Towards Integration of Knowledge Through Sustainability Education and Its Potential Contribution To Environmental Security

  • Rojas A
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This paper reports on 10 years experience with a model of sustainability education within a series of required, integrative and interdisciplinary under- graduate courses. It is based on the collaboration of faculty, students, staff, community members and agriculture and food industry stakeholders. It describes the pedagogical experience of a Community of Learners pedagogy that requires a collaborative organization of research and learning. It pays particular attention to the context of knowledge and to the relationships between learning objects and their environment, a combination that I call an ecology of knowledge. The proposed ecology of knowledge considers that content of education and the process, or mode of its delivery, are inseparable and shape each other. Also, it highlights the relations between personal and community experience of problems, scholarly accounts of those problems and visions of potential futures, to overcome the problems, as three cognitive moments that strengthen each other. Sustainability education is critical if society is to address threats and challenges to environmental security. The goal of our model of sustainability education is to form citizens-learners with environ- mental awareness, professionals with vision and tools to address problems, carry out research and create solutions. Although systematic investigation of our experience is beginning only now, we have evidence that the model is successful in delivering a set of specific, yet ambitious sustainability education learning outcomes.

Author-supplied keywords

  • community of learners
  • ecology of knowledge
  • environmental security
  • food security
  • integration of knowledge
  • learning with life
  • sustainability education

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  • Alejandro Rojas

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