Development and Evaluation of Teacher Training Modules at Rajshahi University and University of Education Freiburg
Status: ongoing (start: 2012)
Project leader: Prof. Dr. Gregor Falk
The educational system of Bangladesh is based on British traditions. During the last decades structures as well as curricula have been modified and further developed. Nevertheless, there is still room for improvement of methodological and didactic qualifications of teachers in all educational fields. An institutionalized didactical and methodological training for lectures, teachers and researchers in Bangladesh is limited and merely exists within the framework of a general pedagogical education. Courses in subject-specific education and training in terms of a modern professional methodology are not yet established. The aim of the project is to develop, offer and evalaute course modules for the didactics and methodology of Geography and other Environmental Sciences. These courses are supposed to be implemented as compulsory components into the curriculum of the partner universities. Due to the fundamental importance of all climate change related fields faculties at universities in Bangladesh offering specific research and teaching are moving more and more into a key position. Specific didactics and methodology courses offer a valuable qualitative element in the educational context.
Does `Green´ Matter - Ecological awareness and concerns about sustainable development of young people in different cultural contexts. An international comparative approach
Status: ongoing (start: 2012)
Principle investigators: Prof. Dr. Gregor Falk, University of Education Freiburg (Germany) and Lex Chalmers, University of Waikato Hamilton (New Zealand)
In co-operation with: Raquib Ahmed, Rajshahi University Rajshahi (Bangladesh)
“The Earth can live without us but we cannot live without the Earth” is a familiar saying conveying a message that is as simple as it is clear. Keeping in mind that environmental degradation globally has reached a level never seen before, the on-going debate about sustainable development is more important than ever. Our starting point is countries with longer histories in terms of national economy and social norms of individual consumerism. These are generally the countries of the global north where there is often a concern about local environmental matters. In these countries education for sustainable development and the development of competencies related to environmentally sensitive behaviour have become key issues. In countries like New Zealand and Germany, to have fresh drinking water, to rely on adequate wastewater treatment and to breathe clean air (even in urban environments) have become established norms of human existence. At a first glance these developments might indicate a success story, but they do not. While children and young adults in the highly industrialized countries are planting trees in front of their schools to create sustainable environments and to pacify their green consciences, there are billions of people of the global south carrying the burden of consumerism elsewhere.
There have been many studies relating to education for sustainable development and the awareness of environment-related problems in industrialized countries (e.g. OECD PISA Study 2006). The project “Does Green Matter” is based on research that shifts attention away from the global north to the global south, establishing the learning of young people and ideas about their environment and their particular needs in the context of a sustainable development. 158 million people between 15 and 25 are living in countries belonging to the global north (15% of this age group), but this group is much bigger in countries described as Less and Least Developed states. In 2010 the number of young people in these countries exceeded one billion (85% of this age group), Digesting these numbers and the potential impact these future consumers are likely to have on their environment underlines the need to learn more about their prevalent pre concepts and awareness. Education for sustainable development must not remain the exclusive domain of students in the global north.
The research project will explore young adults’ ecological awareness in each of the target countries and analyse their concerns about sustainable development in our globalised world. On the basis of the findings, the need for change or adaptation at all levels in education will be identified. Finally, specific strategies for the education and teaching of sustainable development (ESD) will be developed. The target countries for the study are Germany, New Zealand, Uganda and Bangladesh.