Education for Sustainability: Experiences from Greece

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    George AtzemianGeorge Atzemian

    Increasing awareness of sustainability has affected civil engineering education, making it more complex and demonstrating the connections to economic, social, and technological problems. Environmental consciousness in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development countries is growing, but in Greece the subject still tends to remain a marginalized and compartmentalized corner of educational systems. Environmental education means more than transmitting knowledge about the environment; it is also about educating for sustainable development. One of the main issues involved is changing people’s attitudes, values, behavior, and consumption patterns. University education in Greece aims to educate engineers so that besides acquiring theoretical knowledge they also learn to show personal responsibility and are motivated to act sustainably. Educating for sustainable development also entails the development of critical capacities and the necessary skills to be able to identify and formulate problems. This paper outlines the way in which a multidisciplinary approach to teaching sustainability has been embodied in the Civil Engineering Department at the University of Thessaly, Greece. More specifically, it describes a course to develop a comprehensive information technology-based learning resource comprising a set of multidisciplinary case studies and support material in order to aid engineering students in understanding the sustainability concepts and how solutions can be developed.


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