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Module 7: Environmental Change and Sustainability


Environmental change and sustainable development are dynamic concepts open to a wide variety of interpretations.

Concern for the environment, both natural and human, is central to many personal and community decisions.

The basis for this module is that education for sustainable development should develop awareness, understanding and respect for the natural and human environments. It will encourage students to consider their commitment to sustainable development at a personal, local, national and global level.

Students will be able to develop the knowledge, skills, understanding and values to participate in decisions about the way we 'do things'. Under the central precept of ‘re-connecting people to planet’, this module will look at model examples of unsustainable human activity, and emerging best practice for sustainable living and human wellbeing. Topics for study will include, population growth, resource depletion, species extinction, global warming and food supply.

Students will be given the intellectual opportunity to 'think globally - act locally'. Issues such as transportation, housing, water and energy supply will be explored. Underlying causes of environmental pressure such as population increase will be examined and global political solutions discussed.

This module will:

  • clarify assumptions about environmental change and sustainable development
  • develop understanding and promote critical analysis of the relationship between ecological, social, political and economic principles and sustainable development
  • include and account for positive models and successful case studies of sustainable development in action
  • encourage students to engage values and personal actions which are integral to the achievement of sustainable development
  • encourage active participation in decision making and critique regarding sustainable development

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the module students will:

  • have developed greater awareness of the natural and human environments in which they live, and of key contemporary issues such as population growth, resource depletion and species extinction
  • be able to discuss definitions of 'sustainable development'
  • be able to critically analyse the relationship between ecological, social, political and economic principles and sustainable development
  • be able to identify personal values and actions which are integral to the achievement of sustainable development
  • as consumers, be able to make informed judgments and understand their rights and responsibilities
  • be able to make the connections between local and global issues in the environment and examine global political solutions to problems

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