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Title: Engaging families in sustainable development through sustainability walks
Other Titles: Handbook of lifelong learning for sustainable development
Authors: Mifsud, Mark C.
Cassar, Clinton
Cordina, Lyn
Grixti, Bernard
Spiteri, Loraine
Zahra, Amanda
Keywords: Outdoor education -- Malta
Sustainable development -- Malta
Critical thinking
Issue Date: 2018
Publisher: Springer
Citation: Mifsud, M., Cassar, C., Cordina, L., Grixti, B., Spiteri, L., & Zahra, A. (2018). Engaging families in sustainable development through sustainability walks. In L. F. Walter, M. Mifsud & P. Pace (Eds.), Handbook of lifelong learning for sustainable development (pp. 307-320). Springer: Cham.
Abstract: Most attention in Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) in Malta has been afforded to students at the primary and secondary level. There is a visible lack of resources and activities that focus on the involvement of adults, especially whole families, towards sustainable development. Additionally, current local research is indicating that students are getting detached from nature and not engaging in activities related to sustainable development due to their dependence towards digital media and even time constraints. This work attempts to address these lacunae, by promoting outdoor ESD, through a variety of walks for families, in the urban and rural landscape of the Maltese islands, intertwined with the pillars of sustainability. This is done to instil a sense of ownership and belonging towards the local holistic environment of the Maltese islands. The methodological model, which includes various activities, aims to develop sustainability awareness and pro-environmental behaviour through collaboration between members of the various families. In doing so, such activities will help families develop critical thinking and problem-solving abilities, while also providing them with leadership positions during any particular activity or the entire process. Initial research findings indicate that the resources and activities that form part of these walks have increased the sense of environmental and sustainable development awareness in whole families. A number of recommendations are put forward to make the methodology more transferable, and the walks are more effective.
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