Sustainable Development Education and ICT
for international understanding and sustainable
17 July 2015
Eila Jeronen, Ph.D., Adjunct professor
• Introduction
• The five dimensions of sustainability
• Sustainable development
– Key concepts
– Interpretations of sustainability
– Ecosystem change and human wellbeing
• Wellbeing and basic needs
• Teaching, studying and learning:
Learning conceptions
Sustainable development and environmental studies
Contextual theory and practice
Goals and contents of Sustainable Development Education
Environmental awareness as a goal
Holistic environmental education
– ICT and distance education
• Conclusion
Introduction 1/5
• Sustainable development is widely
recognized as a prior task for societies in
the 21st century.
• Following the tradition of environmental
education which was thought as a main
instrument for solving environmental
problems, education once again seems to
serve as a prior vehicle to reach the
ambitious goals of sustainability.
Introduction 2/5
• Finland launched a special information society
strategy in 1995 in which the use of information and
communication technology (ICT) in teaching and
learning figured as a key to accelerating the progress in
the chosen direction (Ministry of Education 1995).
• In 1999, the Ministry of Education updated the ICT
strategy. This was a continuation of earlier
governmental efforts to steer national growth towards an
information society through learning and education.
– The main concept in the programme was a ´learning
citizenship society` (Ministry of Education 1999).
Introduction 3/5
The third strategy, the Information Society Programme was published in
– It has three categories:
• knowledge,
• content and
• the operating environment.
– It is targeted to all players in the education, training and research fields
and it concerns all citizens as users or producers of information society
– It is geared to
• develop all citizens' information society knowledge and skills,
• enable educational institutions to use information and communications
technology (ICT) in a versatile way in their activities,
• establish ICT-based procedures in education, training and research and
• promote social innovation through the use of ICT.
(Ministry of Education 2004.)
Introduction 4/5
• Research studies have
consistently shown that
fears, hesitations, lack of
knowledge concerning
sustainable development,
insecurity concerning the
disciplinary and
pedagogical aims,
weakness in coaching
open-ended and
participatory processes,
and self-imposed
boundaries exist.
(Kyburz-Graber, 2001;
Azapagic, Perdan, & Shallcross, 2005;
Jeronen, Anttila-Muilu, & Jeronen,
Introduction 5/5
• Consequently, we need to work collaboratively to ensure
interest in environmental issues and sustainable
development now and in future.
• Through education we can foster interest in sustainable
life chances, aspirations and futures for young people.
• According to Krapp et al. (1992), interest has two
components, individual and situational interests.
– Individual interests are specific to individuals and
develop over time.
– Situational interests, on the other hand, are generated
by certain stimulus characteristics and tend to be
shared among individuals. They may have a
permanent effect and serve as a basis for the
emergence of individual interests.
The five dimensions of sustainability
• Ecological – impact on ecological resources
and services (critical ecological capital)
• Economic – impact on livelihoods and
economic security (manufactured capital)
• Social – impact on social justice and social
• Cultural – impact on cultural diversity/capital
• Personal – impact on human health and
happiness, personal capital
Sustainable development
”Sustainable development means meeting the
needs of the present generation without
compromising the ability of future generations to
meet their own needs. … Sustainable
development is about safeguarding the earth's
capacity to support life in all its diversity. It is
based on democracy, gender equality,
solidarity, the rule of law and respect for
Fundamental rights.”
(The Presidency Conclusions
of…, 2006, 7)
Sustainable development:
Key concepts
• Anthropocentrism (from Greek:
άνθρωπος, anthropos, "human being";
and κέντρον, kentron, "center") is the
belief that humans must be considered
at the center, and the world must be
interpreted or regarded in terms of
human values and experiences
(Merriam-webster´s on-line dictionary).
• Well-being: Sustainability is connected
in the well-being of a human being and
the well-being of human-being is based
on the well-being of nature.
• Conceptions of well-being are shown
when interpreting the idea of
(Norton, 2005.)
Sustainable development:
Interpretations of sustainability 1/4
– claims that science can not either reveal us Reality.
– an effort to study what ought to be, the present given norms and
traditions of a society.
• Cultural relativism holds that the morality of an action
depends on culture:
– What is morally right in one culture, may be morally
wrong in another.
– Moreover, it holds that one culture cannot be held
superior to another.
Sustainability is decided independently by every society.
Sustainable development:
Interpretations of sustainability 2/4
• Weak sustainable development:
– The principles of neo-classical economics can be applied to the
solution of environmental problems.
– E.g. Pearce, Solow and Beckerman.
• Strong sustainability:
– Ecological capital can be replaced only exceptionally.
– Economic development is a precondition of environmental
– E.g. O´Riordan and Weale.
(Baker, Kousis, Richardson, & Young, 2004)
Sustainable development:
Interpretations of sustainability 3/4
Anthropocentric approach:
- The Earth´s resources are infinite and the question of sustainability does not
therefore arise.
- New reserves of resources, or alternatives materials will be found to replace any
that are exhausted.
- A theory is said to be strongly anthropocentrist if all the natural values it
recognises are related to the satisfaction of preferences felt by human beings.
- A theory of value is said to be weakly anthropocentrist if all the natural values
which it recognises are related to the influence exerted by a given "felt" preference on
the ideals which structure the vision of the world (and on which are essentially based
"considered" preferences).
(Baker et al., 2004)
Sustainable development:
Interpretations of sustainability 4/4
Biosentric approach:
- The Earth´s resources has finite limits and consumption, and the
economic growth, cannot go on for ever. Otherwise, sooner or later,
the Earth will reach the limits of its carrying capacity in relation to its
human subsystem
(Baker et al., 2004).
Schematic approach:
- It should be allowed replacement and flexibility to some extent so
that every generation can achieve their own purposes using
developed technology (Norton, 2005).
An elephant and blind
Scientists (basing on
traditional issue
modified by Esa
Tulisalo (Willamo
Sustainable development:
Ecosystem change and human wellbeing
Wellbeing and basic needs 1/3
• Wellbeing:
“A context and situation dependent state,
comprising basic material for a good life,
freedom and choice, health, good social
relations, and security.”
(Millennium Ecosystem Assessment,
Wellbeing and basic needs 2/3
Aesthetic needs
Cognitive needs
Esteem needs
Belongingness and love needs
Security needs
(Maslow, 1954)
Wellbeing and basic needs 3/3
(Sharma, 1995.)
Teaching, studying and
Learning conceptions
(Saettler, 1990).
(Saettler, 1990).
-stimulus – response
- specified, quantifiable,
terminal behaviors
-processes of learning such
* knowledge coding and
* information storage and
retrieval as well as the
* incorporation and
integration of new
knowledge with previous
(Schuman, 1996)
(Jeronen, 2005)
-promotes a more open
ended learning experience
* is based on Internal and
social negotiation
*is facilitated by exploration
of real world environments
and intervention of new
- provides meaningful,
authentic contexts for
learning and using the
constructed knowledge
- requires an understanding
of its own thinking process
and problem solving
- requires collaboration
among learners and with
the teacher
-Situated knowledge
-The quality of knowledge
- Conceptions change
Teaching, studying and learning:
Sustainable development and environmental studies
(Cf. Alexandre,
Teaching, studying and learning:
Contextual theory and practice
Humanistic human
metacognitive skills
Personal meanings
Contextual teaching
– transfer
– integration
– collaboration
(students, teachers,
parents, society)
– active participation
(Cf. Cantell, 2001.)
Teaching, studying and learning:
Goals and contents of Sustainable Development
- eco-efficiency
- maintaining the economic
prerequisites for production
- ethical modes of production
- the quality, safety and
accessibility of the living
- strengthening a community
and the sense of place
the ecological,
social and cultural
values of
the environment
and natural
- the sustainable use of natural resources
- conserving bio- and genetic diversity
- maintaining nature’s ecological systems
- conservation of traditional
landscapes and their
inherent biotopes
- ensuring continuity in
constructed environments
- cultural diversity
(Virtanen &
Salonen, 2007.)
Teaching, studying and learning:
Environmental awareness as a goal 1/8
Teaching, studying and learning::
Environmental awareness as a goal 2/8
(Chawla, 1999)
Teaching, studying and learning:
Environmental awareness as a goal 3/8
(Palmer ym., 1999)
Teaching, studying and learning:
Holistic SDE 4/8
– Environmental behaviour
model (Hungerford & Volk,
– Onion model (Käpylä, 1995)
– Tree model (Palmer, 1998)
– The modell for sustainable
development education
(Åhlberg, 2005)
– House model (Jeronen &
Kaikkonen, 2002; Jeronen ym.,
( Jeronen & Kaikkonen, 2002; Jeronen ym., 2009).
Teaching, studying and learning:
Global future as a goal 5/8
(Hicks & Bord, 2001)
Teaching, studying and learning:
ICT and distance education 6/8
Developing ICT and distance education concerning SDE in schools is a long
process. It requires
– an effective technical infrastructure
– psychological and cultural changes in teaching and learning.
It seems that schools are in the middle of this process:
* Teachers do not resist implementing ICT, but it seems that they are not
completely convinced of its advantages.
* In order to fully utilize ICT, they require better learning materials and
digital content in Finnish.
* In addition, the teachers have problems integrating ICT in the curriculum,
• they also feel that the schools lack both effective technical facilities and
support to maintain these environments.
However, distance education is becoming an important component in all
educational sectors in Finland.
Teaching, studying and learning:
ICT and distance education 7/8
Projects in Biology, Geography, EE and ESD in the University of Oulu
2006 onwards
Ympäristö ja terveys -yhteistyöverkosto (Myrtti), puheenjohtaja. ViRMo –
Virtuaaliset monialaiset opinnot. Virtual Studies in Biology, Geography,
Environmental Education and Health Education in Finnish Universities), (Coordinator)
HERODOT II: Thematic Network for Geography Teaching and Training, 230402CP-1-2006-UK-Erasmus-TN, Partner.
Thematic Network, Hero(dot)net. 103700-CP-2-2003-1-UK-Erasmus-TN, Partner.
HERO(dot)eNEWS, European Environmental News, 90199-CP-1 001-1-FIMINERVA –M. Co-ordinator.
ESPACE European System for Particle and Astrophysics Cyber Education.
(Socrates, Comenius 3.1. AT-57214-2001) Partner.
HERODOT Using the Web in Teaching Geography (Socrates, Open and Distance
Learning ODL). Partner.
EuMEDEA . On-line Teacher Training Course on Environmental Education
(Socrates, Erasmus Programme) Partner.
ECOSCHOOL (Socrates, Erasmus, European Module, EM). Project leader.
Teaching, studying and learning:
ICT and distance education 8/8
• In our projects, we have found some pedagogical
features that are good to consider when teaching on
distance education.
• In order to create a rewarding online learning
experience, evaluation needs to be combined with an
effective learner-centred pedagogy.
• When teachers
– set clearly defined learning goals and expected outcomes,
– develop criteria for evaluation, and
– use multiple methods of assessing learning and teaching,
they promote an environment that is conducive to learning.
By providing activities and leaving time for discussion, a dynamic
community of learners can be constructed.
• Finally, organization strategies for SDE such as
– scheduled activities and messages from students and
teachers form an integral part of the learning
– ongoing communication and interaction, and clear
criteria in assessment and evaluation are imperative
when supporting students´ studying and learning
– scaffolding approach supports a student´s motivation
and gives good personal experiences.
– consequently, interaction between students will
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