About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 1201-1208
Publication year: 2012
ISBN: 978-84-616-0763-1
ISSN: 2340-1095

Conference name: 5th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 19-21 November, 2012
Location: Madrid, Spain

SUSTAINABILITY EDUCATION PARADIGMS IN SOUTHERN MALAWI AND CENTRAL NORTH CAROLINA: COMPARING AND CONTRASTING NEEDS AND APPROACHES

J. Snyder1, R.H. Martin2

1Alamance Community College (UNITED STATES)
2North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (UNITED STATES)
Sustainability is an area that individuals in all parts of the world are becoming more concerned with as we look towards our future. Sustainability education is being incorporated into many different fields of education from agriculture, to biotechnology, healthcare and many others. This is making an impact on education at many different levels from primary schools to higher education. This global issue is often thought of on a local scale, ignoring what is taking place elsewhere. This paper discusses the implementation of sustainability initiatives taking place in rural Malawi along with those taking place at a community college in North Carolina. How can two sustainability education initiatives taking place over 8,000 miles apart impact each other?

Sustainability is based on a simple principle: Everything that we need for our survival and well-being depends, on our natural environment. Sustainability creates and maintains the conditions under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony, that permit fulfilling the social, economic and other requirements of present and future generations. Sustainability is important to making sure that we have and will continue to have, the water, materials, and resources to protect human health and our environment. (United States Environmental Protection Agency, 2012)

Every summer since 2004 faculty and students from three U.S.-based universities – Virginia Polytechnic and State University, Radford University and North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University – have traveled to southern Malawi to collaborate with educators there for the purpose of mutual cross-cultural learning and development (Barber, Jones & Kelly, 2010). One aspect of this experience has been visits to Nanthomba Full Primary School (a sustainable school located in Nanthomba village) and Tikondwe Freedom Gardens (an organic farm relying on gravity-fed irrigation, composting, and farming practices that are free of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides). These visits shed a light on how sustainability is viewed and taught in a developing country.

From these in-country models a new project began this summer taking the knowledge learned from the Nanthomba School and Freedom Gardens to develop a sustainable garden supporting a child feeding program at Domasi Demonstration Primary School, a partner school of the US universities in Malawi since 2006.

At the same time the horticulture department at Alamance Community College in central North Carolina is also making a concerted effort to move towards operating in a more sustainable manner while incorporating some of the same sustainability concepts into the curriculum. This interdisciplinary effort has stretched from solar power generation, repurposing materials, rainwater recapture and reuse, as well as organic methods of production. An initiative completed with a goal of creating a model that will showcase sustainably options that can be easily implemented by anyone interested in these measures, much like the projects taking place in Malawi. While the needs and approaches to reach sustainability differ in the two countries, there are many instances where much can and should be learned and shared.
@InProceedings{SNYDER2012SUS,
author = {Snyder, J. and Martin, R.H.},
title = {SUSTAINABILITY EDUCATION PARADIGMS IN SOUTHERN MALAWI AND CENTRAL NORTH CAROLINA: COMPARING AND CONTRASTING NEEDS AND APPROACHES},
series = {5th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2012 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-616-0763-1},
issn = {2340-1095},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Madrid, Spain},
month = {19-21 November, 2012},
year = {2012},
pages = {1201-1208}}
TY - CONF
AU - J. Snyder AU - R.H. Martin
TI - SUSTAINABILITY EDUCATION PARADIGMS IN SOUTHERN MALAWI AND CENTRAL NORTH CAROLINA: COMPARING AND CONTRASTING NEEDS AND APPROACHES
SN - 978-84-616-0763-1/2340-1095
PY - 2012
Y1 - 19-21 November, 2012
CI - Madrid, Spain
JO - 5th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2012 Proceedings
SP - 1201
EP - 1208
ER -
J. Snyder, R.H. Martin (2012) SUSTAINABILITY EDUCATION PARADIGMS IN SOUTHERN MALAWI AND CENTRAL NORTH CAROLINA: COMPARING AND CONTRASTING NEEDS AND APPROACHES, ICERI2012 Proceedings, pp. 1201-1208.
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