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World Trends in Education for Sustainable Development


Edited By Walter Leal Filho

It is widely acknowledged that sustainable development is a long-term goal, which both individuals and institutions (and countries!) need to pursue. This important theme is characterized by an intrinsic complexity, since it encompasses ecological or environmental considerations on the one hand, and economic matters, social influences and political frameworks on the other. This makes provisions in respect of education for sustainable development a particularly challenging task, but one which is feasible and achievable, provided the right elements are put into place. This book is an attempt to foster the cause of education for sustainable development, by documenting and disseminating experiences from different parts of the world, where learning for, about and through the principles of sustainability is taking place, in various sets and contexts, in both industrialized and developing nations. A special feature of this book is that it not only presents a wide range of philosophies, approaches, methods and analyses with respect to education for sustainable development across the world, but also documents and disseminates concrete case studies, which show how education for sustainable development may be realized in practice.


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Classes that Change the World: Synergistic Solutions and Multiplier Effects for Students, Campuses, and Communities


Jennifer Wells Abstract Purpose: This paper offers a model and an example of a highly effective case study-based graduate-level class. Design/methodology/approach: This class is tailored to real life case studies and employs inter- and transdisciplinary, complexity and integral lenses and methodo- logies, and collaborative, multi-stakeholder approaches, drawing on and fostering stronger coalitions and synergies. Findings: Advancing interdisciplinary social and environmental solutions re- quires adequately inclusive and integral lenses and approaches. Focusing on real case studies provides a sufficiently complex and challenging context for learn- ing, while providing local sustainability successes. This win-win-win approach makes such classes cost-effective. Originality/value: The paper provides evidence that integral and complexity lenses can be advanced through case studies, based upon a highly successful class at U.C. Berkeley. Introduction Teaching for sustainability involves new knowledge, skills, and approaches. Today’s issues demand new competencies: to navigate the complexity and ambi- guity of socio-ecological issues; to mobilize others in the face of these complex challenges; to grasp and advance the conceptual and political challenges of transdisciplinary issues in an interconnected, uncertain and evolving world; and to study and articulate evolving, multifaceted issues in a spirit of ongoing debate and collaboration. As Walter Leal Filho points out in his chapter of this volume, adequate understanding of sustainability issues need to be approached in an inte- 282 Jennifer Wells grated fashion, from conception to analysis to policy implementation. Sustainability calls for integral approaches and lenses such as complexity theories and transdis- ciplinarity. Real life case studies provide an excellent structure...

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