Making Sense of Post-secondary Education - The Gravity of it all: Re-orienting Post-secondary Educational Practice and Planning to Address Sustainability

By Garth Pickard.

Published by The Sustainability Collection

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

Two major challenges that face educators today are first, accepting that current post-secondary educational practices do not adequately address education for sustainable development, and second, recognizing that 21st century post-secondary institutions have to muster the courage and the wherewithal to re-orient the process. Central to addressing these challenges is to understand the relevance and integral nature of three key conceptual elements. These elements are inextricably linked to post-secondary education, but unfortunately are not recognized as such in current educational practice. The concepts of sustainability, community, and a third; humility, born out of gratitude are these ingredients, which collectively provide the foundation for making sense of what post-secondary education needs to evolve into. Reluctance to re-orient educational practice is primarily a function of our inability to effectively change or for that matter, believe that we must change our past and present educational practice. Furthermore, the change process is severely inhibited because of institutional and instructional traditions. This article addresses the importance of preparing educators for the future and challenges present educational practice, leadership, and organizational behaviour. The article draws upon contemporary research in areas of eco and social justice, writing which draws attention to the ‘integrality’ of thought, program and curricula design, epistemology, teaching strategies, and organizational behaviour in order to provide a lucid argument for educational change where it is most needed.

Keywords: Post-secondary Education, Sustainability, Sustainable Development, Community, Humility, Integrality, Experiential, Multi-sensory, Place-based, Interdisciplinarity, Spirituality

The International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability, Volume 7, Issue 2, pp.93-104. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 816.070KB).

Dr. Garth Pickard

Professor, Faculty of Education, University of Regina, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada

Dr. Garth Pickard is currently teaching Graduate and Undergraduate course in the curriculum areas of Physical Education, Outdoor Education and Educational Administration. He was the former Director for the Office of International Cooperation and Development and the Director of the Canada, China University Linkage Program and the Special University Linkage Consolidation Program for the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). Dr. Pickard has taught at Brock University, York University and the University of Alberta and is currently focussing on international organizational development and research that addresses the role of teacher education in sustainability. Dr. Pickard has presented papers in Scotland, France, the United States, Panama, Japanand the Peoples Republic of China on organizational implications for sustainable capacity building, teacher education and organizational development. He has also worked with the Chinese Embassy (Ottawa) on management project implementation strategies. Dr. Pickard has co-authored four management training textbook series and has written extensively in the areas of Teacher Education, Outdoor Education and Organizational Behaviour. Dr. Pickard is currently working on behalf of UNESCO - Regional Centre of Expertise on Education for Sustainable Development in re-oreinting research and learning for sustainability. His main interests lie in sustainability, organizational problem-solving, policy implementation and personnel development.


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