CEC Oceania Vice-Chair Gives Seminar on ESD

25 August 2009 | News story

Professor Konai Thaman, Regional Vice Chair for the IUCN Commission on Education and Communication, presented a seminar at the University of the South Pacific. Her topic was “Bonn and Beyond: Re-orienting teaching and learning towards Sustainable Development”.  

Professor Konai Thaman, Regional Vice Chair for the IUCN Commission on Education and Communication, presented a seminar at the University of the South Pacific. Her topic was “Bonn and Beyond: Re-orienting teaching and learning towards Sustainable Development”.  

She talked about the need to understand the educational realities of Pacific Island nations as the context for ESD and suggested that these included:
- culturally undemocratic and examination driven curricula;
- over-dependence on foreign intellectual and financial resources; and
- little stakeholder participation in educational decision making.

She then focused her discussion on the curriculum of the University of the South Pacific, which is trying to mainstream ESD through introducing new courses, adding extra content to existing courses, and infusing ideas and skills within particular subject curricula. The key to all of these activities, she suggested, was the teacher/lecturer who needs to be oriented to ESD. She showed how an individual lecturer might re-orient his/her course using a matrix that includes knowledge, skills, values, issues and resources against the three main pillars of ESD, society, economy and environment. She concluded by suggesting that more research is needed to gauge Pacific conceptualizations of ESD and that this research should utilize Pacific Research Frameworks and Methodologies which have been successfully carried out in some Pacific countries, such as Tonga, Marshall Islands and Nauru.

Professor Konai Helu Thaman" <thaman_k@usp.ac.fj>

 


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