Environmental Systems in a Systemic Approach to Education for Sustainable Environments: A Model for Education for Sustainable Development

By:
To add a paper, Login.

A phenomenological analysis of the concept ‘environment’ indicates that it consists of seven constituents, namely the biophysical, social, scientific-technological, political, economic, personal and contextual dimensions. These dimensions are in dynamic interaction as people extract, utilise and manage natural and social resources to satisfy their needs and wants. Moving towards a sustainable environment requires simultaneous and balanced progress in terms of environmentally friendly operations in the different dimensions of the environment that are totally and dynamically interdependent. In terms of the foregoing description of systems, each of these dimensions should be seen as a system in itself which will be discussed briefly. Therefore, learning to think systemically is critical in ESD. To this end, A phenomenological analysis of the concept ‘environment’ indicates that it consists of seven constituents, namely the biophysical, social, scientific-technological, political, economic, personal and contextual dimensions. These dimensions are in dynamic interaction as people extract, utilise and manage natural and social resources to satisfy their needs and wants. Moving towards a sustainable environment requires simultaneous and balanced progress in terms of environmentally friendly operations in the different dimensions of the environment that are totally and dynamically interdependent. ESD has largely focused on analysis - that is, taking things apart in order to understand them. It is proposed that this teaching-learning approach be supplemented by a stronger emphasis on a systems thinking/systemic learning approach. This requires different ways to teaching-learning strategies and to conceptualizing the environment and sustainability issues: from parts to wholes; from objects to relationships; from objective knowledge to contextual knowledge; from quantity to quality; from structure to process; from contents to pattern. Therefore systems thinking should be a fundamental guiding principle towards effective ESD.


Keywords: Systems in the Concept Environment, Environmental Dimensions, Holistic Approach to ESD
Stream: Other
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.


Prof. Hugo G. van Rooyen

Professor, Faculty of Education, University of Johannesburg
Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa

Prof Hugo G van Rooyen; BSc; BSc (Hons); B Ed; M Ed (cum laude); D Ed; NHOD.
Prof van Rooyen is a senior professor in the Department of Education Studies at the University of Johannesburg (formerly: RAU). After spending four years teaching Biology, Natural Science and Geography at school level, he joined the Faculty of Education at RAU (now University of Johannesburg) where he has been involved with Teaching Studies and Methodology of Science Teaching on undergraduate and post graduate levels for the past 25 years. He has also focused on Environmental Education for the past 14 years, focusing mainly on EE in teacher education programmes. He obtained his doctorate from RAU in 1989 in Teaching Studies and his other academic fields of interest are Life Sciences Teaching and teacher education in general. Up to now twelve doctoral studies and more than 40 masters studies in Methodology of Life Sciences Teaching and Environmental Education have been completed under his supervision. One of his doctoral student received the prestigious international Prince Bernhardt Award for Environmental Conservation from the World Wildlife Fund.
Prof van Rooyen was the script writer of three educational television series on Life Sciences teaching. He also was the author of a school textbook on Environmental Education and co-authored three textbooks for teacher training, as well as a number of school Science textbooks. He has made various contributions to national and international journals, apart from presenting papers during international and national conferences. He is a member of a number of education-related societies and has been serving as a director of the Delta Environmental Centre in Johannesburg for the past 15 years.
Cycads have been his passion for the past 25 years and he is also a keen Clivia breeder and amateur nature photographer.

Ref: S08P0147