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ERIC Number: EJ937139
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0814-0626
A Process for Transition to Sustainability: Implementation
Wooltorton, Sandra; Palmer, Marilyn; Steele, Fran
Australian Journal of Environmental Education, v27 n1 p160-174 2011
This paper reports the outcomes of the second action cycle of an ongoing project at Edith Cowan University (ECU) called "Transition to Sustainability: ECU South West" which is located in a small, single faculty regional university campus. The overall project has comprised three action research cycles, the first of which was the planning cycle which established the importance of building a community of practice with a learning stance for sustainability transition. It also highlighted the issue of a common definition of the term sustainability; of including cross-disciplinary perspectives; and of working with the local community. The second action cycle which was the first implementation phase, is the subject of this report. In this phase, we found that by not foreclosing on the meaning of sustainability, important aspects of sustainability were included. Although research participants initially expressed some concern about using an open understanding of sustainability, the problem of the meaning functioned to foster involvement in dialogue. In fact, these ongoing discussions around sustainability and the notion of a sustainable future formed the heart of this action cycle. However there were constraints associated with the subject of dialogue. These included problems of site communication, the maintenance of effective networks and issues around power and authorisation. We observed that each of these elements could work together in ways that enrich and/or obstruct a transition to sustainability. Finally, we found that lack of time hinders participation in sustainability transition projects because of its effect on authentic dialogue, thereby impacting upon the development of collaborative ways of working within the university. Our project is distinctively Australian in that it reflects an emerging movement in Australia to create social frameworks for embedding sustainability education activities. In our project, the transition process by which learning and change has been facilitated comprises the action research itself. (Contains 1 endnote and 1 table.)
Australian Association for Environmental Education, Inc. P.O. Box 560, Bellingen, NSW 2454, Australia. Tel: +61-2-6655-1865; Fax: +61-2-6655-1596; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia