EESD-13 an international affair

Posted in: Comment, News and Updates, Talks and Presentations

The number of countries represented here is impressive.  They include:

USA     Canada     Mexico     Colombia     Chile     Virgin Islands     Ghana     South Africa     Malaysia     China     Australia     UNEP     Spain     Sweden     Belgium     Denmark     Austria     Netherlands     Lithuania     Italy     Ireland     Finland     Germany     UK

In addition to what look like half-decent keynotes, there are three parallel sessions focusing on:

[A]   Teaching & learning,  [B]   Curriculum development,  and [C]. Alternative pedagogies.

I'm drawn to the presentations in B, though I'd really like to dip in and out (how many time do we say that? ...) which looks impossible.  Anyway, the point is that there's something to look forward to.

The first keynote was by Paul Jowitt, of Heriot Watt.  It was entertaining enough, and certainly broad-ranging, but it hinted a matter's inwardness rather too often, only to leave the poor listener wanting more.  I thought it rather underdone as a talk.

A key theme was the need to integrate course programmes from the outset, rather than differentiate them.   This "upside-down approach" (neatly illustrated by a picture of a cake) was a useful metaphor throughout the address.  He also told us of his, as yet, futile attempts to update Tredgold's 1828 definition of civil engineering in its Royal charter, making it into something that takes society seriously – or perhaps notices that it is there at all.

He had a nice line about 'the engineer of responsibility' which seemed to work at several levels, and his plea was for an engineering education that explored how, in the real world out there, consequences were felt across systems, and not just in the vicinity of a project.

The following was not his final point, but it will do for mine:

"The search for a rationale for government decision-making on sustainability goes on."

Posted in: Comment, News and Updates, Talks and Presentations


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