Collaborative Partnership for Education for Sustainability: New Zealand Vocational Education

By Rashika Sharma.

Published by The Sustainability Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This year marks the midpoint of the Decade of Education for Sustainable Development but sustainability still remains a foreign concept in the New Zealand vocational and trade education curriculum. Thus research was conducted to gauge the existing perceptions of academics and industry and discover the reasons for the slow embedding of sustainability concepts in the curriculum. The research followed a qualitative research methodology using a case study as the method of inquiry which collected data through 8 in-depth interviews conducted with academics and industry personnel at a New Zealand vocational institute. The research found that there was no collaboration between academics and industry when it came to education for sustainability (EfS) with neither group taking responsibility for embedding the concepts into the curriculum. The overall awareness level on sustainability was very low between the two researched groups. Academics and Industry personnel alike saw no relevance of sustainability in vocational trade education. The slow progress of embedding sustainability concepts into the vocational education curriculum could be a result of this lack of collaboration between these two groups thus it is recommended that a professional development course be designed for vocational academics and industry personnel to increase awareness on sustainability concepts.

Keywords: Education for Sustainability, Vocational Education, Sustainability Concepts, Emdedding into Curriculum

The International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp.23-32. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 571.688KB).

Rashika Sharma

Lecturer, Faculty of Technology and Built Environment, UNITEC Institute of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand

Rashika is a lecturer in Integrated Practice at UNITEC New Zealand specialising in sustainable practice, societal context and generic skills on the Bachelor of Applied Technology. Rashika’s research focus is on education for sustainability and takes keen interest in student centred teaching and learning strategies. Rashika has also taught at the Fiji Institute of Technology in Suva, Fiji.


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