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The main keynote speakers
Detlev Lindau-Bank and Anna Maaria Nuutinen
Building Sustainable Communities: The Role of Education, Public Awareness and Training
Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) has made tremendous progress since the beginning of the UN Decade of ESD starting in 2005. This presentation will describe some of the current trends in ESD, which also have implications for teacher education. First, ESD is increasingly being perceived as quality education. Studies show that students who study sustainability issues are more engaged in school socially, academically, and intellectually. Second, we note that ESD pedagogies are co-evolving with the incorporation of sustainability into the curriculum. These pedagogies are student centred and empowering to create a better future. Third, we note that because universities are doing sustainability related project and research in communities the barriers between universities and communities are dissolving. Universities are no long “ivory towers” but are partners in solving community problems and issues. Teacher educators around the world are driving these ESD changes.
Charles Hopkins is currently the UNESCO Chair at York University in Toronto, Canada where he teaches in the Graduate School. His UNESCO work focuses upon the development and coordination of an international network of teacher education institutions from over 50 countries. Collaboratively, they are working upon the reorientation of elementary and secondary teacher education to address sustainable development.
He is co director of the Sustainability and Education Academy, (SEdA) a nationwide institution located at York University, Toronto, Canada that assists ministries of education, faculties of education, and school districts reorient their school systems to address sustainability.
Hopkins also is a United Nations University (UNU) advisor on Education for Sustainable Development, assisting UNU to develop Regional Centers of Expertise in Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) around the globe and he is a Senior Advisor to the Environment and School Initiatives (ENSI) an international network of senior education leaders.
Managerial and educational challenges in working towards an adaptive cultural ecology
Cultural ecology is about the relationships between people and their environments, about how they interact and transform each other. Cultural ecology recognises that nature and culture are inextricably linked, that natural heritage and cultural heritage are mutually dependent.
In this paper I will argue that the modern tendency is to think and behave towards the environment as though it were a separate, detached entity. Present day organisational, managerial and legislative behaviours towards the environment are typically highly generalised ways of doing things.Whereas they may reflect good practice in terms of policy, they are not necessarily compatible with the particularity of the localities to which they are applied. In the past, people had to think and behave with the environment because their well-being depended on it. To think and behave with the environment is to deal with the subtlety of locality, to acknowledge the small differences which make one place different from another, to recognise the creative, immediate possibilities of living ‘in the moment’. Living with the environment involves attention to local detail, to historically contingent and customary ways of engaging with the environment, and in so doing provides opportunities to introduce fluidity and adaptability into modern management.
Drawing on wide ranging examples from land use, craft production and rural entrepreneurship, I will illustrate how integrating scientific management with local knowledge; integrating thinking and behaving towards the environment with thinking and behaving with the environment, offers the possibility of sustainable and adaptive cultural ecological management. I will explore the educational and pedagogical implications of working towards an adaptive cultural ecology.
Patrick Dillon is Emeritus Professor in the Graduate School of Education, The University of Exeter, UK, Visiting Professor at the University of Eastern Finland, Adjunct Professor at the University of Helsinki, and Visiting Research Fellow at the PLaCE (Place, Location, Context and Environment) Research Centre, University of the West of England.
Sustainable Development and Curriculum Reform in Finland
In her presentation, Ms. Halinen examines the forthcoming curriculum reform in Finland, and the opportunities to strengthen the role of education for sustainability in the whole education system. ESD, in the very broad sense, can be seen as the purpose of education. Finnish curriculum system is based on intensive cooperation and continuous interaction between three levels of curriculum: national core curriculum, municipal curriculum and school based curriculum. Shared awareness concerning the goals and the means of the reform is created through the common working process. Finnish teachers have central role in this process, and they also use curriculum as their professional tool. National Core Curricula for Early Years Education, For Pre-Primary and Basic Education and for General Upper Secondary Education will be reformed between 2012- 2016. This creates challenges also for teacher education in Finland.
Ms. Irmeli Halinen works in the Finnish National Board of Education (FNBE) as the Head of the Curriculum Development Unit.FNBE is a state agency in charge of the development of education in Finland, working under the auspices of the Ministry of Education and Culture. Ms. Halinen is also a member of the Finnish National Commission for UNESCO. She is a member of the international Advisory Board for the Sustainability and Education Academy (SEdA), and a member of the Reference Committee of UNESCO General Education Quality Framework project. She has worked as a curriculum expert in China, in Nepal, and in the Caribbean Area, and with Canada, and several European, Arab, Latin American, and African countries.
Regional Center of Expertices for the ESD and the Role of Regional and Municipality Measures
The RCE is a network of existing formal, non-formal and informal education organisations, mobilised to deliver education for sustainable development (ESD) to local and regional communities. A network of RCEs worldwide will constitute the Global Learning Space for Sustainable Development. RCEs aspire to achieve the goals of the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development, by translating its global objectives into the context of the local communities in which they operate.
We want to show how the aims and work of RCEs are consistent with strategic objectives of education and training policies.
Espoo is the first Finnish actor to have been approved to the UNU’s RCE network. Activities bring together the three dimensions of sustainability: ecological, economic and socio-cultural. In practice this means increasing the awareness of sustainable development and of sustainable life, protecting natural diversity and creating services and products that foster every day well-being of the people of Espoo.
Detlev Lindau-Bank (1960) is Education researcher, social worker and assistant professor at the University of Vechta. He is working on school development, horse-assisted education and education for sustainable development. He especially focuses his research on young people and young adults. He is a cofounder of the RCE Oldenburger Münsterland.
Anna Maaria Nuutinen is Master of Science (Education) and a primary and special school teacher. Currently she is engaged as the RCE Espoo coordinator. Mrs. Nuutinen is a member of the R&D Group for Sustainability in the Department of Teacher Education (University of Helsinki). She is interested in the cumulative collaborative knowledge building and promotion of inquiry-based learning that is directed to transform education and to improve school-community collaboration for SD.
Some Basics of Education for Sustainability from a Semiotic Point of View
The paper highlights some basic theoretical, in particular, semiotic principles in education for sustainability.The target of education should be the qualitatively rich individual life.It can be called the sustainable life.It will be offered as a working alternative to the biased ideal of the economic growth that dominates the world.In education, we should get all people, from childhood to old age, to understand the present situation of the world and make an independent choice for their lives.As an example of education based on semiotics, I mention the doctrine of auto communication by the Estonian semiotician Juri Lotman.In auto communication, the addresser and the addressee are the same person.Decisive in the communication is the point when the ordinary message suddenly changes into a significant experience.As a target, auto communication might be a fruitful mental tool.The paper aims at the introduction of some semiotic and philosophical educational methods.
Tuomo Jämsä: I have born in Kemi in 1940.I graduated at Ii coeducational school in 1962.To pay for the costs of the studies, I contributed to Helsingin Sanomat, Ylioppilaslehti and Kaleva about literature and worked as a journalist in the cultural section in Kaleva andthe chief editor of the cultural magazine Kaltio.Studies of psychology, Latin, literature and Finnish at the University of Helsinki and later, concentrating on language and literature, at the University of Oulu.Teacher of Finnish at the upper secondary schools of Vaala and Kontiolahti, tutor of younger colleagues in teaching Finnish and class teachers at Oulu University and class teachers, likewise, at Joensuu University in Savonlinna.Doctoral thesis about the semantics of the most frequent Finnish verbs in 1986. Visiting professor at Indiana University and at the University Göttingen, adjunct professor of Finnish at Oulu.Articles on semantics and pedagogic problems, and especially on semiotics (a member of a pioneering biosemiotic group). Retired in 2004 but still active in certain missions.
If sustainability is to become a governing discourse, it must also be a widely shared frame of mind.Essential to it is a strong concept of and commitment to nature and its ethical significance, which commit the person to certain kinds of attitudes and behaviour.One expression of this is ecosophy, whose primary pragmatic is the assumption of ecological duty.Duty is onerous and contested, and so requires appropriate communal situations in which it can be discharge.Nature tourism can provide these situations in a practical from despite the contrary pressures of society and lifestyles.It is thereby a mode of education demonstrating the possibilities of ecological citizenship and its corresponding virtues. The responsibilities of nature tourism must be comprehended within a conceptual framework of ecological duty.
Dr Stephen Condit is a retired lecturer of English and Translation Studies in the University of Eastern Finland.His publications, in both English and Finnish, deal with environmental ethics, the philosophy and theory of anarchism and the philosophy of nature tourism.He is active in numerous organisations concerned with human rights, environmental policy and nature preservation and international development cooperation.For over two decades he has held a variety of political positions for the Greens in Savonlinna and at the national level, including a current post as chair of the Green council group on the municipal council.His recreational interests are walking, rowing and sailing.
Educator Competence and Sustainable Development
Education for Sustainable Development implies a fundamental shift in what a teacher does. This in turn may mean that different skills and abilities are required from teachers today as compared to teachers in previous generations. But what are the skills, competences or abilities that teachers need if we are to deliver on the promise of ESD? The United Nations Economic Commission Strategy on ESD (2005-2015) highlighted the need for appropriate initial training and re-training of educators if the goals of the strategy were to be met. As a result, an international Expert Group was established to advice on educator competences for sustainable development and on policy actions which might support their development. The result, ‘Learning for the future: Competences in Education for Sustainable Development’, was completed in 2011. Drawing on work on developing social and emotional competence in pre-service teachers, I will look at the implications of ‘Learning for the future’ for teacher education, focussing on the specific challenges of linking what students learn in teacher education courses with their practice as educators.
Roland Tormey’s research and publications have focused on how education and teacher education can contribute to global citizenship and to greater equality in a context of growing diversity.
As a Pedagogical Advisor at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) he supports the quality of teaching on campus through offering in-depth teaching evaluations and coaching to academic staff; providing training workshops for teachers; supporting projects which are aimed at curriculum reform and at enhancing the quality of teaching and learning on campus and engaging in research on learning and teaching in higher education. He worked in teacher education at secondary and higher education level (2004-2011) at the University of Limerick, where he was Assistant Dean for Research and later Head of the Ireland's largest department of second-level teacher education. He also worked in primary teacher education at Mary Immaculate College, Limerick (1996-2004). He has also worked as an Education Officer with the Irish National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) in the areas of Intercultural Education and Social and Political Education and where he was centrally involved in the development of the award winning guidelines, Intercultural Education in the Primary School.
In addition to researching in Ireland Roland Tormey has been involved in educational research in Rwanda, Zambia and Uganda.
In 2007 his popular book on Gaelic Football (Summertime Blues) was nominated for the William Hill Irish Sports Book of the Year.
Roland Tormey has represented the Government of Ireland on the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Steering Committee and Task Force on the Decade of Education for Sustainable Development and was co-chair of the UNECE Expert Group on Competences in ESD from 2009 to 2011.