About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 7680-7687
Publication year: 2018
ISBN: 978-84-09-05948-5
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2018.0378

Conference name: 11th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 12-14 November, 2018
Location: Seville, Spain

DEVELOPING ACTION SKILLS IN EDUCATION FOR SUSTAINABILITY IN PRIMARY SCHOOL

V. Meersdom, V. Vandelacluze

VIVES University of Applied Sciences (BELGIUM)
A growing number of primary school teachers consider it important to integrate sustainability education into their teaching. Although urgent problems like climate change and plastic pollution in the oceans require immediate action, learning at school rarely leads to behavioural changes in everyday life or at home. Therefore, how do we teach children to act for sustainable development?

In our teacher training programme at VIVES Tielt-Kortrijk University of Applied Sciences, a group of final-year students wrote their dissertation on the topic of Education for Sustainable development (ESD). First, the students wrote an essay on the general topic sustainability. Second, they read literature and developed an opinion on the matter. At the end of their essay they formulated a research question. For example, “How can we encourage primary school pupils and their parents to opt for sustainable self-care (with an emphasis on body-care) in the context of the plastic soup?” During a preliminary study they observed and analysed the classroom situation with attention to the research question. Finally, during their educational practice they developed innovative teaching materials to answer the research question. In doing so, they applied some basic principles of design research.

Our students experienced that it is not that difficult to change children's opinions and behaviour. Change among parents is a bigger challenge. Yet students experienced that parents are quite sensitive to children's ideas and desires related to sustainability. To promote sustainability and to stimulate behavioural change, it is therefore important to develop primary school projects involving the whole school: the children, the teachers and their parents.

Through practice-based examples we want to emphasize the importance of giving young children positive experiences while acting for sustainability. Not only to strengthen their confidence, but even more to reinforce the conviction that even their actions matter and support (global) change.

Given the urgency of many sustainability issues, it is our firm belief that, even in the early stages of primary education, ESD should focus on developing action skills.

Our poster presentation presents the results of several dissertations focusing on these action skills, by demonstrating didactic material to use in primary education.
@InProceedings{MEERSDOM2018DEV,
author = {Meersdom, V. and Vandelacluze, V.},
title = {DEVELOPING ACTION SKILLS IN EDUCATION FOR SUSTAINABILITY IN PRIMARY SCHOOL},
series = {11th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2018 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-09-05948-5},
issn = {2340-1095},
doi = {10.21125/iceri.2018.0378},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/iceri.2018.0378},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {12-14 November, 2018},
year = {2018},
pages = {7680-7687}}
TY - CONF
AU - V. Meersdom AU - V. Vandelacluze
TI - DEVELOPING ACTION SKILLS IN EDUCATION FOR SUSTAINABILITY IN PRIMARY SCHOOL
SN - 978-84-09-05948-5/2340-1095
DO - 10.21125/iceri.2018.0378
PY - 2018
Y1 - 12-14 November, 2018
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 11th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2018 Proceedings
SP - 7680
EP - 7687
ER -
V. Meersdom, V. Vandelacluze (2018) DEVELOPING ACTION SKILLS IN EDUCATION FOR SUSTAINABILITY IN PRIMARY SCHOOL, ICERI2018 Proceedings, pp. 7680-7687.
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