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World Trends in Education for Sustainable Development

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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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A Short-Term Experiential Study Abroad Course on Sustainability in Costa Rica: Art as a Sustainability Case Study1

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Adrienne R. Schwarte, Mark J. O’Gorman Abstract Purpose: Using the guiding question “In what ways do humans see the planet?” for an experiential study abroad course to Costa Rica, art was a primary instructional tool to teach students about the Costa Rican culture and how historical pre- Columbian artifacts can reveal the ethic behind the nation’s modern sustainability roots. This paper identifies how a commitment to sustainability and an engaged environmental ethic stem in part from opportunities for students to witness first- hand accounts of their impact on the environment and to society at large, while interacting with other members of society who are sustainability trailblazers. Design/Methodology/Approach: A descriptive model of a short-term travel abroad course to Costa Rica focused on art, ecotourism and sustainability is identified and provides an outline for how courses can bridge and cross disciplines as the field of sustainability does and should do. Findings: Whether picking shade-grown coffee with local “Ticos” to understand fair-trade practices; visiting with graduate researchers studying old growth rain- forest biodiversity at the La Selva Biological Station; clearing beaches near Pacific leatherback turtle nesting sites for the World Wildlife Fund in Playa Junquillal; white water rafting near indigenous villages on the Rio Pacuare; or hiking into the world famous cloud forest at Monteverde, sustainability was more fully ap- preciated because of the artistic backdrop of the course. Originality/value: This paper identifies the unique perspective of centering a short-term travel abroad course to Costa Rica (a destination usually most out- wardly identified...

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