Sustainability Programs in Institutions: Role of Parents, Priests, Principals, and Politicians
The deployment of parents, priests, principals and politicians are mere symbolic representations for disaggregating society. These representations should bring to the fore the role of the home, religious organizations, schools and the state in the evolution of programs on sustainability. On that premise this paper intends to confront the ecology of roles and responsibilities and in the process review certain formal programs designed to promote social equity and environmental awareness in schools and colleges. What is the nature of the programs? What measurable impacts do the programs have on the students? Since the publication of the detailed national action strategy for sustainable development in the United States by the President's Council on Sustainable Development there has been debates about how to make environmental education an integral part of college-wide curriculum. Unfortunately the debates have become fragmented and isolated. On one hand, there are those who are in search of how to incorporate environmental consciousness and sensibilities into isolated professional fields. This observation can be supported by the first baseline national surveys which “collected information about the percentage of institutions incorporating sustainability into curricula” (Rowe 2002). The nature of the discourse on a campus like the University of Florida can be gleaned from a presentation on “Greening Organizations” (n.d) by Professor Charles J. Kibert, where he observed that “Students are not trained in interdisciplinary systems thinking.” The reason for the lack of interdisciplinary connections, he further posits, can be attributed to the fact that “Universities have no overall map or vision of how the research conducted will help humans to live within the global ecosystem.” On the other hand, there are arguments for curricular that aims at attitudinal and behavioral transformation of students in readiness for positive changes locally and globally.
Keywords: Institution, Sustainability Programs
Ogbeni Kole Ade Odutola
Instructor, African and Asian Languages and Literatures, University of Florida