There is a general awareness of sustainability issues in the built environment professions as well as a growing focus on using technical skills to provide sustainability solutions. In recent years the subject of sustainability has increasingly come to the fore at a strategic level within organisations. However, at present there is still relatively little clarity about which skill sets genuinely facilitate the delivery of sustainable outcomes even though – or perhaps because – education and training providers deliver a bewildering array of products. While sustainability knowledge and skills continue to be so poorly defined, sustainability itself will continue to lack credibility, which in turn will hinder people’s ability to identify and acquire the skills they need to deliver sustainability solutions.
This paper primarily seeks to draw together the latest thinking on what the core knowledge and skill sets among white collar professionals across all sectors of the built environment industry should be. This core knowledge and these skills are essentially the building blocks of sustainability literacy. In addition, they have other important ramifications – in particular in terms of the methods that are used
in sustainability training and education, and the ways in which these skills may be translated into business opportunities.
L’educatore ambientale progetta ed eroga servizi educativi nel campo della valorizzazione e protezione del patrimonio ambientale, della valorizzazione e della gestione partecipata del territorio, dello sviluppo sostenibile e del consumo consapevole. La figura svolge attività di educazione ambientale operando con un buon grado di autonomia nella realizzazione di progetti con finalità educative e di animazione territoriale, presso istituzioni, centri di educazione ambientale o associazioni, cooperative, centri studi specializzati. Nelle fasi di progettazione e promozione degli interventi, la figura svolge un ruolo di facilitatore nell’ambito dei processi decisionali tra i soggetti del territorio coinvolti nelle iniziative educative. Collabora con esperti alla realizzazione di mostre, di laboratori aperti al pubblico e di materiali didattici e scientifici. La figura professionale si occupa inoltre della sensibilizzazione verso i temi ambientali, della diffusione delle informazioni e dell’educazione ad una corretta interazione uomo-ambiente e alla sostenibilità ambientale. Organizza e partecipa ad iniziative di diffusione delle informazioni ambientali, rivolte soprattutto ad un pubblico non specificamente preparato ma interessato a tali problematiche, spesso in ambito scolastico, e collabora alla gestione di eventuali conflitti locali e ricerca partecipata di soluzioni proattive su temi di sostenibilità. Definisce con i committenti un programma da sviluppare sia in aula, anche con l’utilizzo di strumenti multimediali, sia all’aperto, in luoghi interessanti per lo svolgimento del programma. Progetta e gestisce seminari e conferenze di divulgazione delle tematiche ambientali rivolti a tipologie di pubblico differenziate. Possiede conoscenze in diversi dei seguenti settori:
botanica, zoologia, geologia, ecologia, geografia, sostenibilità economica, sociale, ambientale e culturale, processi fisici, chimici e biologici sottesi all’evoluzione dell’ecosistema terrestre, climatologia; rischi naturali e antropici e protezione civile; normativa ed economia ambientale, pedagogia e scienze dell’educazione, tecniche di comunicazione Ha padronanza delle tematiche legate alla didattica. Sa utilizzare le metodologie e le strumentazioni più idonee per veicolare i contenuti del percorso didattico progettato. E’ in grado di comunicare con tutte le tipologie di pubblico, individuando le metodologie e i mezzi più adatti allo scopo. Sa ideare, progettare e realizzare programmi di formazione e divulgazione sulle problematiche ambientali. Sa costruire strumenti didattici adeguati alle situazioni e ai diversi interlocutori. Questa figura professionale può essere intesa, oltre che professione vera e propria, anche come insieme di competenze aggiuntive maturate da chi già svolge attività nel settore della didattica, della formazione e della promozione della sostenibilità ambientale.
Design/methodology/approach – An explorative, qualitative study based on focus groups was designed using different groups from formal and informal learning settings.
Findings – The development of key competencies is based both on cognitive and non-cognitive dispositions and asks for multiple contexts. Through combining formal and informal learning settings within higher education – as part of a new learning culture – a variety of contexts can be given and competence development can be enhanced.
Research limitations/implications – While aspects of both formal and informal learning settings could be identified, the interdependencies between them remain elusive.
Practical implications – Based on the findings, some main aspects for acquiring competencies can be pointed out that may be crucial in higher education settings.
Originality/value – The paper analyses the implications for both formal and informal learning settings of new ways of developing key competencies within higher education. Particular attention is given to interdisciplinarity and students’ self-responsibility.
Arizona State University
Achieving a sustainable future requires that individuals adopt different values, attitudes, habits, and behaviors, which are often learned and cemented at a young age. Unfortunately, current educational efforts are inadequate for achieving transformative action. Even programs whose primary goal is to promote responsible, pro-environmental behaviors have largely failed at creating change among students.
The lack of efficacy in sustainability-related educational programs is at least partly due to faulty assumptions about knowledge automatically leading to action, and by extension, the information intensive methods that focus largely on declarative knowledge regarding how environmental systems work. Meanwhile, social science literature clearly highlights the need to go beyond ecological and technical knowledge when educating for transformative action, since sustainable behaviors are motivated by much more than declarative information. In order to effectively educate for sustainability, alternative forms of knowledge (i.e., procedural, effectiveness, and social knowledge) are essential, as is the consideration of various barriers and motivators for action. The transition towards sustainability will require action and change that is guided by an understanding of the complexities that arise within an interconnected system, as well as the ability to collaborate with people from diverse backgrounds, while keeping an eye to the future. In formulating our approach to educating for sustainability, we incorporate perspectives from three somewhat disparate fields: (i) behavioral change research, (ii) sustainability scholarship, and (iii) educational pedagogy. While drawing upon diverse knowledge domains, our primary purpose is to integrate behavior change research and sustainability competencies in developing effective educational approaches for transformative actions.
The Competences in Education for Sustainable Development (“Learning for the future: Competences in Education for Sustainable Development”; ECE/CEP/ AC.13/2011/6) were adopted at the sixth meeting of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Steering Committee on Education for Sustainable Development on 7 April 2011.
Data and projections used are based on workbooks prepared by the Institute for Employment Research (IER), University of Warwick, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA), University of Maastricht and Cambridge Econometrics (CE) for the mediumterm forecast of skill needs carried out by Cedefop in 2007.
The knowledge, skills and competences Europe needs to compete successfully in a global labour market is a major question on the European Union policy agenda. It is a question directly relevant to European citizens who want to know which knowledge, skills and competences will help them find or keep a job.
Acknowledging the challenge, the 2007 Council Resolution ‘New skills for new jobs’ stressed the need to anticipate the skill needs – and skill gaps – emerging in the European labour market. In the short term, information on emerging skills needs is crucial, especially as several sectors already face skill shortages. The 2008 Spring European Council called for a comprehensive assessment of skill requirements in Europe up to the year 2020. This request has also been taken up in the June 2008 Council conclusions ‘Anticipating and matching labour market needs, with special emphasis on youth – a jobs and skills initiative’.
Edited by: Emilio Chiodo
The ISLE project (Innovation in the teaching of Sustainable Development in
Life Sciences in Europe) objective is to implement the concept of Sustainable
Development in Higher Education. Higher Education Institutions among all
educational structures are vested with significant responsibility, both to incorporate
this concept within their activities (teaching, research, operations) and
to widespread Sustainable Development in the society and business world.
This report is the final product of Work Package 3 (WP3) entitled “Identifying
sustainable and user-friendly Good Practices”. The objective is the identification
and diffusion of Good Practices concerned with Education for Sustainable
Development (ESD) in Higher Education Institutions. The topic is analysed in a
broader sense, on one side considering the characterisation of the political and
institutional framework, and on the other side describing formal and informal
learning experiences in Higher Education Institutions.
36 Good Practices are discussed and presented in systematic forms, that have
been categorised according to the following topics related to the implementation
of Sustainable Development education: policies, institutional activities,
teaching and practical experiences. The Good Practices represent a wide range
of situations concerning different European countries, institutions, typologies
of the initiatives and geographical levels of implementation. However in this
diversity some characterising aspects emerge: the holistic and interdisciplinary
approaches to ESD, the attention in achieving tangible results, the involvement
of local communities and the bottom-up approaches, the importance of partnerships
and networking, the capacity building, the innovation of the initiatives,
and the attention in building a framework favorable to Sustainable
The Good Practices were selected from a wider range of case studies, emerging
from a “State of the Art” analysis in the field of Sustainable Development in
the University Studies of Life Sciences in Europe, carried out within the ISLE
project, and from the research of the project partners.
The selection has been done in accordance with the criteria of transferability,
pertinence, capacity building, user friendless, innovation, networking capacity
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Thomas Hoffmann and Rajeswari Gorana
Satish Awate, Rajeswari Gorana, Thomas Hoffmann, Deepika Joon, Wendy Morel, Edwin Nkomo, Robert O´Donoghue,
Nicola Pape, Katarina Rončević, James Taylor, Rosalba Thomas
The exploitation of natural resources, the pollution of the oceans, deforestation, global hunger: After numerous global problems appeared on the political agenda for the first time in the 1970s, it became evident following the Brundtland Report (1987) that the lifestyles of the western industrialised countries could not spread to the entire current or future global population without bursting the earth’s limits. The green light for the international sustainability discourse was given.
10 years after the world community finally decided to base its political action on the model of sustainable development, in 1992 in Rio de Janeiro, and after the interdependence of sustainable development and education was realised, the UN Decade project “Education for Sustainable Development” was proclaimed on the recommendation of the Rio+10 World Summit in Johannesburg. In doing so, the UN member states committed themselves to entrenching the principles of sustainable development in their education systems.
Against this backdrop, the ESD Expert Net was brought into being in 2010 at the behest of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development. The goal: To put international dialogue about education for sustainable development on an equal footing and to exchange ideas with important emerging countries about how education can help to solve global problems.