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ERIC Number: EJ801888
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 29
ISSN: ISSN-1467-6370
An Overview of the State of Environmental Assessment Education at Canadian Universities
Stelmack, Colleen M.; Sinclair, John A.; Fitzpatrick, Patricia
International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, v6 n1 p36-53 2005
Purpose--Environmental assessment (EA) is a proactive planning tool designed to consider the ecological, cultural, socio-political and economic impacts of potential projects, making it a major tool for achieving sustainable development. Meaningful EA requires a bridging of the natural sciences with the social sciences to broaden understanding of the overall environmental impacts of development projects on humans, the natural environment and other organisms. As a result of this complexity, education and training needs are great. The purpose of this paper was to consider EA educational opportunities at Canadian universities and to test a model for the analysis of the state of such education. Design/methodology/approach--The research design used a qualitative interactive approach, including a survey of 2001 university course calendars, participant observation and semi-structured interviews. Findings--Results indicate that the number of universities offering EA courses has tripled to 40 since the mid-1980?s. While this is a positive finding, data illustrate that the bulk of the courses offered are survey-oriented and introductory in nature, with little opportunity to specialize. This cursory approach is exacerbated by a lack of teaching resources and instructor development. Despite the nature of the courses offered, many professors encourage critical thinking and use innovative teaching techniques, including role-playing, to promote self-reflection. In fact, the interdisciplinary approach to the curricula and the promotion of critical thinking outside disciplinary boundaries are two strengths of current EA programming. Originality/value--In light of this state of formal EA education in Canada, more research and international level dialogue are warranted. (Contains 4 tables and 1 note.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada