Saturday, May 12, 2012

My perspective on sustainability, sustainable development and education for sustainability is shifting with the valuable challenges from what I am reading and what others in the group have as exeprience, values and actions. I am ever up for such shifts and probably have deliberately exposed myself to many during my learning life. I find reassurance in Sam Mann's "The Green Graduate: Educating every student as a sustainable practitioner" 2011. Wellington:NCER. While his own passion and determination to make a change is very evident he acknowledges that the development towards truly sustainable practice is an ongoing and neverending journey. In terms of supporting students to be sustainable practitioners, he is in the classic change-agent territory,as he suggests that ecological literacy is in fact cultural literacy and quotes Polistina (2009) "reflection on our culture and other cultural systems can help reveal the complex social, environmental,and economic relationships that need to be changed to make a successful shift towards sustainability"(p121) I notice that we venture on a regular basis into the consideration of the cultural systems in our own institution. And of course, any change agent knows that simply preaching doesn't do it. there has to be a hook that catches the interest of the student.Usually it will be a personal one such as power relationships,depletion of a desired recource. I look forward to further refinements and actions.

1 comment:

Helen said...

Hi Willie,
I agree Sam is leading the way at OP with his students and their developing awareness of sustainable practices. The rest of us could learn a lot from him. Through his project work he is able to embed ecological concepts into courses like software development. The projects could have had a business focus such as payrol or stock control etc, however he is directing students towards land management type projects which have a sustainability context.