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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 12: Field activities within an Environmental Sciences Program: a B-Learning Case Study

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Chapter 12 Field activities within an Environmental Sciences Program: a B-Learning Case Study Carla Padrel Oliveira, Ana Paula Martinho, Sandra Caeiro, Filomena Amador, Fernando Caetano Abstract A reflection on the use of fieldwork in environmental science programmes is conducted in this paper. It is generally agreed that for fieldwork to be effective, it must serve a clear purpose in the curriculum. For a good curriculum design, a fieldwork course must complement, enhance or extend an existing part of the curriculum or fulfil some major objective of the curriculum as a whole. Thus a successful integration of fieldwork within an undergraduate degree programme is particularly important. For an environmental science course delivered through online methodology, it becomes evident that special attention should be devoted to the design and implementation of such a course. If we consider the more gen- eral definition where the field is seen as the location, outside the classroom set- ting, where learning takes place, then fieldwork is the set of activities that will facilitate students’ learning. It is generally agreed that a field course is much more difficult to integrate than a set of activities closely related to a specific subject. However, in a distance-learning university it is not plausible that students perform this type of activity very often. Therefore, the field courses are designed as a stand-alone module. The current work analyzes the design of the course entitled Fieldwork II which is integrated in the undergraduate degree in Envi- ronmental Sciences at Universidade Aberta. Many issues...

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