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Learning for Sustainable Development: Integrating Environmental Education in the Curriculum of Ordinary Secondary Schools in Tanzania

By Beatus Mwendwa

Abstract
The study assesses the extent to which curriculum of secondary schools in Tanzania addresses sustainable education through integration of environmental education. Specifically, it evaluates the subjects used to deliver environmental education in secondary school. Also the study found out perceptions, challenges, and recommendations for implementing environmental education. This research adopted a case study, qualitative approach to study the subject matter in its natural settings while making sense of the contents of the subjects and perceptions of stakeholders. Cross sectional, stratified sampling involved both students from all classes, experienced teachers in geography and biology and a head teacher as well. It was found that most environmental education competencies are delivered mainly through the geography subject, and some in biology using an integrated teaching approach. Students and teachers were fairly knowledgeable and had understanding of basic environmental issues. Main challenges facing implementation of environmental education included an integrated learning approach, inadequate knowledge on environmental education, lack of support from each other and from school administration, and cultural myths and beliefs.

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Image 1 Students are engaging in solid waste management within the school

The effectiveness of environmental education for sustainable development based on active teaching and learning at high school level-a case study from Puducherry and Cuddalore regions, India

By R. Alexandar and G. Poyyamoli

India is challenged by the nexus of environmental degradation and economic growth amidst the paradoxical coexistence of poverty and affluence in their multifarious dimensions. These challenges are directly linked with the conservation and maintenance of the life supporting systems such as land, water, air, and biological diversity. The major causes of environmental degradation are population growth, industrialisation, changes in consumption patterns, and poverty threatening the dynamic equilibrium that could exist between people and ecosystems. In an effort to address these issues, environmental education for sustainable development (EESD) is emerging as an important approach to encourage students to conserve and protect the natural environment in their schools and in their neighbourhoods.

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Essential Elements of Sustainability Education

By Brigitte Bollmann-Zuberbuhler, Patrick Kunz and Ursula Frischknecht-Tobler

PDF: BollmannandKunzandFrishknechtSpring2014 Key words:  Sustainable Development, Systems Thinking, SYSDENE, multi-dimensional Learning Outcomes   Learning Outcomes Enduring Understandings/Big Ideas: Before you even start with Sustainability Education, it is necessary to work on the attribution of significance of Sustainable Development (SD). Pupils, students, teachers or lecturers alike: they all need to recognize sustainability as something important and significant […]

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Fostering Sustainability Through Watershed-Based Education

By Rita Vazquez and Rosalinda Uribe

Daily news relentlessly confirms that we have not been able to find a balance between the environment, the economy, society and culture. The trend of worldwide development is increasingly far from sustainability and it seems that we cannot perceive evident and subtle interconnections required to understand the whole picture. Thus, issues such as the loss of biological diversity, weakening of cultural diversity and poverty, have usually been dealt with separately. Nevertheless, they are in fact closely connected and relevant to sustainable development. A holistic and more comprehensive approach for action at all levels is required to attain sustainability, as pointed out by the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005-2014). Water can be seen as one common thread to link those issues. On the other hand, Education must be at the core of sustainable development for either to be successful. Water education is therefore a core element to achieve sustainability. Watersheds are a natural starting point for a holistic, comprehensive approach, as they can be described as a physical-biological unit, as well as a socio-economic-political unit, which can be used for planning and management of natural resources. A watershed perspective facilitates education to be locally relevant and culturally appropriate. Herein we will discuss some examples of watershed-based education in Latin America, addressed to provide a better understanding of local environmental, social, cultural and economic topics and issues from early childhood.

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A Case Study in Sustainability and Fashion Education: Adventures on the Green

By Cosette Marie Armstrong and Melody L.A. LeHew

The purpose of this qualitative case study was to examine the perceived impact of a fashion course that was reframed for sustainability using the education for sustainable development (ESD) framework. Specifically, the study explores the holistic integration of sustainability in a curriculum focused on the making and marketing material products, a seemingly counterintuitive context. Data collection included student reflective writings, focus group interviews, and a reflexive research journal kept by the researcher. ESD manifested in the student experience to the greatest degree in learning and development outcomes related to sustainability literacy and working with others. Interestingly, outcomes related to sustainability literacy were overshadowed by a substantial leap in collaborative and cooperative capacity, according to students. Notably, this case demonstrates that when sustainability is approached as a creative exercise, students take little issue with the new paradigm. This study also demonstrates how skills associated with ESD may be integrated into a course without sacrifice of course content, significantly enhancing the learning and development experience. The outcomes experienced by learners and the role ESD played in these outcomes provides important context for the integration of sustainability in a field of study preoccupied with the bottom line.

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Higher Education: Features, Trends and Needs in Relation to Sustainability

By Antonios Maragakis and Andy van den Dobbelsteen

PDF: Maragakis and van den Dobbelsteen Winter 2013 Abstract:  The progress of sustainability within higher education has steadily increased in focus over the last decade and has increasingly become a topic of academic research.  With various scholars, journals and conferences exclusively dealing with the subject, a wealth of literature has been produced on best practices, […]

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Teaching Sustainability across Scale and Culture: Biogas in Context

By Shaunna Barnhart

Teaching sustainability invariably involves teaching about energy – its use, its sources, its
environmental impacts, and its social implications. This paper explores how one renewable
energy alternative – biogas – is adapted and applied across scale and culture. Biogas is made by
capturing the methane released during anaerobic digestion of organic matter such as manure,
sewage, and food waste. In Nepal, biogas is a household scale technology used to create a
cooking fuel that replaces firewood and improves both environmental and human health. In the
United States, biogas is used as part of large-scale waste management systems for livestock,
wastewater treatment, and landfills to create electricity for on-site use and for sale into electric
grids. In Sweden, biogas is used as part of a regional effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
and fossil fuel usage by using locally generated biogas for district heating, electricity, and
vehicular fuel. By comparing these three cases, we gain insight into how one technology is
adapted across diverse needs and from household to regional scales in the pursuit of more
sustainable energy practices. Such an exercise can be an asset in the classroom to teach students
about the importance and relevance of place-based solutions that address diverse cultural and
economic realities.

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