Making Better Choices Today: Ethics, Technology and Sustainability
Peter H. Denton Abstract Purpose: The persistence of environmental problems is the result of social and cultural factors, not scientific or technological ones. Global sustainability re- quires a change both in how people think and in the individual decisions that they make. This paper outlines a cross-cultural, transformational model of educa- tion for sustainability that relates ethical decision making to our understanding of the nature of technology, within the larger context of responsibilities associated with global citizenship. Design/Methodology/Approach: A description of a successful, transformational approach to teaching principles of sustainability and global citizenship in a cross- cultural context within a post-secondary educational institution. Findings: A focus on ethical decision making, combined with the implications of understanding technology as instrumental knowledge and its practice, enables the transformational teaching of sustainability and global citizenship principles ir- respective of the target audience. Originality and Value: The dilemma inherent in education for sustainability is the need for a transformational, cross-cultural and universal framework, one that associates principles of sustainability and global citizenship in a way that people in all contexts can understand in order to encourage the necessary changes to lifestyles everywhere. This paper proposes such a framework, out of the expe- rience of teaching sustainability and global citizenship to more than 1500 post- secondary students from 2004-2010. Introduction It has been nearly fifty years since the publication of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, the best-selling book that drew public attention to the growing environ- 220 Peter H. Denton mental problems linked to postwar industrial...
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