From environmental problems to sustainable development and towards resilience: Development over time of a university program inenvironmental science aiming for action competences
2015 (English)Conference paper, Abstract (Other academic)
Introduction:During the latest decades society has developed from an environmental awareness, with reactive thinking, of the “preBrundtland age” into having sustainability as the goal for human development after the Rio declaration. Lately, within the environmentalscientific sphere, the concept of resilience is increasingly superimposed on the sustainability paradigm. It is seen as important both forunderstanding of the present situation as well as a necessity for societies to survive in times of rapid change. During this period from “preBrundtland” until today when resilience is in focus, the environmental science program of Ecotechnology started, developed and changed inresponse to changes in society. A goal, from the very beginning of the educational program, has been to empower students to take action.The types of action and how action competence has been perceived, has changed over the three decades the program has been running.
Objectives: Environmental science and sustainability is often difficult to teach since it demands an interdisciplinary approach stretching overthe traditional faculty division of natural, social, and engineering sciences. At Mid Sweden University these three branches have beenintegrated in Ecotechnology education for 30 years. The purpose of this paper is to describe the interdisciplinary teaching with special focuson the development of the student’s action competence for sustainable development, in the light of how the environmental issues havedeveloped.
Methods: The paper has a descriptive approach exploring the experiences from the 30 years of interdisciplinary teaching.
Results: Different teaching methods and strategies have been employed over time, partly in sync with changing overarching societal goals.
Conclusion: Some observations are 1) a key element to develop action competence is to push students to a self-propelled learning behaviorrather than traditional teaching of facts, 2) to not too easily provide the students with answers will develop problem solving skills, 3) “doingbefore-reading” teaching is more time consuming but seem to give deeper knowledge.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
descriptive approach exploring experiences from 30 years of interdisciplinary teaching
Environmental Engineering Environmental Sciences Educational Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-25542OAI: oai:DiVA.org:miun-25542DiVA: diva2:841933
8th World Environmental Education Congress – WEEC 2015 Planet and People - how can they develop togehter?, Göteborg, Sweden, Juni 29 - Juli 2 2015