
* developing environmental awareness
* bridging the gap between environmental awareness and action
* fostering knowledge, skills and motivation
* strategies and action plans
* strengthening pathways in sustainable practice

Prof. Walter Leal Filho
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 semimonthly 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 1800 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

  • environmental education
  • sustainability
  • curriculum
  • innovation
  • transformation

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Young Children’s Contributions to Sustainability: The Influence of Nature Play on Curiosity, Executive Function Skills, Creative Thinking, and Resilience
Sustainability 2019, 11(15), 4212; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11154212 - 04 Aug 2019
Abstract
Environmental education for young children has great potential for fostering the skills, values, and dispositions that support sustainability. While North American guidelines emphasize the importance of using the natural world for open-ended exploration, discovery, and play, this approach has been criticized for lacking [...] Read more.
Environmental education for young children has great potential for fostering the skills, values, and dispositions that support sustainability. While North American guidelines emphasize the importance of using the natural world for open-ended exploration, discovery, and play, this approach has been criticized for lacking the transformative power necessary for meaningfully contributing to sustainability issues. Four pilot studies were conducted exploring the influence of nature play in the context of nature preschools on children’s curiosity, executive function skills, creative thinking, and resilience. These studies used established quantitative instruments to measure growth in these constructs among nature preschool participants, comparing this growth with participants in high quality, play-based, non-nature preschools. The results suggest a positive contribution of nature play, with greater levels of curiosity, creative thinking, and resilience than what was observed in the non-nature preschool participants, and executive function skills similar to the non-nature preschool participants and exceeding national norms. Collectively, these pilot studies suggest the potential contribution of nature play in the context of education for sustainability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Education for Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle
Climate Change Scepticism at Universities: A Global Study
Sustainability 2019, 11(10), 2981; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11102981 - 25 May 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Scepticism about climate change is still a popular trend, despite the existence of scientific evidence that this phenomenon is taking place, and that it is influencing the lives of millions of people around the world. The aim of this paper is to assess [...] Read more.
Scepticism about climate change is still a popular trend, despite the existence of scientific evidence that this phenomenon is taking place, and that it is influencing the lives of millions of people around the world. The aim of this paper is to assess the extent to which existing scepticism at the university level is found. The methodology consists of a survey undertaken on a sample of universities around the world, in the context of which attitudes and perceptions about climate change are identified. A total of 237 questionnaires were received from 51 countries around the world. The analysis consists basically of descriptive statistics and an investigation regarding trends on scepticism and the geographical location of the universities. The study concludes by outlining some of the presently seen scepticisms and suggests some ways to address them via curricular innovation and initiatives engaging students. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Education for Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle
Massive Open Online Education for Environmental Activism: The Worldwide Problem of Marine Litter
Sustainability 2019, 11(10), 2860; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11102860 - 20 May 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
(1) The amount of plastic discharges in the environment has drastically increased in the last decades negatively affecting aquatic ecosystems, societies, and the world economy. The policies initiated to deal with this problem are insufficient and there is an urgency to initiate local [...] Read more.
(1) The amount of plastic discharges in the environment has drastically increased in the last decades negatively affecting aquatic ecosystems, societies, and the world economy. The policies initiated to deal with this problem are insufficient and there is an urgency to initiate local actions based on a deep understanding of the factors involved. (2) This paper investigates the potential of massive open online courses (MOOCs) to spread environmental education. Therefore, the conclusions drawn from the implementation of a MOOC to combat the problem of marine litter in the world are presented. (3) This work describes the activity of 3632 participants from 64 countries taking an active role presenting useful tools, connecting them with the main world associations, and defining applied action plans in their local area. Pre- and post-questionnaires explore behavioral changes regarding the actions of participants to combat marine litter. The role of MOOCs is contrasted with social media, formal education, and informal education. (4) Findings suggest that MOOCs are useful instruments to promote environmental activism, and to develop local solutions to global problems, for example, clean beaches, supplanting plastic bottles, educational initiatives, and prohibition of single-use plastic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Education for Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle
Building an Industry-Oriented Business Sustainability Curriculum in Higher Education
Sustainability 2018, 10(12), 4698; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10124698 - 10 Dec 2018
Cited by 2
Abstract
In the past, research addressing the issues reflecting industrial needs for sustainability-related curriculum design in higher education has been limited. To narrow this gap and to provide students with better business sustainability curricula, we propose employing a mapping concept to extract the opinions [...] Read more.
In the past, research addressing the issues reflecting industrial needs for sustainability-related curriculum design in higher education has been limited. To narrow this gap and to provide students with better business sustainability curricula, we propose employing a mapping concept to extract the opinions and needs of industrial professionals. A total of 14 industrial professionals were invited to brainstorm on topics of business sustainability to be included in the curriculum, and we were able to obtain 52 topics. The participants were then asked to group the topics on the basis of their own perception of similarity, and rated their importance and difficulty levels. To associate the topics into clusters, we conducted multidimensional scaling and hierarchical cluster analysis. We achieved five clusters: resource usage reduction and management, corporate governance and labor safety, business sustainability practices, employee rights and community involvement, and knowledge of the regulations. A derived importance–performance analysis (dIPA) was later implemented to further categorize the topics on the basis of the distinct levels of importance and difficulty of each topic. The four quadrants in dIPA could act as guidelines for designing a series of progressive courses on business sustainability in higher education. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Education for Sustainability)
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