Matching Items (5)

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Continuing Professional Development in Sustainability Education for K-12 Teachers: Principles, Programme, Applications, Outlook

Description

The next generation will be better prepared to cope with the daunting sustainability challenges if education for sustainable development is being taught and learned across educational sectors. K-12 school education

The next generation will be better prepared to cope with the daunting sustainability challenges if education for sustainable development is being taught and learned across educational sectors. K-12 school education will play a pivotal role in this process, most prominently, the teachers serving at these schools. While pre-service teachers’ education will contribute to this transition, success will depend on effective professional development in sustainability education to teachers currently in service. Arizona State University has pioneered the development and delivery of such a programme. We present the design principles, the programme, and insights from its initial applications that involved 246 K-12 in-service teachers from across the USA. The evaluation results indicate that due to participation in the programme, sustainability knowledge, perception of self-efficacy, inclusion of sustainability in the classroom, modelling of sustainable behaviours, and linking action to content all increased. We conclude with recommendations for the widespread adopting of the programme.

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Date Created
  • 2018-07-13

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Harnessing the Sustainable Development Goals for Businesses: A Progressive Framework for Action

Description

Businesses, as with other sectors in society, are not yet taking sufficient action towards achieving sustainability. The United Nations recently agreed upon a set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which

Businesses, as with other sectors in society, are not yet taking sufficient action towards achieving sustainability. The United Nations recently agreed upon a set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which if properly harnessed, provide a framework (so far lacking) for businesses to meaningfully drive transformations to sustainability. This paper proposes to operationalize the SDGs for businesses through a progressive framework for action with three discrete levels: communication, tactical, and strategic. Within the tactical and strategic levels, several innovative approaches are discussed and illustrated. The challenges of design and measurement as well as opportunities for accountability and the social side of Sustainability, together call for transdisciplinary, collective action. This paper demonstrates feasible pathways and approaches for businesses to take corporate social responsibility to the next level and utilize the SDG framework informed by sustainability science to support transformations towards the achievement of sustainability.

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Date Created
  • 2018-06-30

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Constructing sustainability: a study of emerging scientific research trajectories

Description

The greatest challenge facing humanity in the twenty-first century is our ability to reconcile the capacity of natural systems to support continued improvement in human welfare around the globe. Over

The greatest challenge facing humanity in the twenty-first century is our ability to reconcile the capacity of natural systems to support continued improvement in human welfare around the globe. Over the last decade, the scientific community has attempted to formulate research agendas in response to what they view as the problems of sustainability. Perhaps the most prominent and wide-ranging of these efforts has been sustainability science, an interdisciplinary, problem-driven field that seeks to address fundamental questions on human-environment interactions. This project examines how sustainability scientists grapple with and bound the deeply social, political and normative dimensions of both characterizing and pursuing sustainability. Based on in-depth interviews with leading researchers and a content analysis of the relevant literature, this project first addresses three core questions: (1) how sustainability scientists define and bound sustainability; (2) how and why various research agendas are being constructed to address these notions of sustainability; (3) and how scientists see their research contributing to societal efforts to move towards sustainability. Based on these results, the project explores the tensions between scientific efforts to study and inform sustainability and social action. It discusses the implications of transforming sustainability into the subject of scientific analysis with a focus on the power of science to constrain discourse and the institutional and epistemological contexts that link knowledge to societal outcomes. Following this analysis, sustainability science is repositioned, borrowing Herbert Simon's concept, as a "science of design." Sustainability science has thus far been too focused on understanding the "problem-space"--addressing fundamental questions about coupled human-natural systems. A new set objectives and design principles are proposed that would move the field toward a more solutions-oriented approach and the enrichment of public reasoning and deliberation. Four new research streams that would situate sustainability science as a science of design are then discussed: creating desirable futures, socio-technical change, sustainability values, and social learning. The results serve as a foundation for a sustainability science that is evaluated on its ability to frame sustainability problems and solutions in ways that make them amenable to democratic and pragmatic social action.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2011

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Scientific Foundations and Problem-Driven Case Studies of Landscape Sustainability: Sustainability of Human-Environment Systems Through the Lens of the Landscape

Description

The science community has made efforts for over a half century to address sustainable development, which gave birth to sustainability science at the turn of the twenty-first century. Along

The science community has made efforts for over a half century to address sustainable development, which gave birth to sustainability science at the turn of the twenty-first century. Along with the development of sustainability science during the past two decades, a landscape sustainability science (LSS) perspective has been emerging. As interests in LSS continue to grow rapidly, scholars are wondering what LSS is about and how LSS fits into sustainability science, while practitioners are asking how LSS actually contributes to sustainability in the real world. To help address these questions, this dissertation research aims to explore the currently underused problem-driven, diagnostic approach to enhancing landscape sustainability through an empirical example of urbanization-associated farmland loss (UAFL). Based mainly on multimethod analysis of bibliographic information, the dissertation explores conceptual issues such as how sustainability science differs from conventional sustainable development research, and how the past, present, and future research needs of LSS evolve. It also includes two empirical studies diagnosing the issue of urban expansion and the related food security concern in the context of China, and proposes a different problem framing for farmland preservation such that stakeholders can be more effectively mobilized. The most important findings are: (1) Sustainability science is not “old wine in a new bottle,” and in particular, is featured by its complex human-environment systems perspective and value-laden transdisciplinary perspective. (2) LSS has become a vibrant emerging field since 2004-2006 with over three-decade’s intellectual accumulation deeply rooted in landscape ecology, yet LSS has to further embrace the two featured perspectives of sustainability science and to conduct more problem-driven, diagnostic studies of concrete landscape-relevant sustainability concerns. (3) Farmland preservationists’ existing problem framing of UAFL is inappropriate for its invalid causal attribution (i.e., urban expansion is responsible for farmland loss; farmland loss is responsible for decreasing grain production; and decreasing grain production instead of increasing grain demand is responsible for grain self-insufficiency); the real problem with UAFL is social injustice due to collective action dilemma in preserving farmland for regional and global food sufficiency. The present research provides broad implications for landscape scientists, the sustainability research community, and UAFL stakeholders.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2020

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Challenge of advocacy for sustainability scientists

Description

Without scientific expertise, society may make catastrophically poor choices when faced with problems such as climate change. However, scientists who engage society with normative questions face tension between advocacy and

Without scientific expertise, society may make catastrophically poor choices when faced with problems such as climate change. However, scientists who engage society with normative questions face tension between advocacy and the social norms of science that call for objectivity and neutrality. Policy established in 2011 by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) required their communication to be objective and neutral and this research comprised a qualitative analysis of IPCC reports to consider how much of their communication is strictly factual (Objective), and value-free (Neutral), and to consider how their communication had changed from 1990 to 2013. Further research comprised a qualitative analysis of structured interviews with scientists and non-scientists who were professionally engaged in climate science communication, to consider practitioner views on advocacy. The literature and the structured interviews revealed a conflicting range of definitions for advocacy versus objectivity and neutrality. The practitioners that were interviewed struggled to separate objective and neutral science from attempts to persuade, and the IPCC reports contained a substantial amount of communication that was not strictly factual and value-free. This research found that science communication often blurred the distinction between facts and values, imbuing the subjective with the authority and credibility of science, and thereby damaging the foundation for scientific credibility. This research proposes a strict definition for factual and value-free as a means to separate science from advocacy, to better protect the credibility of science, and better prepare scientists to negotiate contentious science-based policy issues. The normative dimension of sustainability will likely entangle scientists in advocacy or the appearance of it, and this research may be generalizable to sustainability.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2015