Community-level environmental projects as learning tools for planners: a case study of graduate planning students

Community-level environmental projects as learning tools for planners: a case study of graduate planning students

  • paper in the current issue

Michelle E. Portman & Yael Teff-Seker

Pages: 415-435 | DOI: 10.1080/13504622.2015.1136597


Despite the potential environmental impact of urban planning, there is little research on Environmental Education (EE) in the context of urban planning curricula. This study follows graduate planning students’ learning experience during group projects assigned as part of a planning course at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology. These participatory projects, characterized as project-based learning and service learning, took place in several communities in Israel. We examined the types of learning impacts the projects engendered by analyzing the reported experiences of the students using parameters from the field of EE. The main goal of this research is to understand the contribution of such practical, hands-on project exercises to the course curriculum for inculcating environmental education themes. Findings indicate that projects helped students acquire and/or improve professional tools. They enhanced motivation to consider environmental concerns in their work and in some cases changed students’ personal environmental behavior.

Keywords: environmental education, environmental planning, meaningful learning, project-based learning, service learning, urban and regional planning



Tips on Thursdays – Enhancing your article with supplemental material

5 key points from the publishers … read on at the link …

  1. It makes your article more discoverable, giving people another route to find your research.

  2. Other researchers can cite your supplemental material, increasing the impact of your work.

  3. Funders are able to identify clear links to data, ensuring you meet your funding requirements.

  4. Your supplemental data is effectively preserved.

  5. Research shows that articles with supplemental material are downloaded and cited more often.

Silence – a matter of public concern: reconsidering critical environmental and sustainability education

Silence – a matter of public concern: reconsidering critical environmental and sustainability education

  • New EER Article Alert

Danny Wildemeersch

Pages: 1-12 | DOI: 10.1080/13504622.2017.1301385


The paper analyses the contribution of critical pedagogy to the reflection on environmental and sustainability education. It links this reflection to a case of a Flemish/Belgian citizen movement that sensitizes the public for the issue of silence, through various educational and community-based practices. These practices inspired the author to try and find out how the narrative of the organisation could be framed in terms of critical pedagogy. He therefore investigated how scholars on environmental education, particularly in this journal, have discussed over the years several theoretical and practical approaches of community-based environmental education. In addition he also explored how the notion of equality of intelligence developed by Jacques Rancière, and the concept of plurality developed by Hannah Arendt, could inspire that debate. It helped him to take a stance in the tension between individual and social transformation and connect it to the democratic practices of the citizen’s movement on silence. These investigations eventually resulted into an attempt to redefine good practices of critical environmental and sustainability education.

Keywords: Critical pedagogy, silence, public issues, individual and social transformation, spaces of transition, equality, plurality


What global perspective does our university foster in our students?

What global perspective does our university foster in our students?

  • paper in the current issue

Kerry Shephard, Michael Bourk, Miranda Mirosa & Pete Dulgar

Pages: 398-414 | DOI: 10.1080/13504622.2015.1126806


We used a modified circuit of culture enquiry to explore processes of production, representation and consumption of global perspective at our university, in the context of fostering this perspective as a graduate attribute. We identified four frame packages by which this perspective is understood and communicated. Global perspective is framed within our institution simultaneously as essentially cooperative and as competitive. We express concern about how such complexity is fostered in our students. We ask our colleagues and university teachers internationally to critically reflect upon the diversity of global perspectives extant within higher education and potentially to clarify their intentions as university teachers.

Keywords: global perspective, global citizenship, circuit of culture, framing analysis


How pre-service teachers navigate trade-offs of food systems across time scales: a lens for exploring understandings of sustainability

How pre-service teachers navigate trade-offs of food systems across time scales: a lens for exploring understandings of sustainability

  • paper in current issue

Lina Yamashita, Kathryn Hayes & Cary J. Trexler

Pages: 365-397 | DOI: 10.1080/13504622.2015.1074662


In response to the increasing recognition of the need for sustainable food systems, research on students’ and educators’ knowledge of food systems and sustainability more broadly has grown but has generally focused on what people ‘fail’ to understand. Moving away from this deficit approach, the present study used semi-structured interviews to explore how 12 pre-service teachers (PSTs) in the US consider sustainability in terms of the trade-offs – or concurrent costs and benefits – associated with using different agricultural resources over short, medium, and long terms. Drawing upon the constructs of framing, metacognition, and complex causality, the study found that the majority of PSTs referred to indirect experiences of seeing or hearing about agricultural resources to demonstrate stable knowledge of short-term trade-offs and construct tentative knowledge about medium-term trade-offs. Few described long-term trade-offs. Most participants also acknowledged some gaps in their knowledge in discussing trade-offs across the different time scales. Findings suggest the importance of leveraging and building upon educators’ (and ultimately students’) prior experiences to build their understanding of complex trade-offs that underlie food systems. The study also illustrates the value of using the concept of trade-offs across time scales to explore people’s conceptions and understandings of sustainability.

Keywords: food systems, sustainability, pre-service teachers, trade-offs, time scales, semi-structured interviews


Post-Sustainability and Environmental Education: Remaking Education for the Future

Editors: Jickling, Bob, Sterling, Stephen (Eds.)

This book provides a critique of over two decades of sustained effort to infuse educational systems with education for sustainable development. Taking to heart the idea that deconstruction is a prelude to reconstruction, this critique leads to discussions about how education can be remade, and respond to the educational imperatives of our time, particularly as they relate to ecological crises and human-nature relationships. It will be of great interest to students and researchers of sociology, education, philosophy and environmental issues.

This is the first book in the series, Palgrave Studies in Education and the Environment.

Find out more about the book and the series at the link.

Source: Post-Sustainability and Environmental Education – Springer