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ERIC Number: EJ817187
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 41
ISSN: ISSN-1467-6370
Saskatchewan's (Canada) Regional Centre of Expertise on Education for Sustainable Development
Dahms, Tanya; McMartin, Dena; Petry, Roger
International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, v9 n4 p382-401 2008
Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to describe the unique collaborative process initiated at the University of Regina in Saskatchewan, Canada, to develop a Regional Centre of Expertise (RCE) on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) through the United Nations University-Institute of Advanced Studies (UNU-IAS). Design/methodology/approach: The innovative aspects of developing RCE Saskatchewan are elaborated as a function of regional characteristics and features. The founding members used a unique combination of facilitation methods and technology to establish a flexible governance model in support of ESD themes defined by participating members. The paper provides a critical analysis of the governance structure and educational approaches supported by RCE Saskatchewan. Findings: The strength-based model, in conjunction with open meetings and online discussion, has proven to be a highly effective method for establishing an organization in which members have diverse expertise and affiliation. The process used to develop the RCE was democratic, inclusive and transparent. Each member and member group contributes existing knowledge, with the common goal of advancing research on ESD as part of a regional and global network. The RCE was established in just over one year, a testament to the efficiency of the process. The web site provides a flexible host for the RCE virtual structure, facilitating communication within and between groups, documentation, announcements/postings, and the creation of searchable research databases with local and global public access. Flexibility of the governance model and partnerships with higher education institutions ensures long-term sustainability. The use of non-traditional educational modes (non-formal and informal) has accelerated ESD awareness in the region, and their combination with formal education leads to programs that span different sectors. Originality/value: This paper outlines the process developed by the founding members of RCE Saskatchewan to mobilise people, organizations and resources during the de novo establishment of an organization dedicated to promoting ESD. The virtual home and governance model, taken together, describe a completely unique structure that ensures long-term sustainability for RCE Saskatchewan. Combining educational modes has so far proven successful in promoting ESD. (Contains 2 figures and 3 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada