Sustainability Toolkit: An Education Tool for Behavioral Change Strategies
AuthorGardner, Ambar Alexis
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractPurpose: There is a worldwide movement towards sustainability. A stepping-stone towards a sustainability conscience population starts in the education of the younger generation. Focusing on improving sustainability education will shift and shape youths' interests and lifestyles into an educated community that will work sustainably. A sustainability conscience community will continue to make moral sustainable decisions in their future endeavors. The gap between theory and practice of sustainability is substantial. Educational institutions must be the leaders in this subject to mold future generations’ incoming leaders into sustainability conscious critical thinkers. Current environmental issues such as climate change, CO2 Emissions, poverty and so on must impact these educational institutions to make sustainability education a priority in its curriculum. Addressing this problem requires a holistic approach which integrates sustainability education earlier on to grasp further understanding of sustainability actions in higher education and in society. Sustainability education exists in all levels. Although, sustainability education is much more prominent in higher education institutions as opposed to Elementary, Middle, and High Schools. Consequently, less students are prepared with the desired sustainability knowledge needed in higher education and students' future careers to instill in their disciplines since behavior is achieved through repetitive actions that were not set as a foundation earlier in their education. Approach: There were two approaches in this research. The first research approach was conducting a survey in 120 students, half of them in secondary education and the other half in higher education. The survey was formatted to analyze three different questions: 1) whether students in high school and higher education knew about sustainability 2) whether students' lifestyle consisted of pro-environmental actions, 3) and whether they learned to perform these actions in secondary education or higher education. The second approach was to create an educational tool to implement sustainability behavioral change strategies in their everyday lifestyles. Findings: Study found that most students are aware about sustainability. However, most students engage in pro-environmental actions in higher education because they started learning about them in higher education. Therefore, although most secondary education students are aware about sustainability, they aren't engaging in pro-environmental actions. In conclusion, a sustainability toolkit was created based on behavioral change strategies to reduce water usage, CO2 emissions, energy consumption, and waste output in their school and everyday lifestyles. Value: The efforts of sustainability in Higher Education have been clear in most recent years, although, there is still much resistance to change, transform and reimagine society and education for sustainability. The future of life and social world on Earth is in jeopardy since poverty, climate change, and lack of peace is occurring worldwide. Sustainability education must respond and act on this challenge subsequently to respect all forms of life and future generations. The mission of the sustainability toolkit is to create a pedagogy to assist educational institutions and communities to develop the skills and knowledge to work sustainably.
Degree ProgramGraduate College