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Contributions to the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development

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Edited By Fernando J. Gonçalves, Ruth Pereira and Walter Leal Filho

This book presents essential learning approaches. It introduces educational and training activities, as well as various innovative methods aiming at the development of practical skills, in order to strengthen the continuous process of environmental education, and in particular the education for sustainable development (ESD). In doing so, it focuses on three dimensions (social, economic and environmental) as a means of achieving an effective change of behaviour and «tries to bridge the gap between science and environmental education by describing a set of projects, initiatives and field activities». A special emphasis is put on teacher training programmes, conception, and implementation, highlighting the problems and barriers, which prevent development as far as integration of sustainability issues in higher education is concerned.

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Chapter 10: Effectiveness of Outdoor Practices on Environmental Sustainability

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Chapter 10 Effectiveness of Outdoor Practices on Environmental Sustainability Ana Sofia Almeida, Ana Marta Gonçalves, Ulisses Miranda Azeiteiro, Fernando Gonçalves Abstract Earth sustainability is a central theme in natural sciences which concerns issues such as the environment and living organisms, energy flows and material cycles, ecosystems equilibrium and disturbances, natural resources and nature protection and conservation. One of the new proposals of the curricular reorganization of the basic school is the implementation of a non-disciplinary curricular area which aspires to develop projects through the articulation of several curricular areas, and moves around research and intervention in problems or themes that coincide with the students’ needs or interests. In the context of the theme “Earth Sustainability”, students of the basic school (12-15 years) were asked to develop an environmental project, in small groups, concerning an infested aquatic system (e.g. a lake) near the school or their homes. The activities proposed in this chapter are related with Pateira de Fermentelos, a lake situated in the Vouga hydro- graphical basin in the central zone of Portugal, localized in the same area as the students’ school and offering great places for family outings. Nowadays, this lake is affected by several problems, notably pollution and eutrophication, espe- cially due to industrialization and agricultural practices which contribute to the enrichment of the water’s nutrients. This process culminates in a huge amount of Eichhornia crassipes (Mart.) Solms, an infesting plant in Portugal that, on some occasions, covers the entire water surface, depletes the water quality...

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