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1. EDUCATION FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT To Practise what we Preach.. Martin Haigh, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, UK Current HE is geared more to preparing learners for employment than for sustainable living. If ESD is to develop effectively, a new approach is required to enable learners to connect themselves with their role & responsibilities in the world environment. This paper evaluates the role of on-campus student projects.
2. ‘United Nations Decade of ‘Education for Sustainable Development’ (ESD) 2005-2014 UNESCO - ESD involves: “learning how to make decisions that consider the long-term future of the economy, ecology & equity of all communities”
“Education at all levels, especially university education for the training of decision-makers & teachers, should be oriented towards sustainable development & foster environmentally aware attitudes...” (COPERNICUS Campus Charter, 1993, p1).
“Every individual... has an obligation & an interest in changing outlooks through education & by example, thereby helping to end thoughtless or deliberate waste & destruction”. UN Secretary General - Kofi Annan (2004, p1)
3. “Our biggest challenge in this new century is to take an idea that sounds abstract – sustainable development – & turn it into reality” Kofi Annan (2001, p 1). “Our problem is not one of education but a problem in education” says David Orr.
Today, even most environmental education is conducted within the shell of the university classroom, promoted through a haze of textbooks, papers & flickering images on the VDU monitor or PowerPoint projector.
Its subject becomes an object of study, something external to be examined dispassionately from a high plateau of intellectual discourse.
4. A Better Way? George Sessions (1985, p145): ‘engage in practical work, in the local community & within the ‘bioregion’.
Thich Nhat Hanh (2001) - ‘mindfulness’ – make a conscious effort to look at a world that is otherwise ignored by rushed & distracted minds.
Capra (1996): ‘deliver a scientific education based in a process ecology of energy flows, cycles, evolution, emergence, dynamic balance’, with instruction focused by practical, problem-solving, environmental project work
5. Harnessing student energies: MSc in Environmental Technology & Management Dr Anne Miller (School of Biological & Molecular Sciences) “MSc students carry out environmental reviews on different parts of the university:
Major project for 30-45 bright & enthusiastic postgrads.
Many of whom have worked or go on to work in industry or commerce, implementing environmental management systems”.
6. Example 1. Environmental Review of Waste Management at Brookes University Tim Johns, Manon Klein Hesseling, Rebecca Mills & Fabiola Ausedes Aim 1 -“Reduce the Volumes of Waste & recycle as much as possible”
Aim 2 - “To assess the env. impact of all purchases in terms of their raw materials, manufacture, distribution, use & disposal”
Built a conceptual model for waste management
Methods: Interviews, Literature review, Questionnaires: Staff, Students
OBU spends ca. £0.8K/yr on recycling & $50K on other disposal.
SWOT analysis - Conclusions
Positive attitude (potential for collective responsibility) but small fraction of waste recycled due to lack of awareness, limited facilities, poor implementation of policy
Recommendations: improve information distribution, set targets, improve broad awareness, increase number of facilities, create integrated management plan and set environmental priority within contracts.
7. Procurement of Office & Laboratory Supplies. Will Anstey, Beryl Guiver,Giles Rowe, Hannah Sheard Scope: Purchasing “From thought to hand.”
Elements of purchasing
Methods used to select suppliers:
Cost/Quality or Best Value,
Procedures of purchasing:
Methods –Interviews – observation of processes
8. Solution: The Green Flasher Screen to appear ahead of any on-line stationery purchase
9. How Brookes became 1st Fair Trade University Student project: “Development Practices” course, School of Built Environment
lead by Louisa Lyne, H. Chown et al.
Students linked to People & Planet, Oxford-based UK student network campaigning to: alleviate world poverty;defend human rights; protect the environment. P&P has groups at > 45 UK HEIs.
“Throughout the campaign, we have found that almost everyone we have approached, whether students or staff, has supported the idea of a Fairtrade University & has gone out of their way to help us. The caterers were very keen to introduce more Fairtrade products, which was due in no small part to the demand.”
10. Result Brookes became 1st HEI in the world to win Fairtrade status from the Fairtrade Foundation
Followed by Univ. Birmingham, Edinburgh & 7 more.
Universities had to demonstrate commitment to raising awareness of international trade issues amongst students, staff & the wider public,
By ensuring that:
Fairtrade foods are available in all University’s shops & cafes
Fairtrade tea & coffee is served as an option at all meetings
Commitment to campaign for increased Fairtrade consumption.
11. “Connecting with Hope” Exercise Constructivist ideas -science education – Gandhi - ‘bread labour’.
Target: students on the Gaia Module at Brookes U.
Gaia is a new theory of the Earth that conceives the environment system as something regulated & controlled by its biological components acting together. Exercise undertaken on the trailing edge of the formal curriculum.
Involved planting 250 trees on unused land on campus.
Official explanation is that it supports the Gaia module’s claim to be Brookes’ university’s only ‘carbon neutral’ module, an important ethical stance given the subject matter.
12. Class Project: ‘Planting Hope’. Collect THREE tree labels & then spend 5 minutes to think.
What is your most deeply held hope for the future & the world?
Write this in a single sentence– try to use 18 words or better less.
Now write your message across the 3 labels so that the full message is visible only when the 3 are seen together.
Number your 3 labels?...... Now, lets plant some trees...
Attach each of your labels to 3 different trees that you have planted yourself – silver birch or oak – as most appropriate.
! Only do this exercise if you believe in what you have written. If you are merely humouring the teacher for example, write your answer & do nothing.
If you do believe & want to ‘send’ your message, place your message on trees in the most appropriate location.
If you can, after your 18 words, please try & explain what you think we are doing & why?
13. Hopes for the Future 1. That there will be a future, that our generation will not destroy our world, & humanity becomes more considerate of its impacts.
2. For greater empathy & respect for fellow humans.
19 participants: 1/3rd show ecocentric leanings, 1/2f anthropocentric & a few personal priorities:
To have hope, a future and a world (LO-04)
People live peacefully and in harmony with their natural environment (EP-04)
My grand children may see the world as I have seen it ((TG-04)
Humans realise what we are doing to the Earth (JL-04)
More thinking about our actions & their effect on the world & other people (CW-04)
An end to intolerance and ignorance (FI -04)
For the world to have an open mind (RL-04)
For money and property to become less important to our culture (RU-04)
Technology is a battle for the ego, not the planet (RS-04)
Many people take from Gaia, more should give back (PF-04)
14. Planting Hopes
15. Participants’ Evaluations Several connected the task with Gaia & the welfare of the planet.
Several thought that through their actions they could make a difference to the future - a ‘responsibility to act’, eg. repaying their dues to Nature.
Many know the task aims to engage their thinking.
Maybe to get us to think about our global responsibility (FI-04).
To increase the depth of our thinking about the planet (CW-04)
To make you feel you are working in coop with Gaia (EP-04)
Teaches the importance of protecting the environment (RA-04)
This is one way of repaying a debt. (PF-04)
Replace trees that were chopped down to make paper (EP-04)
Put a hope on a tree & it may get recycled ... & come true (RL-04)
We can start accepting responsibility for our actions (RR-04)
Putting our thoughts into practice (CW-04)
Leaving a message for the people of the future (JL-04)
16. Discussion: Planting with Mindfulness Campus link: Social Sculpture Research. For Joseph Beuys, sculpture is about the way we shape the world, an evolutionary process in which everyone is a sculptor.
Beuys (1991) argued “ I think the tree is an element of regeneration which in itself is a concept of time. It has always been a form of sculpture, a symbol for this planet.. “.
Himalaya: Flag Hill, Landour - Buddhist Tibetan refugees hang their prayer flags until they fade.
Gandhian Sarvodaya activists of the Chipko Andolan,
17. Gandhi & Naess – Deep Ecology Gandhi - learning should involve practical action,, and that teaching should involve the whole body rather than merely the fingers that hold the pen –
Symbolic bread–labour to oppose the elitist attitude that educated folk should never get their hands dirtied by practical work.
Gandhian thought inspired Arne Naess’ Deep Ecology.
Deep Ecology’s goal is “ecological Self-realisation”, where the self is redefined in terms of a role & place within the entirety of the living world, the community of all life.
18. Education for sustainable development: Thinking Globally and Acting Locally Help learners see the big picture & connect with the realities of the global environment.
Perhaps, in some small way, planting hopes, planting trees with hopes attached, contributes?
The participants’ planted hopes divide between aspirations for humanity, for the environment & they display consciousness of the needs of the future.
The underlying message is that their own actions matter and that their personal decisions make a difference in the environment.
19. A Place for Gaia? Student project failed to persuade the University to set aside a space for nature on campus – but it sowed the seed of an idea.
Brookes Staff-Student Environmental Forum did manage to obtain permission for a wild-flower garden.
21. Environmental Attitudes of 1st Year Geography Students, Survey. Questionnaire of new students in Geography at Oxford Brookes University.
Total respondents: 165 (49: 2004; 63: 2003; 53: 2002).
43% - male. 79% - under 21 years.
ca. 30% each from urban, suburban & rural backgrounds.
22. First Year University Students: Anthropocentric or Biocentric? Please read the question and tick the most relevant box
Boxes: Strongly agree/ Agree Neutral / Disagree / Strongly Disagree
1. Most environmental problems can be solved by advances in technology.
2. Most environmental problems can be solved through the production of wealth in a free market.
3. Most environmental problems can be solved by a better redistribution of wealth
4. Most environmental problems can be solved by changes in our life style.
5. Human beings have the right to exploit Nature for their own profit.
6. Human beings have a duty to preserve the environment for future generations.
7. Environmental sustainability is the most important concern for human society.
8. Human welfare is the most important concern for human society.
9. The rights of other living organisms are subordinate to those of human beings,
10. It is OK to sacrifice environmental quality if this benefits human society as a whole.
11. Human beings are the “crown of all creation”.
12. Human beings are the “cancer of the Earth”.
13. Human beings are merely a “cog in the machinery of Nature”.
14. ‘Human beings and Nature are One’ a single living wholeness.
23. Survey Results From 14 statements, students most strongly agreed with the two most closely allied to the aims of ESD.
24. Survey Results From 14 statements most students disagreed
that it is a human right to exploit nature for profit
that environmental quality should be sacrificed to human needs,
they doubt the ability of the free market to solve environmental problems.