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  • Civic Education for Sustainability

  • UNIT 4: ECONOMY--Topic 4: 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.).


    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.


    Activity 1


    Search through the social media sites that you normally use and identify adverts for holiday destinations. Make a chart to show: 1) Location of the holiday destination 2) How far you would have to travel to get to this destination 3) The recommended transport to reach the holiday location.


    Repeat the activity above but search the social media sites for pictures that your friends have posted of their holiday destinations.


    Have a small group discussion about your personal response to seeing holiday adverts or the pictures posted by friends.


    Design an advert using any media of your choice to promote a holiday destination near to where you live, or how to reach a distant destination using more sustainable transport.


    Activity 2

    Read about the anatomy of the Amazon Echo.

    Write and perform a television news report that highlights the disadvantages of smart technology.

    After ‘viewing’ the news report write a letter to the editor complaining about negative effect of AI. Make sure you explain what the ‘cloud’ is.


    Activity 3

    Have a whole group debate to discuss how new technologies have made it possible to be aware of an immediate global world. Has this made our lives better?


    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

    UNIT 4: ECONOMY--Topic 3: TradingUNIT 5: SOCIAL AND POLITICAL DIMENSION -- Topic 1: Local and Global Community