Widening Interdisciplinary Sustainability Education
Start date: Dec 31, 2015,
End date: Dec 30, 2017
We are presently facing many environmental challenges, relating to social and economic changes that take place in a number of different scales. To address complex environmental issues, such as climate change, pollution, depletion of natural resources or biodiversity decline, we need to teach students an interdisciplinary approach through courses and programmes that derive from many different disciplines, such as biological and environmental sciences, sociology, economics, law and psychology. Additionally, there is a need to put attention on sustainability education. i.e. education seeking to cultivate knowledge that acknowledges fundamental interdependences between the society and the environment we live in. The main aim of the project is to create an international interdisciplinary network of academic teachers and researchers that will work together to develop capacity of interdisciplinary thinking about sustainable development and to create innovative multidisciplinary useful tools for environmental studies embedded in Sustainable Development directed to higher Education. The specific objectives are: 1) to discuss challenges of interdisciplinary education in studies related to environmental problems and sustainability, as well as the implementation of the ESD (Education for Sustainable Development) into existing curricula; 2) to exchange knowledge and experience concerning different types of education and specific tools and methods for implementing interdisciplinarity in academic teaching;3) to gather information on possibilities how to organize the sustainability education into university curricula within partners’ countries; 4) to develop a handbook (manual) with examples of teaching materials deriving from both social and natural sciences that can contribute to improvements of study programmes related to environment in several European countries;and finally5) to create a new joint international innovative interdisciplinary educational programme in higher education that would tackle the contemporary environmental problems and prepare students to face them in the future.The project will target several groups. Directly, it will improve skills and qualifications of the academics and teaching staff within the partner universities. The idea is to teach teachers who will include new way of combining interdisciplinary and sustainability in their education taking into account a diversity of areas (law, sociology, psychology, biology and geology). Indirectly the project will also positively influence students testing the teaching materials. Indirectly also it will allow for sharing of the experience, good practices and material outcomes that will be provided at open-access bases to the academic (teaching) community in Europe. Higher education professionals will be able to use knowledge and experience gathered in international partner reports. Partner organisations will exchange knowledge and expertise regarding education for sustainability - this information will be used locally, to enrich methodological approach to teaching environmental and sustainability issues in partner countries. Additionally, during the testing phase, students will gain knowledge of innovative teaching approach and newly produced teaching materials , as well as issues of environmental education. We want to reach any stakeholders active in the fields of environmental studies and sustainability, through newsletters, conferences, events and media, e.g. educational institutions, NGOs, students, academics, but also business professionals for whom the awareness and knowledge of sustainability issues is important in their daily work, etc.In general, the organisation of following project activities is previewed as a responsibility of each partner: - organisation of transnational meetings by Poland, Greece and Sweden - organisation of workshops by Sweden, Portugal, Czech Republic and Poland - organisation of seminars (multiplier events) by each partner - inclusion of testing of materials and curriculum in the teaching activities in each partner organisation - ongoing work on preparation of the handbook - ongoing monitoring, risk management, communication and dissemination activities by each partner on the national level and by the leader on the consortium/ international level.
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