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Partnership for the Education and Research about Responsible Living
Start date: Oct 1, 2009,

PERL (Partnership for Education and Research about Responsible Living) is a partnership of researchers and educators, aware of the urgent need for individuals and society to significantly rethink and reorient the choices they make and the manner in which they live their lives in order to reduce the negative impacts of climate change and financial instability, ensure more just distribution of resources and foster sustainable, dignified human development for all. Many schools do not yet provide education for consumer citizenship and sustainable consumption which is value-based, holistic, systematic and related to student’s everyday life. PERL will contribute to education about responsible living by: researching social innovation and responsibility; giving visibility to creative communities that collaboratively invent new ways of living; promoting education for sustainable consumption; stimulating consumer citizenship; developing teaching methods and materials; and providing references and guidance. PERL will hold two roundtable consultations of experts to provide updated scientific insight into the direct and indirect consequences of the choices individuals make in their interaction with the market. PERL will build upon the results of The Design Research Agenda for Sustainability (DRAS) and the SEE project to develop an online platform for collaborative scenario building about new ways of living. By adopting a peer-to-peer approach, hundreds of design teachers and students will have the possibility to bring together their autonomous but convergent contributions on sustainable ways of living. PERL will also carry out systematic action research of best teaching practices based upon UNEP’s core curriculum for education for sustainable consumption. PERL will further develop, test and translate learning materials focusing on active learning methodologies which stimulate students’ associative skills as well as bringing them face to face with individuals in their neighbourhoods who have initiated sustainable ways of living. Two prototype modules for teacher training and one intensive course on responsible living will be established. A pilot project for audio visual materials will be initiated to lay the groundwork for a set of relevant video/films. A series of toolkits will be created connecting learning to the everyday life of pupils and involving extra-curricular groups, parent-teacher organisations and families. PERL will create an index of existing educational materials and hold two European research conferences.PERL will have impact on individuals and communities as well as educational institutions. PERL will contribute to increased interdisciplinary cooperation between institutions of higher education, civil society and business. It will provide teaching and learning resources for innovation in primary, secondary and higher education as well as in the context of lifelong learning. It will contribute to improved collaboration between young designers who are focusing on sustainable production and consumption. PERL will stimulate civic participation; build capacity for future researchers within the highly relevant field of lifestyles and sustainability; and stimulate increased understanding of global issues such as climate change, resource usage and finance management. PERL will contribute to the UN Decade for education for sustainable development in close collaboration with UNESCO and UNEP.
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