Education for Sustainability: Curriculum Equivalence in Transnational Programmes

By Sylila Monteiro and Rashika Sharma.

Published by The Global Studies Journal

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

Globalization, education, and sustainability are intricately linked, and global interdependency and interconnectedness ensue. Globalization has unravelled unprecedented pathways, with improved communication technologies steering countries towards transnational education. New transnational learning spaces are formed that promote cooperation in the knowledge society on the international level. Transnationalism exerts a dominant influence in tertiary education and the boundaries of education are no longer restricted nationally. Students are now global citizens. In response to these global educational developments and transnationalism, the United Nations (2004) has declared 2005–2014 the Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). However, the global presence of transnational programmes presents challenges for the implementation of ESD. ESD seeks to generate practical results through educational partnerships and collaboration at international, regional, national and local levels. All levels of education need to embed sustainability education in the curriculum to achieve a desirable global outcome. Transnational education gives students the opportunity to learn locally yet with global practical application. In New Zealand, the clean green image and awareness on sustainable living is emphasised and promoted more widely than in some countries. Students from some countries entering the New Zealand education system are not necessarily exposed to this focus on sustainability through their curriculum as there are differences in industrial expectations and living standards, culturally and environmentally. For curriculum equivalence transnational programmes should aspire to bridge the gap created by these differences in education for sustainability. This paper presents research on the cultural and environmental impact on transnational education. When students identify parallels as well as shortfalls between the home and host countries, their perspectives on sustainable practices become meaningful and their understanding enhances and extends global awareness. Lifelong capabilities are acquired and a feeling of responsibility is realised, which actively contributes to the development of a sustainable society.

Keywords: Sustainability Education, Transnationalism, Curriculum Equivalence

Global Studies Journal, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp.59-66. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 2.942MB).

Sylila Monteiro

Lecturer / Curriculum Leader, Faculty of Creative Industries and Business, UNITEC Institute of Technology, Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand

Sylila Monteiro teaches a wide range of communication and integrated practice papers on Certificate, Diploma and Degree programmes offered across UNITEC. She is actively involved in delivery of communication, health and safety, and sustainable practice. She previously taught communication in Zambia Institute of Technology in Kitwe, Zambia. She specialises in business document translation services for French and Portuguese organizations engaged in international communication. She also provides training for New Zealand Army personnel in Portuguese and French as preparation for overseas assignments. Her consultancy work involves Industry Training on Communication components of Management Development Programmes for Unitec Enterprise Unit. Sylila research interests include interdisciplinary integrated practice in education, intercultural communication and sustainability. She has presented her research at several conferences in New Zealand and overseas.

Rashika Sharma

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