Higher Education in Creating a Sustainable Future Term Paper

Pages: 6 (1510 words)  ·  Style: MLA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 6  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: Teaching

Higher Education

The Critical Role of Higher Education in Creating a Sustainable Future

6/6 MLA Higher Education in Creating a Sustainable Future

Working thesis statement, Description of Audience,

Annotated Bibliography

The purpose of this paper is to argue for a specific action the college community must undertake to enable higher education to participate in the creation of a sustainable future. For a sustainable future to exist, people must first learn how to "govern society, and to achieve the health, peace, security, social equity and stability" needed to survive. To achieve this, a change must be made at the High School level, so students have an opportunity to learn what actions are necessary to sustain society, and gather what skills they must to participate in the development of a sustainable society. High school students should learn what their impact on the Earth is, where products and services come from and what the consequences of their actions are so they can grow into adults that knowingly and willingly take action to correct the wrongs of society past and create a sustainable future, one where the world is capable of sustaining itself by protecting the valuable natural resources that exist.Buy full Download Microsoft Word File paper
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Term Paper on Higher Education in Creating a Sustainable Future Assignment

For high school students to realize thief full potential "personally and socially" they must first learn what changes they can make to create a more sustainable future. Policy-makers that work within the educational arena must develop a formal educational system that creates a curriculum for high school students that reflects the need for a just and sustainable world. They will do this by hiring an intellectual staff well-versed in sustainable living, and by requiring all students each year from grades 9-12 contribute to the well-being of the earth and their personal wellness by participating in one educational class per semester that focuses on sustainability in a field that is interesting to the student. Students in their 12th year must prove they have the knowledge then, to help participate and take action within their communities to achieve the goal of sustainable living by participating in an "internship" within the community. They must agree to volunteer for one semester with an organization that is currently working to create a sustainable future, whether that organization focuses on sustainable agriculture, technology, architecture or other subjects deemed appropriate by the University administrators.

To achieve this goal, policy-makers must agree to rework the curriculum for all students in high school. The criteria for graduation must change; a 3.0 average will not be the requirement for graduation, rather students must demonstrate in a final capstone project what, during their high school term, they learned and what actions they plan to take in the future that will help their community become more active in efforts to promote sustainable living. This will require a transformation of the current curriculum and policies that govern the criteria for graduation. No longer will teachers rely on standardized tests to assess student knowledge; this will instead be demonstrated through action by students. The educational "system" will shift so that it is one that collaborates and cooperates with people and other organizational "systems" currently in place attempting to change the face of this world. Rather than focus on academic challenge, professionals will be required to spend time assisting students in their learning so they know how they can participate in activities that will change life, living and the future for them and future generations (Cortese, 2003). They will demonstrate how well they understand their "individual success" is not dependent on grades or their ability to memorize complex equations, but rather their ability to contribute to the "health and well-being of communities, cultures, and the life support system" (Cortese, 2003). In doing so they prepare themselves to assist in efforts aimed at "improving local and regional communities so they are healthier, more socially vibrant and stable, economically secure and environmentally stable (Cortese, 2003). The students will develop real world skills they can apply to their community.

Opposition may argue the costs of such a program are prohibitive. However, the very nature of sustainable development suggests funding an available to communities that learn how to develop sustainable living practices.


Annotated Bibliography

Cortese, Anthony. The Critical Role of Higher Education in Creating a Sustainable Future,

Planning for Higher Education, 31.3, MR/MY 2003: pp.15-22.

Cortese argues that higher education must encourage the development of policies and practices that teach students how to be active participants in sustainable development. The article supports the argument for policy changes that will require a re-evaluation of the school curriculum and of student goals and expectations.

Geis, Don & Kutzmark, Tammy. Developing Sustainable Communities, Public Management, 77.8, 1995 Aug: p.4

In this work the authors address the subject of sustainability utilizing "seven main task forces" including "transportation, agriculture, environmental, labor and civil rights" to help create communities capable of sustaining themselves. The conservation of natural resources is discussed at length, as is the definition of sustainable living, sustainable education and sustainable communities. Also important to the discussion are the "forces driving sustainability" which include governments, educational institutions, urbanization, resources, knowledge, technology and social awareness (p.4).

Keijzers, Gerard. Business, Government and Sustainable Development. New York: Routledge,

In this work the author describes what is necessary to "fine-tune" policies aimed at creating a more sustainable society, and those that would continue to provide for the "sustainable development of society" (p.1). The author suggests that complex change is needed in education so that future generations are well prepared to persevere in the quest toward sustainable living. Keijzers also provides a historical review of areas of development and changing "arenas of sustainability" that will benefit the educational field in developing policies and curriculum geared toward students.

Jenks, Mike, Burton, Elizabeth and Williams, Katie. The Compact City: A sustainable urban form? London: E & FN Spoon.

This book talks about how important it is to create a sustainable future, and suggests the only way to create a sustainable future is by changing policies and procedures that govern all aspects of life including education. The authors believe changes in policy can promote the advancement of what the author's refer to as "compact cities." As defined by the authors, a compact city is one that is "rooted" in sustainability; one that provides for walking and cycling rather than the use of gas automobiles, one that provides for the needs of the community through agricultural and architectural changes; a city that promotes "benign civility." This book provides a wealth of information that will help the researcher learn what changes need to be made within the curriculum to promote greater sustainability.

This work can also create the model for a complete thesis that provides step-by-step actions policy-makers must take to advocate for a sustainable future. The researcher can use to better his argument and to discard any opposition that exists to policy or educational change for development and support of a sustainable future and for living.

Manila Bulletin. World Literacy Day: Literacy and Sustainable Development. Newspaper article,

Sep. 8, 2005, p.NA.

This small but poignant article discusses education, and how important it is for education to provide information regarding literacy and sustainability. Literacy is a key factor in any educational institution and part of any curriculum, but is more meaningful if applied to sustainable development. This article will support the change in curriculum necessary to promote literacy among all students. The author argues that education must be available to all students in all societies regardless of socio-economic status, race, gender or other factors. The premise is this may be accomplished through sustainable development. The presentation provides suggestions for overcoming problematic opposition to changes in education resulting from the lack of funding or other common issues. This piece contributes to the refutation of the counterargument made by the primary researcher.

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