Archive: March2011

Sustainability in Outdoor Education: Rethinking Root Metaphor

By Adrienne Cachelin, Jeff Rose, Dan Dustin and Wynn Shooter

Recognizing that behavior comes not only from understanding, but also from attitudes cultivated in outdoor settings that elicit visceral feelings toward nature, outdoor educators have unique opportunities to make sustainability comprehensive, accessible, and relevant.  Yet the principal metaphor underlying outdoor education in general, and the Leave No Trace (LNT) program in particular, may be counterproductive to fostering environmentally and […]

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Compost, Blossom, Metamorph, Hurricane – Complexity and Emergent Education Design: Regenerative Strategies for Transformational Learning and Innovation

By Marna Hauk

This work proposes a novel theoretical framework for sustainability education and explores four possible applications of the framework. Insights from complexity and complexity education elide with patterns from nature to birth four patterns of regenerative, emergent education. In this work I explore these four natural systems models of emergence and apply them to education. For […]

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From the Guest Editors

By Terril Shorb and Pramod Parajuli

Dear JSE Readers, Welcome to this evocative issue of the Journal of Sustainability Education whose focus is the very apt theme, “Learning and Leading Sustainability.”  We say this is apt because we see much mention in the national political dialogue—if we dare to call it dialogue—about the importance of education to the future of the […]

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Sponsoring the Journal of Sustainability Education

By Clare Hintz

Sponsoring the Journal of Sustainability Education The Journal of Sustainability Education is actively seeking partners, sponsors, and donors to collaborate on moving the field of sustainability education outward and deeper. The Journal is a premiere publication with dynamic content: a blend of peer reviewed and timely interviews and media pieces that draws 700,000 web views per year. […]

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Spines 2: To and From The Editor

By Larry Frolich

March 28, 2011 Dear JSE Readers, As we enter into our second year, I continue to be moved, and even overwhelmed, by the level of interest in the future of humanity….and how that future can be made more sustainable… and how education can contribute to that process. I am every day made more humble by […]

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Spare Changing the World: The Inner Challenges of New Paradigm Organizations

By Timothy Clayton

Timothy Clayton looks at the internal workings of NPO’s (New Paradigm Organizations) to see how they might respond to the experiences of operating in a world structured by capitalism and traditional business practices. His insights produce an impressive and thoughtful list of ways in which some NPO’s, despite a flashy mission statement, might not practice what they preach, and can fall into traditional modes of operation.

This essay explores the challenges facing organizations intent on fostering peace, justice, and sustainability when incorporating traditional business practices into their operational modeling. The implications of these practices on internal organizational community conditions are examined, as are the possible impacts on mission-intended transformational capacities.

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Teaching Sustainability in Graduate Education: A Call to Leadership Development

By Viniece Jennings

The generic definition of sustainable development involves using resources to meet current needs without forfeiting those of future generations. Though this definition has been criticized for being vague and vulnerable to misinterpretation, it has evolved into a paradigm that confronts the way we exist, including how we educate. I became personally acquainted with the benefits […]

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Let Us Learn Again to Nourish a Gifted Subsistence

By Terril Shorb

In this fascinating personal and educational journey, Terril Shorb asks us to look locally and look at our own subsistence first when we consider sustainability. While acknoledging a role for large-scale efforts based on technology, he believes in the inward solution that relies on relationships, being resourceful, working reciprocally, and finding a way of living in gifted subsistence.

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Sustainability Education Invites Learners to Anticipate and Shape the Future: Terril Shorb interviews Stephen Sterling

By Terril Shorb

In this wide-ranging interview, author and professor Stephen Sterling brings forth a good case for how academic can work to see collaborations that bring policy into practice, especially at a local level.

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People, Society and Sustainability

By Christopher A. Haines

Introduction – The Human Factor When discussing “a sustainable future” most writers expect we will be using “renewable energy”, driving more efficient cars and be far more efficient in our use of resources.  Those are items they recognize will have to change, (a good step) but it appears they expect the rest of life to […]

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Buildings, Climate Change, Education and Action: The role of the building sector systems in climate change mitigation

By Peter Papesch, Jeff Haberl, Robert Koester, Dan Proctor and Bob Berkebile

In this clarion call for broad-based change in the way buildings are designed and built and occupied, Papesch and his colleagues bring attention to the broad swaths of society that are involved in this fundamental aspect of our daily lives. While bringing into play diverse groups of lay people and professionals, from poets to engineers, with a focus on architects and designers, they call for changes at every level, from the development of a Green Mindset among the population at large, to local governmental code changes to, as they argue most importantly, fundamental changes in design curricula that lead to the primacy of an interdisciplinary approach to climate change mitigation in building design.

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Sustainability Education in the Interior Design Curriculum

By Jane Nichols and Erin Adams

Nichols and Adams show how central design must be to sustainability by showing the numerous ways and multiple disciplinary perspectives that allow sustainability to be incorporated into the design curriculum. The program described goes far beyond a nod to “green building” technologies and shows how design is at the root of the ecological, economic, social and transformational aspects of sustainability.

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Engaging People in Meaningful Change through the Politics of Place and Celebrating Our Accomplishments in Community: Terril Shorb interviews Daniel Kemmis

By Terril Shorb

In this revealing interview, Daniel Kemmis shows how he has brought sustainability issues into play as mayor of Missoula Montana and as a leading state legislator in Montana. So often, ideas remain in the abstract, but Daniel Kemmis’ experience shows the reality of how they can be brought into the political realm, along with all its imperfections. He brings weight to the call to “act locally.”

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Northwest Earth Institute’s Discussion Guides Enhance Sustainability Education at University of Michigan

By Mike Shriberg

Mike Shriberg shows the power of implementing a true discussion-based curriculum in his sustainable campus course at the University of Michigan.

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A Multidisciplinary Approach to Teaching the Marketing of Sustainable Products

By Peter Kaufman, Louis Reifschneider and Frederick Langrehr

Kaufman and colleagues at Illinois State University provide us with a dynamic example of how their students work with real companies in designing marketing strategies for green products, combining both the technical development of the product with a consideration for how to bring it into the marketplace.

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Trash Talk: A case study of waste analysis at Pomona College

By Char Miller and Bowen Close

In this well-formulated case study, Miller and Close show us how student involvement and action through a group independent study course led to sophisticated analysis and real change in the handling of waste at Pomona College. They make a good case for student analysis to have equaled or better what experts might have done, with the added benefit of giving students an impactful, real-life experience with practical solutions to sustainability education problems.

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Toward climate justice: Perspectives on the climate crisis and social change, by Brian Tokar, Communalism Press (2010), 137 pp., $14.95, ISBN 9788293064015.

By Randall Amster

In this insightful review of Brian Tokar’s book, Randall Amster hails the work as a hopeful response to climate change that, rather than playing off of apocalyptic scenarios, envisions a future where society is re-structured not only in technological and economical terms, but also towards a more socially equitable way of life.

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Review of The Handbook of Sustainability Literacy: Skills for a Changing World

By Laura Henry-Stone

In this detailed and insightful review, Laura Henry-Stone admires the breadth and cohesiveness of this edited volume from mostly European sustainability educators. She makes a good case for bringing this wide array of pieces under one cover, for avoiding static definitions of sustainability, even the traditional “triple bottom line”, and rather looking outside reductionist approaches to find integration, inter-relation and the kind of broad strokes that the chapters in this book propose for educating and solving for sustainability.

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Can Uncertainty Lead to Sustainability? Review of Science, Society and Sustainability: Education and Empowerment for an Uncertain World, edited by Donald Gray, Laura Colucci-Gray and Elena Camino

By John Gist

In this insightful review, John Gist gives us some perspective for thinking about science education and its potential for framing the sustainability debate. This is a brief introduction to Gray et al.’s fascinating book Science Society and Sustainability: Education and Empowerment for an Uncertain World. Gist presents the issue of uncertainty in science, in all its complexity, and finds value in the book for addressing deep understanding in a comprehensible and useful way.

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Primary care—what it should embrace. A review of “A World of Health: Connecting People, Place and Planet”

By Larry Frolich and Alan Frolich

In their review of the Northwest Earth Institute’s A World of Health, the Frolich brothers look to place the wide-ranging issue of environmental health concerns into the every-day framework of so-called “primary health care.” They see value in the book where it addresses what can really be done, through action, and through a guided study group, to confront and change the way our interactions with the environment affect our every-day health.

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Implementing Education for Sustainable Development: The Potential use of Time-Honored Pedagogical Practice from the Progressive Era of Education

By Cosette Marie Armstrong

Education for sustainable development (ESD), a UN initiative, is an emerging field and a movement advocating for a reorientation of education. Integration of ESD has been slow, especially in higher education. The most notable progress is marked by campus greening and research initiatives, while pedagogical innovation, the topic of this paper, has been much slower […]

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Educators as Architects of Living Systems: Designing Vibrant Learning Experiences beyond Sustainability and Systems Thinking

By Barbara Widhalm

This article discusses how living systems principles can inform educational design. It describes a theoretical framework for creating academic learning experiences as organic wholes that sustain learning verve. The framework is intended to aid educators in awakening a felt sensation of aliveness, vibrancy, and self-organizing creativity in a group of learners. It seeks to create […]

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Growing Our Own: A Case Study of Teacher Candidates Learning to Teach for Sustainability in an Elementary School with a Garden

By Joanne Carney

This case describes how four teacher candidates, placed for a year-long internship in an elementary school with a garden, learned to teach for sustainability. Evidence from the interns’ Teacher Work Samples, survey data, interviews, and observational data are used to assess the extent to which teacher candidates demonstrated the knowledge, skills and dispositions to teach […]

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Teaching for Transformation: (Re)Designing sustainability courses

By Heather Burns

If educators are to effectively prepare learners with the knowledge, skills, and values they will need for creating more sustainable places and communities, a transition must be made from transmissive teaching models to transformative learning processes. But how can courses be designed or redesigned so that they create opportunities for transformational sustainability learning, and how […]

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Negabehaviors and Environmental Sustainability

By Joel Ross and Bill Tomlinson

Helping people learn to adopt more pro-social lifestyles usually involves persuading them to take new, beneficial actions. However, certain pro-social goals, such as achieving environmental sustainability, also require people to stop performing harmful actions—people are commonly instructed to drive less, use less electricity, and otherwise reduce the amount of resources they consume and waste they […]

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The Digital Divide in Kentucky: Is Rural Online Learning Sustainable?

By J. Kirk Atkinson and Phillip Coleman

This paper describes the perceived condition of access to high-speed Internet for many rural Kentuckians, and reflects on the experience of attempting to bring broadband Internet accessibility to a rural area in Kentucky. This experience is not unlike rural areas in other states however, as numerous stories were discovered over an 8-year period. The general […]

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Living Soil and Sustainability Education: Linking Pedagogy and Pedology

By Dilafruz Williams and Jonathan Brown

Sustainability is now permeating educational institutions. Yet the emerging discourse on sustainability education is in many ways caught in a modern web of theoretical, ontological, and epistemological assumptions that are incongruent with sustainability. We introduce an ecologically grounded metaphoric language rooted in living soil as an alternative regenerative framework for linking sustainability pedagogy with pedology […]

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Leadership without Domination? Toward Restoring the Human and Natural World

By Tina Evans

The author constructs a theory of sustainable leadership in contrast to exploitive leadership and argues that all leadership in the modern world falls somewhere on a continuum between these two extremes. The definitions developed for sustainable and exploitive leadership hinge upon the purposes toward which leadership is applied. The concept of sustainable leadership is further […]

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Educating for Sustainability: Competencies & Practices for Transformative Action

By Erin Frisk and Kelli Larson

Achieving a sustainable future requires that individuals adopt different values, attitudes, habits, and behaviors, which are often learned and cemented at a young age. Unfortunately, current educational efforts are inadequate for achieving transformative action.  Even programs whose primary goal is to promote responsible, pro-environmental behaviors have largely failed at creating change among students.  The lack […]

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Living Systems and Leadership: Cultivating Conditions for Institutional Change

By Zenobia Barlow and Michael K. Stone

Since its founding, the Center for Ecoliteracy, where Zenobia Barlow is executive director and Michael Stone is senior editor, has supported and advanced education for sustainable living in K–12 schools. One of our particular concerns has been leadership and systemic institutional change. We have sought to understand both how schools can themselves change and how […]

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Sustainability, Democracy, Pedagogy: On Locating Ourselves in Dark Time

By Kimberley Curtis

What kind of pedagogy could possibly be adequate to the crises of our times: global ecological disaster, intensification of deep poverty across the world, concentration of corporate power and the concomitant blows to democratic initiative and power, and an increasingly totalizing global form of civilization that depends upon detaching human beings from their practical and […]

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