International Science Index

6
10004415
Achieving Sustainable Development through Transformative Pedagogies in Universities
Abstract:
Developing a responsible personal worldview is central to sustainable development, but achieving quality education to promote transformative learning for sustainability is thus far, poorly understood. Most programs involving education for sustainable development rely on changing behavior, rather than attitudes. The emphasis is on the scientific and utilitarian aspect of sustainability with negligible importance on the intrinsic value of nature. Campus sustainability projects include building sustainable gardens and implementing energy-efficient upgrades, instead of focusing on educating for sustainable development through exploration of students’ values and beliefs. Even though green technology adoption maybe the right thing to do, most schools are not targeting the root cause of the environmental crisis; they are just providing palliative measures. This study explores the under-examined factors that lead to pro-environmental behavior by investigating the environmental perceptions of both college business students and personnel of green organizations. A mixed research approach of qualitative, based on structured interviews, and quantitative instruments was developed including 30 college-level students’ interviews and 40 green organization staff members involved in sustainable activities. The interviews were tape-recorded and transcribed for analysis. Categorization of the responses to the open‐ended questions was conducted with the purpose of identifying the main types of factors influencing attitudes and correlating with behaviors. Overall the findings of this study indicated a lack of appreciation for nature, and inability to understand interconnectedness and apply critical thinking. The results of the survey conducted on undergraduate students indicated that the responses of business and liberal arts students by independent t-test were significantly different, with a p‐value of 0.03. While liberal arts students showed an understanding of human interdependence with nature and its delicate balance, business students seemed to believe that humans were meant to rule over the rest of nature. This result was quite intriguing from the perspective that business students will be defining markets, influencing society, controlling and managing businesses that supposedly, in the face of climate change, shall implement sustainable activities. These alarming results led to the focus on green businesses in order to better understand their motivation to engage in sustainable activities. Additionally, a probit model revealed that childhood exposure to nature has a significantly positive impact in pro-environmental attitudes to most of the New Ecological Paradigm scales. Based on these findings, this paper discusses educators including Socrates, John Dewey and Paulo Freire in the implementation of eco-pedagogy and transformative learning following a curriculum with emphasis on critical and systems thinking, which are deemed to be key ingredients in quality education for sustainable development.
Paper Detail
916
downloads
5
9998419
Evaluation of the Environmental Risk from the Co-Deposition of Waste Rock Material and Fly Ash
Abstract:

The lignite-fired power plants in the Western Macedonia Lignite Center produce more than 8106 t of fly ash per year. Approximately 90% of this quantity is used for restoration-reclamation of exhausted open-cast lignite mines and slope stabilization of the overburden. The purpose of this work is to evaluate the environmental behavior of the mixture of waste rock and fly ash that is being used in the external deposition site of the South Field lignite mine. For this reason, a borehole was made within the site and 86 samples were taken and subjected to chemical analyses and leaching tests. The results showed very limited leaching of trace elements and heavy metals from this mixture. Moreover, when compared to the limit values set for waste acceptable in inert waste landfills, only few excesses were observed, indicating only minor risk for groundwater pollution. However, due to the complexity of both the leaching process and the contaminant pathway, more boreholes and analyses should be made in nearby locations and a systematic groundwater monitoring program should be implemented both downstream and within the external deposition site.

Paper Detail
1229
downloads
4
9998261
Understanding Primary School Students’ Beliefs Regarding the Adoption of Pro-Environmental Behaviors
Abstract:

Environmental education is the key to enhancing or changing students’ ways of thinking and acting in order to create an environmentally robust future for all. The present study investigates the beliefs of 812 primary school students, which merit consideration when developing educational interventions. Results of multiple regression analyses reveal that educational interventions should focus on promoting students’ feelings of control over pro-environmental behaviors (PEB). For example, schools could provide recycling bins on the premises. Furthermore, it is critical to develop positive attitudes in students by stressing the various benefits of PEB for keeping our planet clean and protecting wildlife. Unfortunately, our results indicate that students believe that PEB is boring and annoying. Suggestions are offered for making PEB more interesting and relevant. Further research is needed to test the effectiveness of interventions based on the present results.

Paper Detail
1387
downloads
3
5101
Current Trends in Eco-Friendly Reconstruction after the Great East Japan Earthquake
Abstract:
On March 11, 2011, the East coast of Japan was hit by one of the strongest earthquakes in history, followed by a devastating tsunami. Although most lifelines, infrastructure, and public facilities have been restored gradually, recovery efforts in terms of disposal of disaster waste and revival of primary industry are lagging. This study presents a summary of the damage inflicted by the earthquake and the current status of reconstruction in the disaster area. Moreover, we discuss the current trends and future perspectives on recently implemented eco-friendly reconstruction projects and focus on the pro-environmental behavior of disaster victims which is emerging as a result of the energy shortage after the earthquake. Finally, we offer ideas for initiatives for the next stage of the reconstruction policies.
Paper Detail
1191
downloads
2
5498
Sustainable Development Contributions among University of Madeira (Portugal) Students
Abstract:
Sustainable development is highly dependent on the implementation of environmental education programs, which has as its ultimate goal to produce environmentally literate citizens that undertake environmentally friendly actions. Efforts on environmental education along past years are now perceived on the increase of citizens awareness on European countries and, particularly, in Portugal. However, we still have a lack of information on the prevalence of specific behaviors that contributes to sustainability, influenced by a new attitude toward the environment. The determination of pro-environmental behaviors prevalence in higher education students is an important approach to understand to which extend the next leading generation is, in practice, committed with the goals of sustainable development. Therefore, present study evaluates the prevalence of a specific set of behaviors (water savings, energy savings, environmental criteria on shopping, and mobility) on the University of Madeira students and discusses their commitment with sustainable development.
Paper Detail
974
downloads
1
15510
Lean Thinking Process in the Determination of Design Suggestions to Optimize Treatment of WEEE
Abstract:
This work proposes a set of actions to assist redesign procedure in existing products of Electric and Electronic Equipment (EEE). The aim is to improve their environmental behavior after their withdrawal in the End-of-Life (EOL) phase. In the beginning data collection takes place. Then follows selection and implementation of the optimal EOL Treatment Strategy (EOL_TS) and its results- evaluation concerning the environment. In parallel, product design characteristics that can be altered are selected based on their significance for the environment in the EOL stage. All results from the previous stages are combined and possible redesign actions are formulated for further examination and afterwards configuration in the design stage. The applied method to perform these tasks is Lean Thinking (LT). At the end, results concerning the application of the proposed method on a distribution transformer are presented.
Paper Detail
809
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