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Sustainable Development:


Embracing Education for Sustainable Development Can: Improve teaching and learning Prepare students for citizenship and career Attract students, ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Sustainable Development:

Sustainable Development Towards Healthy
Environments, Economic Strength, and Social
Justice Keith E. Edwards, Macalester
College Kathleen G. Kerr, University of
Delaware Tools for Social Justice
Conference November 13, 2006 Kansas City, MO
Presentation Outline
  • Overview of Sustainability
  • Social Justice Aspects of Sustainability
  • Individual Leadership
  • Higher Education Leadership
  • Social Justice Education
  • Resources

Sustainable Development Defined
Meeting the needs of the present without
compromising the ability of future generations
to meet their own needs World Commission
on Env. and Development. (1987). Our Common
Future. England Oxford University Press.  
Triple Bottom Line
Social Justice
Healthy Environments

Strong Economies
Sustainable Society
Sustainable Development
The United Nations has declared 2005-2014 a
Decade of Education for Sustainable Development
Education for a Sustainable Society Enables
people to develop the knowledge, values and
skills to participate in decisions that will
improve the quality of life now without damaging
the planet for the future. 
Global Transition
  • From
  • Fossil powered
  • Take, make, waste
  • Living off natures capital
  • Market as master
  • Loss of cultural biological diversity
  • Independence
  • Materialism as goal
  • To
  • Solar powered
  • Cyclical production
  • Living off natures income
  • Market as servant
  • Increased cultural biological diversity
  • Interdependence
  • Human satisfaction goal

Which of these myths do you believe? 
  • Sustainability is mostly about the environment.
  • Sustainability is just another issue, like
    international studies or computer literacy.
  • Sustainability is secondary to the university's
    core mission and function.
  • Sustainability will almost always cost the
    university more money.
  • Sustainability is primarily a scientific and
    technical problem.

Social Justice Aspects of Sustainable Development
  • Environmental Racism
  • Fair Trade
  • Living Wage
  • Domestic Partnerships
  • Corporate Responsibility
  • Rights of Indigenous Peoples
  • Gender Equity
  • Water Rights
  • Human Rights
  • Child Labor Issues
  • Affirmative Action
  • Multicultural Competence
  • Pollution Farming Practices
  • Workers Rights
  • Sweatshop Labor
  • Slavery

Individual Leadership
What can I do as an individual?
  • Develop your own critical consciousness
  • Understand your own identities and how it affects
    your experiences and interactions.
  • Communicate across difference develop your
    multicultural competence
  • Recognize privilege and oppression as they exist
    and function in societies.
  • Commit to actively working for social change
    towards more just and equitable societies.

What can I do as an individual?
  • Be a responsible consumer
  • Buy locally grown and produced foods
  • Buy organic foods as much as possible
  • Know and do business with entities whose business
    practice you can support.

Higher Education Leadership
Potential is Enormous
  • 4,096 U.S. Colleges and Universities (1)
  • 14.8 million students (1)
  • 277 billion annual expenditures 2.8 of the GDP
  • HE expenditures gt the GDP of all but 25 countries
    in the world (2)
  • 1 From 2001 Digest of Education Statistics,
    US Dept. of Education.
  • 2 From 2001 CIA World Fact Book and
    Dowling, Mike., "Interactive Table of World
    Nations," available from http//
    800nations.html Internet updated Friday, June
    29, 2001

  • What if higher education were to take a
    leadership role, as it did in the space race and
    the war on cancer, in preparing students and
    providing the information and knowledge to
    achieve a just and sustainable society?
  • What would higher education look like?

Embracing Education for Sustainable Development
  • Improve teaching and learning
  • Prepare students for citizenship and career
  • Attract students, faculty and funding
  • Save and other resources for the institution
    and society
  • Improve the institutions reputation
  • Engender cooperation and satisfaction across the
  • Help improve town/gown relationships
  • Fulfill moral and social responsibility
  • Improve strategic positioning

Possibilities for Next Steps
  • Explicitly recognize and include ESD in the next
    round of mission definition and strategic
  • Encourage your strategic planners, purchasing
    agent, facilities director, student life
    coordinators, faculty and students to join the
    national online learning communities dedicated to
    education for sustainable development. (go to and click on Email lists)
  • Include sustainable development core competencies
    in the next revision of General Education outcome
    requirements, first year experience, orientation

Possibilities for Next Steps
  • Build and renovate facilities using socially and
    environmentally responsible practices (e.g. LEED
    and Energy Star)
  • Purchase socially and environmentally responsible
    products (e.g. no sweatshop products in the
    bookstore) (e.g. national initiative from NACS)
  • Infuse sustainability throughout the disciplines
    via staff development offerings and faculty
    engagement strategies
  • Develop college-community partnerships for
    sustainable development and use those
    partnerships for service learning opportunities
    for students (e.g. Grand Rapids CC and

Possibilities for Next Steps
  • Engage in the Campus Climate Challenge to reduce
    greenhouse gas emissions http//www.campusclimate
  • Help to create economic policies that support
    stronger economies via the building of healthier
    ecosystems and social systems (e.g.
  • Utilize the media to publicize the positive steps
    your institution takes to both teach and model
    sustainable development
  • Systemically incorporate social justice education
    on your campus

Social Justice Education
Apathy Responsibility Commitment to
working towards a more just and equitable
society.Students need to know that their daily
decisions affect the quality of life of people
around the globe
Social Justice Education
  • Identify specific learning outcomes for out of
    class learning opportunities.
  • Encourage students to explore their identities
    and communicate across difference.
  • Examine with students the oppressive systems that
    have existed and continue to function in society
    and the harm they do to us all.
  • Help students develop a libratory consciousness.

Integrating Education for Sustainable Development
Mission and Planning

Professional Development
CommunityOutreach and Partnerships
Student Life
Key Places
  • Student Life
  • Residential Living
  • Infused throughout curricula
  • First Year Experience
  • Gen Ed Core
  • Curricula Review
  • Community Partnerships
  • Workforce Development
  • Mission
  • Strategic Plan
  • Budget
  • Orientation
  • Campus Map and Signage
  • Building Policies
  • Operations and Purchasing Policies

ACPAs Presidential Task Force
  • Resources - FY Pledge templates for road shows
    ideas for orientation and FYE, etc.
  • Professional development - Webpage, e-learning,
    publications, monograph, pre-conferences,
    teleconferences and webcasts
  • Collaboration with other national higher
    education associations on
  • Rating system
  • Socially and environmentally responsible
  • Presidents pledge on climate change
  • Higher Education Climate Action Project
  • Team building on campus at VP and other levels
    for sustainability
  • Student Learning Outcomes to guide practice

Student Learning OutcomesACPAs Sustainability
Taskforce, 2006
  • Each student will be able to define
  • Each student will be able to explain how
    sustainability relates to their lives and their
    values, and how their actions impact issues of
  • Each student will be able to utilize their
    knowledge of sustainability to change their daily
    habits and consumer mentality.
  • Each student will be able to explain how systems
    are interrelated.

Student Learning Outcomes (cont.)ACPAs
Sustainability Taskforce, 2006
  1. Each student will learn change agent skills.
  2. Each student will learn how to apply concepts of
    sustainability to their campus and community by
    engaging in the challenges and solutions of
    sustainability on their campus.
  3. Each student will learn how to apply concepts of
    sustainability globally by engaging in the
    challenges and the solutions of sustainability in
    a world context.

  • Residence hall programs FYE and orientation
    programs campus speaker series bulletin boards
    service and service learning experiences
    curricular and co-curricular collaborations (e.g.
    general education outcome and infusion throughout
    the disciplines - first year community reading
    book) town hall forums study- and
    service-abroad experiences film series speaker
    series media festivals information in campus
    media outlets office of multicultural
    affairs/diversity programming curricular and
    capstone projects, one-on-one conversations with
    student affairs staff members programs sponsored
    by campus faith-based organizations and offices
    curricular projects signage on existing energy
    efficient/renewable energies buildings/
    operations Residence hall, student organization,
    fraternity and sorority, and intramural/club
    sports competitions personal contracts
    community (floor) agreements health safety
    checks with resident feedback campaign by campus
    transportation units sweatshop free bookstores
    and purchasing policies catalyzed by students
    development of educational modules on change
    agent skills to be distributed for use by
    educators involvement in campus leadership
    positions town hall forums conference
    attendance problem based learning in curricular
    and co-curricular settings attendance at
    meetings where policy is discussed and decided
    upon town and gown, city council, county
    council, Board of Trustees.

Strategies (cont.)
  • Participation in political campaigns service and
    service learning experiences modify the
    institutions and student organizations
    practices, mission statements, and constitutions
    utilize student governance structures to request
    compliance with LEED and other sustainability
    standards awareness raising campaigns letter
    writing campaign and implementation project for
    sustainable practices in dining services unit on
    campus work with campus facilities/grounds units
    to assess current practices work with facilities
    and business office to create more sustainable
    operations and standards organization of
    community recycling and reduced toxins program
    environmental impact statements from Residence
    Hall Governments and campus student governance
    groups Walk Dont Ride, Do It in the Dark
    campaigns collaboration with campus
    transportation units Facebook groups curricular
    change projects utilize campus media to carry
    message career services center programming and
    ,counseling graduation pledges or FYE pledges
    (currently Graduation Pledge) that are
    implemented throughout the undergraduate
    experience alumni activities speaker and film
    series service and service learning experiences.

Some statistics on activities
  • 250 sustainability coordinators/offices/
  • 275 campus sustainability assessments
  • 300 LEED (green) Buildings
  • Greatly increased student activism 271
    campuses for Campus Climate Challenge

Where Do We Go From Here?
  • Professional Development for campus staff
  • Upper administration support memo from all VPs
    empowering all staff and faculty to help
    implement sustainability
  • Presidential support Tailloire Declaration,
    AACC resolution, Presidents Campus Climate
  • Incentive building via budget use the savings
    to fund the next projects
  • Faculty and Staff - Identifying influencers and
    asking for help
  • Framing - Connect diversity, global learning,
    international ed, service learning, economic
    development, student life and environmental
    learning constituencies

Professional Development Strategies
  • Internally focus on Education for Sustainable
    Development in higher education staff and faculty
  • Externally reach out to professionals (get on
    the advisory committees and accreditation
  • Keep asking, What are your next steps in making
    education for and practice of sustainability a
    major goal of your institution?

  • The U.S. public is not educated enough about
    sustainability issues and solutions.
  • We need sustainability literacy and engagement
    for ALL. This is no longer optional for a viable
  • Some exciting developments, too many to report,
    but much more needs to be done.
  • We can assist you. Share what you do with ACPA
    and we will share with others via
  • Let our enthusiasm show!

  • Dr. Debra Rowe
  • President U.S. Partnership for Education for
    Sustainable Development Co-chair Higher
    Education Associations Sustainability Consortium
    Senior Fellow University Leaders for a
    Sustainable Future Professor, Alternate
    Energies and Behavioral Sciences Oakland
    Community College.

For More Information
  • Keith E. Edwards
  • Kathleen Kerr
  • ACPA Task Force on Sustainability
  • http//
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