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Title: Civic action for sustainable futures : what role for adult environmental education?
Authors: Caruana, Vincent
Keywords: Adult education
Environmental education
Sustainable development
Issue Date: 2014
Abstract: The main aim of the thesis was to identify salient situations that enable participatory action as well as create barriers to the transition towards sustainability and to identify key conditions for Adult Environmental Education that would sensitise and mobilise sustained civic action for sustainable development. The research questions were classified under three major headings: Context as pertaining to an ever changing glocal world, mindsets and paradigms; Participation issues; and Educational processes. The research methodology adopted a case study approach using multiple sources of data gathering as appropriate to the different contexts of the case studies chosen and as permitted by practical considerations. Four case studies were chosen through convenience within the Mediterranean geographic territory: an Intentional Community in Malta; a Fair Trade Network in Egypt; and two Local Agenda 21 processes: one in Modena (Italy) and one in Bethlehem (Palestine). The results were evaluated and analysed against the objectives of this research and narrated in a non-technical language that highlighted the specificity of each case study and identified themes, patterns and commonalities. The study evidences the power of the case studies to reframe and critically challenge the hegemonic core beliefs of how a municipality, a Church organisation and a trade organisation ought to act. The political space for participation is not a constant, but an ever-changing space negotiated through the struggles, doubts and hopes of the relevant stakeholders and conditioned by the socio-political reality of the context in which they operate. With inspiring leadership and a real commitment to a mental mode that embraces citizen mobilisation and new spaces for conversations, both CSOs and local institutions can be a positive force towards sustainable solutions at a local level. Adult Environmental Educators and Education for Sustainable Development practitioners need to re-define their roles - in particular their mentorship role and leadership training in addressing the sustainability transition. In the face of social, environmental, cultural and economic challenges presented by an ever-changing glocal world, investing in leadership, social learning and in the enhancement of the capacity of both institutions and CSOs, to be and become innovative cocreators of a new emerging paradigm, is a challenge for educators to embrace with passion and urgency.
Description: PH.D.EDUCATION
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacEdu - 2014

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