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    General Course Details

    Course title


    Authors/ Instructors

    Alan Bainbridge, Beate  Cyboran, Dorota Gierszewski, Pnina Schur, Stan Sofer, Sulev Vladmaa, Tina Gelashvilli, Urwe Laanemets, Yocheved Yorkovsky, Michal Ramot

    Course status/ level


    Course code


    Teaching Semester



    5 – Israel

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      Course Rationale

      Rapid technological development in the last century (in agriculture, industry and transportation, exploitation of natural resources, ecological damage to the environment and biodiversity, consumption habits and more), has led to an environmental crisis. The global environmental problems are common to all mankind and could unite citizens of the world to act together in preventing the environmental deterioration. One way to reduce the harm to the environment is to increase environmental knowledge of students by providing them information about the environment and ecological issues and problems, and encouraging them how to act in an environmentally friendly way.

      The current course is based on the concept of sustainability as developed in the United Nations in recent decades, highlighting the different issues reflected in the field. This definition states that sustainability creates a culture that allows an equitable existence that will ensure the well- being of mankind in the present and future generations. It rests on the humanistic point of view through which learners can approach a level of awareness and responsibility towards sustainability issues. Sustainability refers to the relationship between people and the environment when the environment is a broad concept including the natural world, culture and society. According to this concept, the learning is interdisciplinary by nature reflecting the natural sciences, literature, history, culture, languages, and more........ The course designers believe that academic institutions should also approach this course from this interdisciplinary perspective.

      Our hope is that providing students with this approach towards sustainability will contribute to students’ pro-environmental behavior. Moreover, student teachers who will be future teachers, have an important role in educating and shaping the future citizens of the world, providing them with that knowledge, to enhance their awareness, attitudes, values, skills and sustainable behavior.


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        Course Objectives and Prerequisites

        Course Objectives

        • Understanding the complexity of the relationships between humans and environment includes a spiritual, cultural, political, economic and social perspective
        • Understanding global and local challenges of the environment and their inter-relationship
        • Understanding basic concepts of ecology and environmental issues
        • Enhancing the awareness and the implications of human activity on the environment
        • To help students develop civic values concerning environmental involvement and activity
        • To promote and develop critical and creative thinking regarding future sustainability issues from different perspectives (political, social, ecological, cultural, economic, legal).
        • To help students realize the relevance of sustainability issues in their personal lives.




        There are no pre-requisites for course attendance


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          Learning Outcomes of Course

          After completion of the course, students will be able to:

          ·         acquire and apply knowledge relating to sustainability in the community

          ·         analyze and suggest solutions to problems regarding sustainability

          ·         integrate traditional and innovative knowledge in developing attitudes towards sustainability from different perspectives (political, social, ecological, cultural, economic, legal)

          ·         develop a sense of responsibility towards sustainability on a global level

          • acquire a sensitivity towards different opinions regarding sustainability issues.
          • apply interactivactive relationships between local and global sustainability issues.


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            Teaching methods of course

            The following activities indicate some of the pedagogical approaches which might be used to promote participatory and interactive learning.  Instructors will need to select activities which they think will be appropriate for the subject they are teaching and the age, ability and national context of the students they are teaching. The aim is to engage students rather than to attempt to achieve comprehensive coverage of all issues. Active learning has many advantages.  It is memorable, meaningful, engages students who might otherwise be passive and helps to create situations where new ideas can be generated in a secure and supportive environment. If students are to be active members of their community then practical learning needs to be part of their learning at university.


            ·         Warm up activities

            Use a variety of expressive ways such as drawings to express students  emotional and personal response to environmental issues

            Students write down questions which interest them about the environment on post-it notes

            Use articles and movies to develop critical thinking and to show different viewpoints

            Put students in groups of four or five.  Ask them a set of questions  e.g. 'Can you think of a moment in your life when you have been personally engaged in sustainability? Can you think of an activity when your community has been engaged with sustainability? What would you suggest for the improvement of the environment?

            ·         Case studies

            Introduce students to personal, fictional or real stories/situations regarding environmental issues

            ·         Dilemmas

            ·         Explore and discuss extracts from books, poetry, religious texts and so forth which relate to sustainability issues in order to express the relation between culture and environmental issues

            ·         Find out about a problem where there is a conflict between two values e.g. oil refineries in a populated areas create air pollution (life value) but brings also provide jobs (work value)



            ·         Frontal Lectures


            Lectures can be made interactive by using questions between both staff and students.  Visiting lecturers can bring new ideas.


            Using concept maps to organize and structure knowledge

            Students read an article and analyze the content by drawing a diagram showing how the ideas inter-relate.


            ·         Interactive games

            ·         For example:

            ·         (1) Canteen room Explore and issue about which students have strong opinions e.g. vegetarian for or against. Ask the students to stand up in the center of the room facing each other according to their views.  Each student then can explain their opinion.  When everyone has spoken the students are invited to change their position according to what they have learnt.  You can play several rounds.

            ·         (2) . Ask students to stand in a circle. Each student has a card with a word on it e.g. water, tree, leaf, flower, bee, honey.  Give the student who represents 'water' a ball of wool.  They then throw the wool to a person they are linked with e.g. the 'tree' who then throws it to 'leaf' and so forth.  At each point the student needs to explain the connection. When all students are connected by the wool they can reverse the process to show how the leaf depends on the tree which depends on water. 

            ·         (3) Links and connections






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            Course Assessment and Requirements

            • Preparing and implementing an activity for civic action regarding an issue dealing with sustainability in which students justify their choice of focus, reflect critically on the impact of their activity and evaluate its wider significance. Activities can include a power point presentation, essay, poster preparation, video, etc. with reference to literature.
            • This will be a group presentation, which encourages students to learn in a collaborative manner. We suggest 50% of the grade goes towards the presentation itself and 50% of the mark goes towards an individual written assignment relating to the theory and impact of the activity.

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              Course Outline

              Unit 1: Introduction to Sustainability and Sustainable Development

              Perceptions of Sustainability


              Historical  Relationship between Humans and the Environment


              Unit 2: Pollution and Environmental Degradation

              Air Pollution

              Water Pollution

              Land Resources and Soil Degradation 

              Unit 3: Ecology and Biodiversity


              Ecological Footprint

              Unit 4 : Economy

              Energy Sources

              Food Security and Sustainable Development of Agriculture


              Transportation and Communication

              Unit 5: Social and Political Dimension

              Local and Global Community

              Government: Local and Global Regulation

               Safe and Just Environment

              Unit 6:  Towards Sustainable Living for a Better Future

               Teaching about Sustainability

              • View only 'Topic 8'

                UNIT 1: INTRODUCTION TO SUSTAINABILITY AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT-- Topic : Perceptions of Sustainability


                The aim of this unit is to introduce students to the challenge of living sustainably within planetary limits. Climate change, the loss of biodiversity and conflicts between unequal social groups raise complex and interrelated issues. Higher education institutions have an important role in developing critical and creative thinking about such important issues – the meta-narrative of the supposed anthropocene  epoch.

                Sustainable thinking requires us to engage with ‘wicked problems’ which although connected, involve complex feedback back loops leading to unpredictable outcomes. In many cases there are no simple solutions and as such students will need to be able to tolerate uncertainty and ambiguity as they engage in critical and creative thinking. Difficult thinking is therefore the fundamental stance from which to make wise decisions for a sustainable future.

                In the development of a deeper understanding of sustainability and sustainable development students will become more aware of the contested nature of sustainability. This will include encountering, within cultural contexts, terms and concepts derived from ecology, economics, social and political theory.

                LEARNING OUTCOMES:

                • Analyze the conceptions of the sustainable development
                • Recognize the socio-cultural and economic implications of the sustainable development
                • Identify the importance of identity with the place of life in the context of sustainable development
                • Delineate the significance of responsibility for the place where I belong

                TEACHING METHODS:

                • Frontal teaching followed by active group work.
                • Watching video and exploring definitions of sustainability
                • Exploring community definitions of sustainability
                • Encountering "wicked problems" 


                Activity 1.

                 Frontal teaching using ‘exploring-sustainability’ website to provide definitions of sustainability and how these have been developed. 

                Students engage with the website and video links to explore further definitions of sustainability.

                Compare definitions with each other and the wider group.

                ‘Interview’ 2-3 family members and friends – focus on older and younger members to contrast generational understandings of sustainability. 

                ‘Interview’ 2-3 Students from other universities in the CURE project to contrast cultural understandings of sustainability.

                Reflect on the Living Report and respond to the following questions …

                Explain the patterns on the graphs on p16. 

                What do you think these graphs will look like in 10, 20, 50 and 500 years time?

                Panel Discussion

                Role Playing

                Narrative/Video Analysis

                Case Studies

                Collaborative Learning

                Jigsaw Group Work

                Technology-Based Activities

                Problem-Based Learning

                Activity 2.

                 Watch the movie

                to find out about a range of global problems 


                Compulsory Literature:


                Raworth, K. (2012) A Safe and Just Space for Humanity. Oxfam Discussion Paper

                Available from:



                WWF (2016) Living Planet Report 2016. The summary

                Available from:





                Supporting Literature:

                Scoffham, S. (2014) Exploring Sustainability Website.



                Kellert, S.R. and Gustave Speth, J. (2009) The Coming Transformation/; Values to sustain human and natural communities. Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Available from:



                Kingsnorth, P. and Hine, D (2009). Uncivilisation: The dark mountain manifesto.



                Lovelock, J. (1979/2009) Gaia: A new look at life on earth. Oxford: Oxford University Press



                Environments and livelihoods: strategies for sustainability. Koos Neefjes.Oxford: Oxfam Publication, 2000

                Sustainability and communities of place. edited by Carl A. Maida. New York; Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2011

                Fundamentals of sustainable development. Niko Roorda with Peter Blaze Corcoran and Joseph P. Weakland. London; New York: Routledge, 2012.

                Health and sustainability: an introduction. Tee L. Guidotti. Oxford [etc.]: Oxford University Press, cop. 2015

                Environment, health and sustainable development. Megan Landon. Landon, Open University Press, 2006

                Science, ethics, sustainability: the responsibility of science in attaining sustainable development. ed. Anders Nordgren. Uppsala: Uppsala Univ., 1997

                Transitions to sustainable development: new directions in the study of long term transformative change. John Grin, Jan Rotmans and Johan Schot; in collaboration with Frank Geels and Derk Loorbach. New York; Abingdon: Routledge, 2010

                Cultural sustainability and regional development: theories and practices of territorialisation. edited by Joost Dessein, Elena Battaglini and Lummina Horlings.Dessein. London; New York: Routledge, 2016

                Biodiversity, sustainability, and human communities: protecting beyond the protected. ed. Tim O'Riordan, Susanne Stoll-Kleemann. Cambridge


                 אחירון-פרומקין  ת., פרומקין,  ר. (2004).  המחיר הסביבתי של ניצול משאבי הטבע על ידי האדם.  אאוריקה:  כתב עת להוראת מדעים וטכנולוגיה. אוניברסיטת תל אביב, הוצאת

        רמות מתוך




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                  UNIT 1: INTRODUCTION TO SUSTAINABILITY AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT-- Topic: Historical Relationship between Humans and the Environment


                  The aim of this unit is to provide an insight to modern man’s historical development and his effect on the environment. The effects of man’s technological advancements and how they influenced the natural environment during the agricultural and industrial revolutions will be discussed and analyze.

                  LEARNING OUTCOMES: 

                  ·         To identify the historical components of human interaction with the environment

                  ·         To understand different levels of human involvement with the environment throughout history

                  ·         To analyze environmental issues and problems caused by rapid technological development


                  Activity1 : The students will be divided into groups. Each group will be assigned a reading text from different periods of man's history describing the relationship between humans and the environment.  The different historical periods can be prehistoric, medieval, industrial revolution and modern day.Each group summarizes   the text that they read and presents the material to the class. The different texts will be compared from the vantage point of man and his environment i,e. analysis of resource use during different historical periods, advantages and disadvantages. They will be asked , where do we go from here? and what can we do about it?

                  Activity 2: Movie clips depicting different periods of time from man's natural history will be presented to the class. A class discussion will be held and questions will be asked regarding the different movie clips. The clips will be described from the vantage point of man and his environment. Based on what you have seen, where do we go from here? Students should realize that mankind has reached a critical point in his development and interaction with the environment and should ask themselves, where do we go from here?

                  Activity 3: After a frontal lecture the class will be divided into groups in which each group will present their vision of the world in 200 years. What can we do to ensure our future on this planet?

                  Activity 4: Present different items such as an ink pen, clock, watch, book, etc. Analyze the item from the past, present and future. How were they produced? What materials were needed to produce them? What resources were needed to produce them?  Show how the items have changed over history in relation to the resources used and implications of the article use in the future. 



                  1.      Harari, Yuval Noah; Vintage (2014). Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

                  2.      Jared Diamond, Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Survive, Penguin Books, 2005 and 2011


                  1.      דיאמונד ג', 2005, התמוטטות, מטר הוצאה לאור

                  2.      נח- הררי. י. 2011. קיצור תולדות האנושות, הוצאת- דביר

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                    UNIT 2: POLLUTION AND ENVIRONMENTAL DEGRADATION-- Topic: Air Pollution

                    RATIONALE AND OBJECTIVES: 

                    The air is an essential resource for the existence of life on earth. It is a mixture of gases, containing  around  79% nitrogen,  around  20%  oxygen and around one percent of other gases.

                    The development of agriculture, industry, and transportation, over the last centuries  have led to a continuing increase in air pollution. The pollution affects life on earth, both domestically and globally, causing of morbidity,  global warming  / climate change and the formation of the ozone hole.

                    In order to stop the deteriorating situation, and to reduce the environmental damage, citizens of the world should be able to understand the causes and consequences of air pollution, and should be provided with the skills that will allow them to reduce their contribution to the pollution.

                    LEARNING OUTCOMES:

                    Students will have a better understanding of the air pollution sources,  about the possible pollutants and about air pollution consequences. They will be able to understand the relationships between local and global air pollution, and climate changes. They will know how they can reduce their impact on air pollution in their daily life.

                    The knowledge they will acquire may be a stage that might affect their daily pro-environmental behaviour, which will reduce their contribution to air pollution.

                    • The main sources of air pollution: natural and man-made.
                    • The air pollutants: gases, particulate matter (PM) and secondary air pollutants
                    • Regional air pollution issues: acid rain, smog
                    • Global air pollution issues: the ozone hole, the greenhouse effect / global warming
                    • Air pollution effects on health
                    • Air pollution monitoring
                    • How to reduce their contribution to the air pollution
                    • International conventions  and agreements to reduce air pollution
                    • Indoor pollutants


                    Activity 1:

                    The students will be divided into groups. Each group will present a specific issue dealing with the subject of air pollution and prepare a power point presentation. 


                    ·         The main sources of air pollution: natural and manmade.

                    ·         The air pollutants: gases, particulate matter (PM) and secondary air pollutants

                    ·         Regional air pollution issues: acid rain, smog

                    ·         Global air pollution issues: the ozone hole, the greenhouse effect / global warming

                    ·         Air pollution effects on health

                    ·         Air pollution monitoring

                    ·         How to reduce their contribution to the air pollution

                    ·         International conventions and agreements to reduce air pollution

                    ·         Indoor pollutants


                    Activity 2:

                    The students /teacher will suggest a dilemma involving an issue regarding to  air pollution.  Then the students will be divided into groups of interest.  The groups will debate these issues selecting representatives presenting the pros and the cons relating to each issue.


                    1.       Constructing a new highway within the city.

                    2.        Building a refinery within a populated area.

                    3.        Building a nuclear power plant within a populated area.

                    4.        Building a coal-based power plant within a populated area.

                    5.       Using an electrical car instead of a fuel car.


                    Activity 3:


                    Watch the movies:  An Inconvenient Truth / Al Gore, and  Before the Flood/ Leanardo DiCaprio



                    After watching the films, the students should relate to the following question:

                    1. Are the “desires” of human desirable for planetary well-being?

                    2. Discuss the provocative statement in the context of the films you have just watched.

                    Hint: Can you make a list of desires? What is the impact of the planet of each desire?

                    Activity 4:

                     Skills of reading graphs.

                     The students will answer questions about the given graph.

                    1.      Explain the variables and units of the X and Y axes.

                    2.      Explain the relationship between the two graphs and what can be concluded from this.



                    Compulsory Literature:

                    International Energy Agency (2016). Energy and Air Pollution-World Energy Outlook Special Report, European Commission 



                    איכות האווירמזהמיםמקורות זיהום:

                    קלצ'קו שושות', (2003). עוברים לירוק ב'משרד החינוך האגף לתכנון ולפיתוח תכניות לימודיות, 27-40, 52-73.

                    תופעות מקומיותבזיהום אוויר והשלכותיהן:

                    קלצ'קו שושות', (2003). עוברים לירוק ב'משרד החינוך האגף לתכנון ולפיתוח תכניות לימודיות, 95-97, , 117,46-51.

                    תופעות גלובליות  של זיהום אוויר והשלכותיהן:

                    קלצ'קו שושות', (2003). עוברים לירוק ב'משרד החינוך האגף לתכנון ולפיתוח תכניות לימודיות, 97-117.

                    קלצ'קו שרה  ושות', (2014). יש לנו רק כדור אחד   אוויררעש וקרינה. אוניברסיטת בר אילןמטה מל"מ ואגף מדעיםהמזכירות הפדגוגיתמשרד החינוך המרכז להוראת המדעים.

                    שטסל ז' ושות', (2004). משאבים וסביבהמשרד החינוך, הוראת המדעים, אוניברסיטת ירושלים, 135-222.


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                    UNIT 2: POLLUTION AND ENVIRONMENTAL DEGRADATION -- Topic: Water pollution

                    RATIONALE AND OBJECTIVES:

                    About three quarters of the earth's surface is covered with water. Most of the water (97.5%) is ocean, another 2% is locked in glacial ice and the remaining 0.5% is fresh water found in rivers, streams, lakes and the groundwater system.

                    Although water resources have always been thought as being renewable, since the advent of the industrial revolution and especially during the last couple of decades, the earths water supply is going through a process of degradation. 

                    In order to develop students' civic responsibility towards the deteriorating situation of our water supplies, they should be able to understand the causes and effects of water pollution.

                    LEARNING OUTCOMES:

                    Students will have a better understanding about the sources of water pollution and the degradation of water quality. They will learn about the various water pollutants and their consequences. They will be able to understand the relationships between local and global water pollution, and the effects of global warming on water resources.  They will know how they can reduce their impact on water pollution in their daily life and how they can influence others in shaping a more sustainable attitude towards water use.

                    • Water quality
                    • Principal forms of water pollution
                    • Pollution of streams and lakes
                    • Ocean Pollution
                    • Oil spills and their environmental effects
                    • Effects of water pollution on health
                    • Water pollution monitoring
                    • Water resource management


                    Activity 1:Dividing students into groups. Each group will be responsible to analyze a case study in water pollution and present it to the class.

                    Activity 2: Each student will describe what pollutants are created by the use of various appliances in the household (washing machines, showers, toilets, sinks, faucets). They will classify the pollutants according to biodegradable and non biodegradable pollutants. They will then suggest solutions towards reducing the pollution produced at the home. 

                    Activity 3: Each student will monitor the amount of water they use in one day (showering, toilet, drinking, using household appliances, gardening,etc.) The students will present their findings in table or graph form and will compare their results in the class. They will then suggest methods of reducing water use on a daily basis

                    Activity 4: The students will conduct a field trip to a source of water and they will sample the water quality: ph,oxygen levels, turbidity, temperature,salinity,etc. microorganisms, protozoa) . They will measure these parameters in the field and the results will be compared in the classroom. The students will discuss the environmental implications of their findings. 


                    Alley,W.M., and Alley,R.(2017). High and Dry: Meeting the Challenges of the World's Growing Dependence on Groundwater. Yale University Press.

                    Bernal, P.J. (2011). Water and Life in the International Year of Chemistry. Journal of Chemical Education, 88(5), 526 -531.

                    Colten,C.E. (2013). Cities and Water Pollution: An Historical and Geographical Perspective, Urban Geography, 16 May 2013

                    Nayor,V. (2013). The Water Crisis- Rethinking Water Governance, Journal of Land and Rural Science, 1(1): 75-94

                    Van Vang L., Dao Nam C., and Xuan Phoung N. (2017). The Overview of Water Pollution in the World, International Journal of Scientific and Technological Research, 6 (8): 221-224. 

                    פרת,א. (2004). אדם וסביבה בישראל. הוצאת רמות אוניברסיטת תל אביב, עמי 9 -33, 222 -235.

                    גבירצמן,ח. (תשס"ג). משאבי המים בישראל: פרקים בהידרולוגיה ומדעי הסביבה. יד יצחק בין צבי: ירושלים

                    סופר,א.(2006). המאבק על המים במזרח התיכון. עם עובד קתדרת חייקין לגיאוסטרטגיה  אוניברסיטת חיפה

                     שטסל,ל., זריחן, ל., ןןיצמן ,א. (2004). משאבים וסביבה . המרכז להוראת המדעים: ירושלים, עמי  9 -122.



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                      UNIT 2: POLLUTION AND ENVIRONMENTAL DEGRADATION-- Topic: Soil Pollution and Degradation

                      LESSON TOPIC:

                      ·            The importance of the land and soil as one of the necessary resources for the existence of mankind; 

                      ·            The trends of the land resources reduction and its causes; 

                      ·            Types of the land degradation; 

                      ·            Types of the land and soil erosion – caused by the water, wind, technical and technological of the soil depletion – mechanical, chemical; 

                      ·            Negative results of the land and soil degradation through natural and anthropogenic impacts; 

                      ·            Types of  soil contamination; 

                      ·           Imbalance of the useful nutrients in the soil’

                      ·            Activities for the protection of the land and soil resources; 

                      ·            Alternative agriculture. 

                      RATIONALE AND OBJECTIVES:

                       Students will realize the importance of the land resources and the role of civic activism in ensuring the sustainable development of the land and soil.  

                      LEARNING OUTCOMES:

                      ·            The student learns and understands the results of degradation and the role of civic involvement in ensuring the sustainable   development of the land and soil; 

                      ·            The student knows the importance, types, reduction trends, degradation, causes of depletion of the land and soil resources and ways of overcoming it. 

                      ·            The students will be able to  access updated information about  land and soil resources and  analyze it. 

                      ·            The students will know  about the modern approaches, technologies,and means of alternative agriculture and land resource use 

                       ·            The students will be able to analyze the possibilities and need of effective use of  land resources for development of civic education and democracy; 

                      ·            The students will realize their professional and personal role in the protection of  land resources, improving their civic awareness and democratic values in this regard; 


                      Activity #1: The teacher will ask students to define soil and what they know about soil erosion and degradation. The teacher will present the following video  to the class:

                      After watching the film the students will explain what new things they learned from the film. They  will then be divided into groups according to the different factors affecting land use and degradation Each group will discuss a specific  factor and will present it to the class. After the group presentations there will be a class discussion concerning how students personally affect land resources and their civic responsibilities in maintaining and preventing further degradation of land resources.

                      Activity #2: Role play 

                      Students will be divided into groups in which each group will represent various stakeholders such as: citizens, politicians, lawyers, mayors, municipality supervisor, etc. Each group will detail their role  with regard to various issues concerning land pollution and degradation (building a quarry in an open areas, developing residential areas in agricultural areas, constructing gas and oil pipelines in open areas).

                      The end product will be a letter sent to the proper authorities regarding this specific matter. 




                      3.  - Erosion Processes:
                      4.  Lend degradation: physical, chemical; wind, water;
                      6. Weathering: Definition, Types, Causes & Rates
                      7. Effect of Erosion and Deposition on Landforms
                      8. Soil Erosion: Effects & Prevention
                      10.  Soil Protection:



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                      UNIT 3: ECOLOGY AND BIODIVERSITY-- Topic:Biodiversity and Conservation

                      RATIONALE AND OBJECTIVES:

                      The aim of this unit is to consider the importance of biodiversity and to discuss the role of humans in protecting the non-human world.

                      The main focus shall be on considering what is meant by biodiversity and the impact that this has had and may have on the planet. The role of humans as ‘responsible stewards’ will be considered from ecological, humanistic and spiritual contexts.

                      This unit aims to problematize what the role of humans might be, indeed, if they should have one at all, in ‘protecting’ the planet. There is also a consideration of where the values and attitudes towards biodiversity and its conservation emerge from and how these can be engaged with to encourage sustainable behaviours.


                      1. Understanding the relationships between humans and environment from a spiritual, cultural and social perspective

                      2. Understanding global and local challenges of the environment and their inter-relationship

                      3. Understanding basic concepts of ecology and environmental issues

                      4. Enhancing the awareness and the implications of human activity on the environment

                      LEARNING OUTCOMES:

                      It is expected that students will gain an appreciation of the current paucity and continual decline of biodiversity and the immediate impact that has. Students will be able to come to an understanding of what may motivate humans to respond to the planet and biodiversity in the way they do. Potential reasons for behaviours such as ‘stewardship’ or ‘capitalist exploitation’ may provide insight into human/non-human interactions.


                      1.       To acquire and  apply knowledge relating to sustainability in the community

                      2.       To enable students to integrate traditional and innovative knowledge in developing attitudes towards sustainability from different perspectives (political, social, ecological, cultural, economic, legal, etc.).

                      3.    To acquire a sensitivity towards different opinions regarding sustainability issues.

                      4.    Applying the interactive relationships between local and global sustainability issues.


                      Activity #1:Small group discussion (face to face/blog/on-line discussion) after ‘provocative question’ provided by teacher. (for example ‘Rats are pests – why don’t we exterminate them?)

                      Read Living Planet p6-9. Watch the two videos.

                      Removing elephants 

                       Answer: ‘Why is biodiversity important?

                      Activity #2: Think about and plan a short presentation on the implications of human interference on biodiversity. Use one of the following scenarios ..‘Which species to remove and which species to keep and which species to eat.’

                      Your presentation should last 10 minutes (no less than 8 slides) and include examples of what you could do to  maintain biodiversity.


                      Jordan, K. & Kristjánsson, K. (2016): Sustainability, virtue ethics, and the virtue of harmony with nature, Environmental Education Research, DOI:10.1080/13504622.2016.1157681


                      Lovelock, J. (1979). Gaia. Oxford: Oxford University Press

                      Porritt, J. (2013). The World We Made: Alex McKay’s story from 2050. London: Phaidon Press. (Biodiversity and the Natural World sections)

                      Vane-Wright, R.I. (2009). Planetary awareness, worldviews and the conservation of biodiversity. In Kellert, S.R. & Speth, J.G. (eds), The Coming Transformation. Values to sustain human and natural communities, pp. 353–382. New Haven: Yale School of Forestry& Environmental Studies.

                       WWF (2016) Living Planet Report 2016. The summary

                      Available from:





                      1.     אתר קמפוס טבע, האוניברסיטה העברית:







                      Supporting Literature:

                      Armstrong, J.C. (2005). En’owkin: decision-making as if sustainability mattered. In Stone, M.K. and Barlow, Z., (eds)., Ecological Literacy: Education Our Children for a Sustainable World. San Francisco: Sierra Book Club: 11-17

                      Bainbridge, A. (2016) Building a world unfit to live in: the deception, distraction and disavowal of the fetish. Pedagogia Oggi, 1/2016, 62-72.

                      Dietz, T., E. Ostrom, and P. C. Stern. (2003). The struggle to govern the commons. Science 302:1907-1912

                      Wilson, E.O. (1984). Biophilia: The Human Bond with Other Species. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press.

                      • View only 'Topic 14'

                        UNIT 3: ECOLOGY AND BIODIVERSITY-- Topic: Ecological Footprint

                        RATIONALE AND OBJECTIVES:

                        The world's population grows, and should be provided with food, quality water a place to live, energy and other needs. Open spaces are decreasing, drinking water sources are becoming fewer, and the urban territories are expanding. The industrial and technological development, the agriculture expands, the increased consumption habits, all of this and more, causes a rapid depletion of the earth's natural resources and space. Moreover, a greater amount of land and water is required to assimilate the growing waste generated by humans.

                        It is important that the world citizens will  realize the harsh environmental reality. Understanding the concept of ecological footprint, can increase students internalization of the shortage in worlds' space, and empower their motivation to live a more sustainable life.

                        LEARNING OUTCOMES:

                        Students will be aware of the shortage in space on earth to provide humans the modern lifestyle, and will acquire the skills to
                        reduce their ecological footprint. They will internalize that: "Humanity's Ecological Footprint is as much as 30 percent larger than
                        nature can sustain in the long run. In other words, present consumption exceeds natural income by 30 percent and is therefore partially dependent on capital (wealth) depletion. The lavish partying by the wealthy few today means a hefty bill for everyone tomorrow", (Wackernagel and Rees 1996.p.90).


                        Activity #1.       Weight your/family garbage for 7 days:

                        1.1.     Compare your average waste weight to your country average per person, and  global average:

                        1.2.    Suggest ways to minimize your personal waste

                         Activity #2:  The 5 ‘Rs’ are 5 key factors when thinking about how to minimize your waste, Find out what  they are and give an example from your personal life.

                        Activity #3.       Ecological footprint:

                        3.1.     Calculate your own footprint: link to  survey


                        3.2.    List of countries by ecological footprint:


                        USA and Canada have a similar Ecological footprint, However one country has a deficit and the other does not. Explain why.

                        3.3.  What is  the connection between Ecological footprint, Country area and population?



                        2.       The story of stuff- Short movie

                        3.       Waste Land- movie by Vic Moniz

                        4.       טלט', מורגא', גן דואלכסנדרי א' (2009).  חינוך סביבתי וחינוך לקיימותעקרונותרעיונות ודרכי פעולה, עמודים 39-42 המשרד להגנת הסביבהמשרד החינוךנדלה מ:


                        6.       קלצ'קו שרה וחובריה. (2014). יש לנו רק כדור אחד – פסולת מוצקהמשאב המים.  אוניברסיטת בר אילןמטה מל"מ ואגף מדעיםהמזכירות הפדגוגיתמשרד החינוך המרכז להוראת המדעים

                         Galli, A., Giampetro, M., Goldfinger, S., Lazarus, E., Lin D., Saltelli,A.,  Wackernagel, M., Muller,F. (2016). Questioning the Ecological Footprint, Ecological Indicators,  69: 224-232

                        Galli,A., Wackernagel,M.,Kotsunori,I.,Lazarus, E.(2014).Ecological Footprint: Implication s to Biodiversity,Biological Conservation, 173: 121-132

                        7.       Wackernagel, M., & Rees, W. (1998). Our ecological footprint: reducing human impact on the earth (No. 9). New Society Publishers.

                        • View only 'Topic 15'

                          UNIT 4: ECONOMY-- Topic: Energy Sources

                          RATIONALE AND OBJECTIVES: 

                          Energy is a critical source that enables human lifestyle. For many years, fossil fuels (coal, oil and gas) were used for transportation, industry, electricity production, heating etc'. Using these sources; causes air pollution and emissions of greenhouse gases that are triggering the changes in the global climate. The awareness in the world of the need and the importance to replace the fossil sources with renewal, such as wind, solar, geothermal and hydroelectric, is increasing. Investing in renewable energy sources is not only from environmental consideration, but also from political and economical.The rise in the prices of fossil fuels, the depletion of the world reservoirs and the dependence on countries that supply the fuels empowers the need to seek for alternative energy resources.

                          LEARNING OUTCOMES:

                          Students will internalize the environmental, health, economical and political implications of using fossil fuels vs. renewable one.

                          Students will be aware of the need to use renewable energy resources instead of fossil sources.

                          Students will reduce unnecessary energy consumption. Will use energy saving bulbs and electrical appliances with environmental certification

                          Students will consider using renewable energy sources in their daily life.

                          Students will recognize the optional energy sources: fossil and renewal, their advantages and disadvantages.

                          Students will understand that:

                          The use of fossil energy sources increases the emission of the greenhouse gas – CO2 that contributes to global warming and climate changes. Increasing the use of renewable energy sources will enable replacement of fusil sources, reducing CO2emission and global warming.

                          Using fossil sources contributes to air, water and soil pollution that is linked to breathing problems, neurological damage, heart attacks, and cancer. Replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy sources has an economic impact because it has been found to reduce premature mortality, healthcare costs and lost workdays.

                          Using renewable energies may increase countries independence of energy suppliers.


                          Activity 1: Divide the class into groups. Each group will concentrate on a specific source of energy. Each group will list the advantages and disadvantages of this energy source and will prepare a power point presentation to the class. 

                          Activity 2: Students will collect their family's electrical consumption for the last year. They will then present a graph of energy consumption per person (family consumption/number of persons in their family) per month. They will

                          • Describe the graph
                          • Explain  what causes the monthly variations in the graph 
                          • Suggest how to reduce energy consumption in the family 
                          • Suggest how to reduce energy consumption in the community

                          Activity 3: To show excerpts of the film about the car which is powered by solar energy and discuss the pros and cons of using solar powered cars and analyze the reasons why the idea was not a success. 


                          Compulsory Literature:  

                           קלציקב ש' ושות'. ( 2003).עוברים לירוק ב'.משרד החינוךהאגף לתיכנון ופיתוח תוכניות לימודיות, 206-152

                          Supporting Literature:

                          רב שיח בנושא שטחים פתוחים ואנרגיות חלופיות


                          יעל כהן פארן, ניר פפאי, הלל זוסמן וניר אנגרט, איתן פרנס, נעם אילן, דן אלון, אפרים שלאין

                          ינואר 2010, גליון 1, עמ' 75-66

                          • View only 'Topic 16'

                            UNIT 4: ECONOMY-- Topic: Food Security and Sustainable Development of Agriculture

                            LESSON GOALS: 

                            Give students information about what global challenges agricultural sector is facing (poverty, hunger, agricultural land
                            decreasing trends, threats ... genetically modified products); Food security and sustainable agricultural development 
                            and  its universal significance.

                            * Become familiar with the principles of food safety and environmentally sound production

                            *Exploring the development of a modern agricultural complex situation and food security, and providing access to the current level

                            * Get acquainted with the Food Safety and the poverty reduction strategy and the tactics of the basic principles, the basic attitudes of the agricultural policy and sustainable agricultural development of a safe assessment principles of food safety issues and alternative farming. (FAO; UN)

                            RATIONALE AND OBJECTIVES:

                            The students will be aware of the three main aspects of agricultural sustainable development (economic, social and environmental).

                            The students will be aware of the  principles regarding the importance of  food security and the new global agenda towards a more sustainable future. 

                            LEARNING OUTCOMES:

                            - The students will be  aware of ,food security, global economic and environmental challenges: food security-access-sufficiency.

                            - The students will be  aware of  Food security problems and economic and environmental sustainability of agriculture.

                            _The students will be able to access international  and national documents in the field of  food security;

                            -The students will be made aware of the rights,obligations and responsibilities of food security and poverty reduction.

                            - The students will apply their knowledge and and skills in the use  of food security and sustainable rural development in the program development process;

                            - The students will apply their knowledge and and skills in statistical materials regarding food security

                            ·   The students will know how to access information  in the field of sustainable  agriculture and  analyse it.

                            _The students will be aware about  rights, obligations and responsibilities of food safety issues.


                            During the seminar working hours theoretical materials will be strengthened with group and pair works, discussions, debates, role-plays and case studies, discussing the video-materials, topics will be taken  from agricultural sector. 

                            Activity 1: The activity begins with a short frontal lecture about poverty and its reasons . One of the reasons deals with food availability and production. Each group will choose a certain food product (bread, meat products, vegetables, oil,fish etc) They will describe what they know about this specific product. How it is produced? How is the production of this product affecting the environment? What challenges are involved in the production of this product? How many kilo calories are there in a daily portion of this product? How important is this product for a person's nutritional daily needs? How available is this product for a family under poverty level? How can we suggest ideas for improving the production of this product in a more sustainable manner? 

                            Activity 2: Each group will pick a more developed country and developing country.They will access information concerning food production in those  specific countries  and  actual nutritional consumption of a household in that country(basic family basket), They will compare the data between the two countries and describe the implications of the inequality in worldwide food production and distribution, and will suggest possible solutions in lessening the gap between the countries.


                            1.     New Sustainable Development Agenda, Leaving No One Behind; 2015

                            2.     Sustainable agricultural development for food security. FAO REPORT) 2016;

                            3.     Food and Agriculture Organization, The State of Food Insecurity in the World, 2014.

                            4.      International Food Policy Research Institute,Global Hunger Index, 2014.

                            5.     World Food Program, Hunger Statistics.

                            6.     The World Bank: Poverty Overview 2014.

                            7.     United Nations, World Urbanization Prospects: The 2014 Revision.

                            8.     Food and Agriculture Organization, The State of the World’s Land & Water Resources for Food
                            & Agriculture, 2011.

                            9.      European Commission, Science for Environment Policy: Climate Change to Shift Global Spread & Quality of Agriculture
                            Land, 2015. uality_agricultural_land_403na1_en.pdf

                            10.  The Woodrow WilsonCenter for International Scholars, Food Security & Sociopolitical
                            Stability, 2013.

                            11.   Emmy Simmons, Harvesting Peace: Food Security, Conflict & Cooperation, 2013.

                            12.   The World Bank, World Development Report 2008, Agriculture for Development Policy Brief: Agriculture & Poverty Reduction. 1171488994713/3455847-1192738003272/Brief_AgPovRedctn_web.pdf

                            13.  USAID Frontlines, March/April 2015.

                            • View only 'Topic 17'

                              UNIT 4: ECONOMY--Topic: Trading

                              TOPIC SUBJECT:

                              What do we eat, where does it come from and how much does it cost

                              Managing food waste in relation to local and global food sources

                              Fair trading: how the transportation of commodities can be sustainable.

                              RATIONALE :

                              The aim of this unit is to provide an opportunity to think about the interaction between local and global trading and the impact that this might have on communities that are near-by and far away. Central to this topic is the opportunity to critique the central tenants of global capitalism and the influence of ‘big business’ alongside the call for more sustainable ‘local’ economies. This topic does not promote any particular economic model but rather it seeks to engage students with the complexity of providing products for willing consumers.


                              1. Understanding global and local challenges of the environment and their inter-relationship

                              2. Enhancing the awareness and the implications of human activity on the environment

                              3. To instill knowledge in which students develop civic values concerning environmental involvement and activity

                              4. To identify and develop critical thinking regarding future sustainability issues from different perspectives (political, social, ecological, cultural, economic, legal, etc.).

                              LEARNING OUTCOMES: 

                              Students will be able to appreciate the need for successful small scale and global businesses to support human activitiesand flourishing and to be able to critique their impact on the planet and others. Students should be aware of the potential positive role that cooperatives can play in wealth distribution. Students should understand the wide-ranging impacts of their consumer habits on local and global people, places and resources. It is also expect that students will begin to consider the role of money and wealth creation on what it means to be human and happy.


                              1.       To acquire and  apply knowledge relating to sustainability in the community

                              2.       To analyze and suggest solutions to problems regarding sustainability

                              3.       To enable students to integrate traditional and innovative knowledge in developing attitudes towards sustainability from different perspectives (political, social, ecological, cultural, economic, legal, etc.).

                              4.       To develop a sense of responsibility towards sustainability on a global level

                              5.    Applying the interactivactive relationships between local and global sustainability issues.


                              Activity 1: Guided group work - What do we eat, where does it come from and how much does it cost?

                              Interrogate pictures from Time Magazine To consider food origin, transportation and economic implications.

                              Porritt, J. (2013). The World We Made: Alex McKay’s story from 2050. London: Phaidon Press. (Travel and Transport sections)

                              Scoffham, S. Making Connections.


                              Activity 2: Research/survey - Managing food waste in relation to local and global food sources.

                                Researching how and where your family, friends, local shops and restaurants buy their food.Provide advice in a booklet for your local community about how to reduce food waste (think about how  local and global implications).

                              National Geographic article  Food waste quiz


                              Activity 3:Frontal teaching and discussion - Fair trading: how the transportation of commodities can be sustainable. Compare the advantages and disadvantages cheap of short lived commodities with expensive longer lasting ones.

                              Paradox of choice video


                              Compulsory Literature:


                              Food waste quiz

                              National Geographic article

                              Paradox of choice video

                              Porritt, J. (2013). The World We Made: Alex McKay’s story from 2050. London: Phaidon Press. (Economics and Finance sections)

                              Kemp, S. Fashion for the Planet HEA


                              Stiglitz, J.E. and Charlton A. (2007). Fair Trade for All: How Trade can Promote Development. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

                              (Travel and Transport sections)  Scoffham, S. Making Connections.

                              Yunus, M. (2003). Banker to the Poor: Micro-lending and the Battle Against World Poverty. Philadelphia, PA: Perseus Book Group.







                              Supporting Literature:

                              Mohin, T. (2012). Changing Business from Inside Out. Sheffield: Greenleaf Publishing.


                              World Commission on Environment and Development (1991). Our Common Future. Oxford: Oxford University Press

                              • View only 'Topic 18'

                                UNIT 4: ECONOMY--Topic: Transportation and Communication


                                The aim of this topic is to focus on the human desire to travel both short and long distances and to set up means of communication that connect people and products nationally and globally.

                                Central to this module is the need to explore the technologies that are used for movement of people or products such as cars, trains, planes, boats and the role played by mobile and internet technology.

                                The ‘wicked questions’ asked in this module include: how mobile and internet technologies seduce individuals into wanting things (or places) previously unimagined, how mobile and internet technologies facilitate travel and communication, are biofuels/electric vehicles environmentally beneficial and would it be possible to be happy without holidays and cheap products from abroad and storing vast amounts of data in ‘clouds’.


                                1. Understanding global and local challenges of the environment and their inter-relationship

                                2. Enhancing the awareness and the implications of human activity on the environment

                                3. To instill knowledge in which students develop civic values concerning environmental involvement and activity

                                4. To identify and develop critical thinking regarding future sustainability issues from different perspectives (political, social, ecological, cultural, economic, legal, etc.).

                                LEARNING OUTCOMES: 

                                It is expected that students will be able to think critically about the comparatively recent impact of the global movement of people and products: this would include being able to identify what the personal, social and economic strengths and weaknesses might be. Students shall also be able to discuss the advantages and disadvantages surrounding the tensions of living locally in a global world. It is also expected that students can consider the paradox that sustainable thinking requires complex connections to be made and yet the maintenance of these connections often require non-sustainable behaviours.


                                1.       To enable students to integrate traditional and innovative knowledge in developing attitudes towards sustainability from different perspectives (political, social, ecological, cultural, economic, legal, etc.).

                                2.       To develop a sense of responsibility towards sustainability on a global level

                                3.       Enabling students for shaping a policy regarding the future enforcement of a sustainable society

                                4.    To acquire a sensitivity towards different opinions regarding sustainability issues. 

                                5.    Applying the interactivactive relationships between local and global sustainability issues.


                                Khorheh, M.A., Moisiadis,F., and Davarzani, H. (2015). Socio-environmental performance of transportation systems. Management of Environmental Quality;Bradford 26 (6): 825-851

                                Veronique Van Acker, Phil Goodwin & Frank Witlox (2016) Key research themes on travel behavior, lifestyle, and sustainable urban mobility, International Journal of Sustainable Transportation, 10:1, 25-32, DOI: 10.1080/15568318.2013.821003


                                Porritt, J. (2013). The World We Made: Alex McKay’s story from 2050. London: Phaidon Press. (Travel and Transport sections)

                                Scoffham, S. Making Connections.










                                Supporting Literature:

                                Susanne Becken (2007) Tourists' Perception of International Air Travel's Impact on the Global Climate and Potential Climate Change Policies, Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 15:4, 351-368, DOI: 10.2167/jost710.0

                              • View only 'Topic 19'

                                UNIT 5: SOCIAL AND POLITICAL DIMENSION: Topic: Local and Global Community

                                RATIONALE AND OBJECTIVES: 

                                Global environmental awareness is a comparatively recent phenomenon that which emerged with the development of mass air travel and the introduction of new technologies after the Second World War. At the same time our ideas about the Earth were radically transformed by the space programme that furnished images of the earth as a blue and white globe floating in the deep darkness of space. Modern electronic communications now link the world as never before and consequently the local and global are becoming increasingly intertwined.

                                We are also aware to the extent that the modern world is fractured and divided with especially marked disparities between modern industrialised nations and the countries of sub-Saharan Africa. Additionally, there are long-term regional conflicts in some areas which it can be argued are signs of environmental stress and political inequality. People have always moved around the world throughout human history but the current pressure of human numbers and the signs that economic growth means that migration and the movement of refugees is a highly contentious issue for the local and global communities.

                                LEARNING OUTCOMES:

                                Students should understand that although they cannot trace the impact of their actions, what they do and the things that they buy have an impact on other people and the environment around the world. 


                                Activity 1:

                                There are different ways in which people and the environment are connected at a global level.  Students will find issues which link local activities to global outcomes.  Examples might include:

                                how air pollution created by industry and traffic in developed countries contributes to climate change around the world

                                hunting endangered animals in one part of the world to use in other places can lead to their extinction disrupting ecological systems

                                the impact of water pollution, irrigation and hydro-electric dams on the upper regions of a river such as the Nile affects people downstream

                                how lack of water, food and environmental problems are sometimes the root cause of international migration

                                the potential for solar energy invented in one part of the world to be adopted globally to reduce fossil fuel consumption

                                 how international action to ban the use of CFC gasses from factories and home use has succeeded in stopping the growth of the ozone hole which has begun to disappear 

                                Activity 2: The class will discuss the problem of global migration In terms of local environmental problems and its global impact.


                                Compulsory Literature:

                                Koser, K. (2007). International Migration: A very short introduction. Oxford: London.


                                Collins (2012). World Watch. Collins: London


                                Worldwatch Insitute.

                                The Global Risks Report 2017 12th Edition

                                Plastic Pollution in seabirds: Midway Island


                                Supporting Literature:


                              • View only 'Topic 20'

                                UNIT 5: SOCIAL AND POLITICAL DIMENSION: Topic- Government: Local and Global Regulation

                                RATIONALE AND OBJECTIVES: 

                                This unit will enable students in getting to know the regulators of environmental protection in their country. Who are they, what are their responsibilities, what are their roles and how do they act.  They will also find out about how nations around the world are working together to solve environmental problems. The United Nations agreements are one very important way of devising a framework for international action.

                                Understanding the complexity of the environmental regulator work, that sometimes is affected by special interest groups, which are not the public interest, is very important. This may contribute to shape literate citizens, aware of  the political aspect of environmental issues, that will enable them to make decisions and to be involved in the community.


                                Students will know who are the GR regarding environmental issues in their country:

                                ·         In Israel: The "Ministry of Environmental Protection" and the "Ministry of Health" .

                                ·         In Georgia:....


                                Students will understand:

                                ·         GR role in policymaking , in promoting laws and regulations aimed to protect the environment and in enforcing them.

                                ·         GR responsibility of providing citizens with good local environmental conditions (e.g., air, water, radiation, food).

                                ·         GR  responsibility in preservation of environmental resources.

                                ·         GR responsibility in reducing CO2 emission and promoting alternative-energy systems to deal with global warming.

                                ·         GR activities under conflict of interests (e.g. industry, agriculture, transportation, urbanization).  

                                          GR commitment to the OECD policy, and international conventions (in Israel, Georgia ?).

                                          United Nations and other international agreements (eg Sustainable Development Goals and Paris

                                          Climate Change agreement

                                ·       Understanding the political complexity of environmental issues (e.g., closure of factories that are polluting the environment / employees will lose their workplace / municipal authority will lose their property tax).

                                LEARNING OUTCOMES: 

                                Students will be able to relate with a critical point of view to environmental issues in the media (daily newspaper articles, news on TV,  documentary films etc.). To analyze the situation and to recognize factors affecting decision-making and enforcement.

                                Optional: Students will consider in the next government elections a party with green agenda.


                                Activity 1.Critical: reading of articles in the  newspaper, and watching  TV news,  regard to issues of environmental regulation

                                 Critical discussion

                                Activity 2,  Find out more about the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals from this website. Divide the students into pairs and ask them to investigate one goal each and report to the rest of the class about what that goal is all about.

                                United Nations Global Goals

                                Activity 3.  As an research activity, ask students to investigate one international agreement of their choice from 1962 onwards.


                                Compulsory Literature:

                                1. August 26, 2010 DCO-2012-1.2 

                                2. Green Politic- 3.Environmental and Social politic

                                • View only 'Topic 21'

                                  UNIT 5: SOCIAL AND POLITICAL DIMENSION: Topic: Safe and Just Environment

                                  RATIONALE AND OBJECTIVES:

                                  A key priority for sustainable living should focus on developing long term political and social policies that will enable the global community (human and non-human) to live within planetary limits. From an ecological perspective the finite nature of the planet we inhabit contains boundaries, that if exceeded will cause systems to collapse with potentially major and unexpected consequences. It is accepted that human cannot flourish with adequate access to clean water, clean air, food shelter and other life support systems. Therefore, the challenge of the twentieth first century is to provide a safe and just place for humans to flourish within these wider and increasingly pressured ecological limits.

                                  At the UN Paris summit in 2015 nations from around the world adopted and agreed to implement a set of goals. These are known as that Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs and apply from this date to 2030. These goals provide a framework for future policy and action which hold out the promise of a safe and just environment in which all people can have their basic needs met. Implementing these goals suggests the need for transformative thinking, leading to economic policies which acknowledge and safeguard natural resources and respect the rights of human beings.

                                  LEARNING OUTCOMES:

                                  In this topic  students will have considered the notion of prosperity and understand that it involves a number of dimensions.  The acquisition of material wealth is one aspect but a broader perspective includes human happiness and well being and a concern for the future generations and the balance of life on Earth. Through their engagement with a specific issue students will have investigated relevant facts and information, reflected critically on what they have learnt and developed their own perspectives and points of view.   One possible outcome is that they will have become more involved with the community in relation to environmental justice. It is recognised that this is a slow process but every student should have acquired the foundations for future action.

                                  Activity 1: Students should define the concepts of "safety" ,  "justice", and "environment". They will write their ideas on the class board. At the end there will be a collective description of these terms. The students will then try to connect their definitions to the environment and state examples. The teacher will then develop a discussion regarding elements that may be missing from the students presentation.


                                  Activity 2: The students will apply what they have learned about environmental safety and justice t based on their observations and experiences. This could be done through taking photographs and sharing them in the class portal and subsequently discussing them in a class forum.   

                                  Activity 3: Case study: The teacher will present an actual situation (i.e. developing beachfront property for commercial use,  building an electrical power station in urban areas, building parking lots, building recreational parks, building and expanding roads, etc. ).  The class will conduct a discussion concerning the situation from the vantage point of environmental justice and safety. They will suggest means of civil action that could be taken in order to improve the situation. This could also be done as a group activity with case studies distributed to various groups within the class. This can also be done as a "role playing" activity(community interest groups, journalists, developers,etc) 

                                  Activity 4:  Students will watch Kate Raworth, who has devised the idea of 'doughnut economics, giving a TED talk:

                                  Doughnut Economics

                                  Figure 1 - Securing prosperity in the years ahead involves building on secure social foundations and respecting ecological limits. (After Raworth 2017

                                  The diagram illustrates how the things which human beings need in order to flourish are linked (a) to ecological limits and (b) based on human needs. If we put too many demands on the environment we risk degrading the planet on which we depend.  If fail to create the conditions where everyone is able to meet their fundamental needs for water, food, housing and social justice we are creating deprivation and misery which is liable to get worse as resources became scarcer. The optimum position - the green area in the diagram - is a just and safe place for everyone and which we need to promote.  Students should discuss what they think prosperity means.  Is it just that some people are very rich while many are very poor?


                                  Compulsory Literature:

                                  Jackson, T. (2017). Prosperity without Growth. London: Routledge


                                  Raworth, K. (2017). Doughnut Economics: Seven ways to think like a Twentieth Century economist. London: Penguin.


                                  United Nations (2015). Sustainable Development Goals



                                  Supporting Literature:

                                  Porritt, J. (2013). The World we Made. London: Phaidon Press


                                  Maxton, G. and Randers, J. (2016). Re-inventing Prosperity: Vancouver: Greystone Books.

                                • View only 'Topic 22'

                                  UNIT 6: TEACHING ABOUT SUSTAINABILITY

                                  RATIONALE AND OBJECTIVES:

                                  Sustainability education is a dimension to learning rather than a traditional subject discipline. It is significantly different to other areas of the curriculum as there is no established body of knowledge to master making the boundaries difficult to define. We would suggest that adequate knowledge and understanding to enable students to make good enough decisions is sufficient to support the sustainably literate student. A distinguishing feature of sustainability education is a commitment to care for the well-being of the human and non-human world. Sustainability education raises questions about the things we value, the way we relate to others and the stories we tell ourselves which help make meaning in our lives. Teachers need to be aware that learning about sustainability problems has the potential to be overwhelming. Approaching environmental problems with a positive but grounded approach offers hope for both learners and educators. Thus, it provides an opportunity to develop interactive and participatory learning communities promoting the humanitarian values which underpin a sustainability mindset.

                                  LEARNING OUTCOMES:

                                  Students will know that sustainability is a complex global issue with many dimensions, all of which are inter-related and influence the ecosystems on which we depend. 

                                  They will understand why pupils need to learn about some key issues and the action that can be taken to minimise their harmful impact on the environment.

                                  Students will have reflected on how to teach pupils about sustainability issues through interactive, participatory activities which make learning more meaningful and encourage their involvement in the community.


                                  Activity 1.  Ask each student to write down what they think sustainability means in a sentence or short paragraph. Get them to compare their ideas in small groups to work out a group definition.  Share these around the class.  Now introduce the students to two key diagrams (figure 1 below).  Both these diagrams emphasise that sustainability has several dimensions - environment, social and economic.  

                                  Definitions Figure 1

                                  Activity 2.  Watch these videos to find out more about what sustainability might mean.


                                  Activity 3.  Students should discuss the importance of teaching about sustainability. Do they think it is important in all subject areas?  Why should children - future citizens of the world - know about global and local environmental issues?  

                                  Activity 4: Students will be divided into 17 groups. Each group will discuss one of the goals of sustainable development according to the United Nations – 2015, will give examples and will explain its relevance to everyday's life. Then each group will share their work in front of the classroom.

                                  Activity 5: Students will suggest experiential and meaningful teaching methods for teaching about sustainability, and will plan activity for school's students.


                                  Compulsory Literature: 

                                  Hicks, D (2014) Educating for Hope in Troubled Times. Trentham Books: Stoke-on-Trent 

                                  Sterling, S. (2001) Sustainable Education: Re-visioning learning and change. Green Books: Totnes 

                                  Stibbe, A. (ed) (2009). The Handbook of Sustainability Literacy: Skills for a change world Green Books: Totnes. 

                                  Supporting Literature: 

                                  Scoffham, S.(2013). Do We Really Need to Know This? The challenge of developing a global learning module for trainee teachers, International Journal of Development Education and Global Learning 5(3): 28-45

                                  Scoffham, S. (2014) Exploring Sustainability Website. URL:

                                   Scoffham, S. (2016) Grass Roots and Green Shoots: Building ESD capacity at a UK University, in Challenges in Higher Education for Sustainability. Springer: Switzerland.

                                   Jones, P., Selby, D. and Sterling, S. (eds) (2010). Sustainability Education: Perspectives and practice across higher education. Earthscan: London.