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Article
Publication date: 3 July 2017

Joop de Kraker, Jana Dlouhá, Laura Machackova Henderson and Dana Kapitulcinová

The purpose of this paper is to assess the current and potential value of the European Virtual Seminar on Sustainable Development (EVS) as an opportunity for professional…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to assess the current and potential value of the European Virtual Seminar on Sustainable Development (EVS) as an opportunity for professional development in Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) for teaching staff at university level.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper presents and reflects on the specific case of EVS, including its competence-based approach and educational staff roles. Particular attention is paid to the development of ESD competences of tutors through participation in EVS, based on the UNECE (2011) competence framework and supported by the results from a small-scale questionnaire. Three major aspects of EVS as a professional opportunity in ESD are elaborated: EVS as an on-the-job training opportunity, EVS as an international staff mobility opportunity and EVS as an active learning and innovation community.

Findings

EVS is an effective opportunity for developing a range of ESD competences, especially for junior university staff. The contribution of EVS to professional development in ESD currently extends to a partnership of ten universities from across Europe, but given its features, the EVS approach has the potential to be adopted at a much larger scale. Possible limitations in scaling up are rigid rules for integration of new courses in curricula and the need to form new EVS-like partnerships.

Practical implications

This case study of EVS shows that Web-based, internationally networked courses with a pedagogical approach and design focused on ESD have a large potential in providing effective opportunities for the development of teachers’ ESD competences, but to realize this potential, active uptake of the approach by the existing networks for ESD in higher education is needed.

Originality/value

The paper presents a promising option to address the observed lack of opportunities within university curricula to acquire and practice ESD competences for teaching staff.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 18 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 11 March 2014

Joop De Kraker, Sacha Kuijs, Ron Cörvers and Astrid Offermans

– The purpose of the study was to assess the representation of different world views with respect to climate change in public opinion on the internet.

1095

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of the study was to assess the representation of different world views with respect to climate change in public opinion on the internet.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors conducted this world views analysis by means of a content analysis of publicly expressed opinions in the form of online lay reader comments to articles on climate change, published on Dutch newspaper web sites between August 2002 and December 2009. The comments were assigned to the world views of two typologies commonly used in ex ante assessment of climate policies. The classification of an online reader comment was based on world view specific keywords and positions on climate change.

Findings

From a set of 2,148 comments to 168 articles found on the web sites of 19 newspapers, 314 comments could be assigned to a particular world view. For both typologies, the distribution of comments over the different world views was highly uneven, with world views characterized as “climate sceptic” scoring more than 90 per cent of the assigned comments. The strong dominance of these “climate sceptic” world views was independent of year, newspaper, and scope of the article.

Practical implications

These findings are in stark contrast with the outcomes of public opinion surveys indicating that only a minority of the population has a preference for a “climate sceptic” world view. The most plausible explanation for this difference is that the contributors of online reader comments are not representative for the Dutch population at large. However, as internet-based opinions have a proven potential to strongly influence the opinion of the general public and politicians on climate change, the authors advise analysts to pay due attention to “climate sceptic” world views in ex ante assessment of the societal support for climate policies.

Originality/value

For a world views analysis, the study is unique both in its focus on internet public opinion and the data source used.

Details

International Journal of Climate Change Strategies and Management, vol. 6 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-8692

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 11 March 2014

F#tima Alves

377

Abstract

Details

International Journal of Climate Change Strategies and Management, vol. 6 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-8692

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