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Bildung für nachhaltige Entwicklung: wiss. Literatur und Materialien (BNELIT)
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Exploring education for sustainable development : its theory and practice in Philippine higher education institutions.
Alberta, Univ., Ph. D., 2000
Abstract: The intent of this research inquiry is to explore tertiary teachers\' understandings of the theory and practice of education for sustainable development. The literature on sustainable development presents its ambiguities and contradictions. Through conversations with thirteen research participants from two higher education institutions in Southern Philippines, the question, \"What is education for sustainable development?\" was interpreted hermeneutically in the light of teachers\' lived realities and experiences. A qualitative research approach and principles from Gadamer\'s philosophical hermeneutics guided the inquiry. The implementation of education for sustainable development in the two institutions was investigated through interviews, participant observations and document analysis. Through conversations, the teachers\' interpretations of sustainable development and education for sustainable development expanded into wider circles of understanding. The texts are organized into broader categories or themes. Data presentation is individually and thematically-based. Reflections follow each presentation of data. The implementation of education for sustainable development in the two institutions is described and interpreted in terms of their vision-mission, activities, community linkages and pedagogical and research strategies. The process of triangulation responds to the criteria of trustworthiness and credibility of the data. Several contradictions and dilemmas were revealed in the conversations. These involved: (a) a contradiction between personal and public responsibility of caring for the environment; (b) a contradiction between the concept of sustainable development as environment and development and as environment versus development; (c) a local/global dilemma; and (d) a dilemma in the integration of environmental education amidst the need for reforms in education. Reflections on the conversations with the participants disclosed a desire for change in education in terms of goals, curricular structure and pedagogy. The significance of human agency as highlighted in the teachers\' tales of empowerment and the research process itself present possibilities to make the practice of education for sustainable development an alive and dynamic experience in their personal and professional lives. The hermeneutic process led to the participants\' understanding of themselves as ESD educators. The inquiry also offers possibilities for the two institutions and national environmental and educational agencies for a more effective implementation of education for sustainable development in both formal and nonformal contexts by bringing the voices of implementors in the process of policy-making and leadership. Leaving the conversations open brings an invitation to interested scholars or organizations in both North and South countries to join in this ongoing process of interpretation and dialogue. Reflections on the subject and the process of inquiry situate education for sustainable development as the hope for the earth and for life.