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“Sustainability Learning”: An Introduction to the Concept and Its Motivational Aspects

Author

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  • Ralf Hansmann

    () (Department of Environmental Sciences, Natural and Social Science Interface (NSSI), ETH Zurich, Sonneggstrasse 33, ETH SOL F.7, CH-8092, Zurich, Switzerland)

Abstract

This theoretical paper clarifies the concept of sustainability learning and specifically analyzes motivational aspects. Mastering the challenges of sustainability requires individual learning as well as learning processes on different levels of human systems ranging from groups and organizations to human societies, and mankind as a whole. Learning processes of individuals play a fundamental role, since individuals constitute and shape the larger social aggregates. Learning processes on the level of social aggregates are important since social systems embed and influence individuals. Therefore, sustainability learning needs to be understood as a multi-level concept, comprising individual learning as well as learning processes of human systems. Transdisciplinarity and mutual learning between science and society are considered fundamental approaches of sustainability learning, and hence increase the capacity of mankind to manage human-environment systems in sustainable ways. Based on systemic considerations, the two-fold role, in which motivations act as determinants and targeted outcomes of sustainability learning processes, is explained together with the outstanding role that cooperation, hence cooperative motivation, plays for sustainable development. Finally, the multifaceted, controversial discourses on what sustainability ultimately means (for the scientific community, for a given cultural or political entity, organization, or individual person) are considered.

Suggested Citation

  • Ralf Hansmann, 2010. "“Sustainability Learning”: An Introduction to the Concept and Its Motivational Aspects," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 2(9), pages 1-25, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:2:y:2010:i:9:p:2873-2897:d:9556
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. repec:rss:jnljms:v1i4p2 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:gam:jsusta:v:8:y:2016:i:4:p:311:d:66723 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Ralph Hansmann & Nora Steimer, 2015. "Linking an Integrative Behavior Model to Elements of Environmental Campaigns: An Analysis of Face-to-Face Communication and Posters against Littering," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 7(6), pages 1-20, May.
    4. repec:gam:jsusta:v:10:y:2018:i:2:p:404-:d:130205 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Asharose & Izuru Saizen & Praveen Kumar Chakkalathundiyil Sasi, 2015. "Awareness Workshop as an Effective Tool and Approach for Education in Disaster Risk Reduction: A Case Study from Tamil Nadu, India," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 7(7), pages 1-20, July.
    6. Adriana Acevedo Tirado & Mariana Ruiz Morales & Odette Lobato-Calleros, 2015. "Additional Indicators to Promote Social Sustainability within Government Programs: Equity and Efficiency," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 7(7), pages 1-17, July.
    7. Vasiliki Zepatou & Maria Loizidou & Archontoula Chaloulakou & Nicolas Spyrellis, 2016. "School Facilities and Sustainability-Related Concepts: A Study of Hellenic Secondary School Principals’, Teachers’, Pupils’ and Parents’ Responses," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(4), pages 1-28, March.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    sustainability learning; motivation; affective; cognitive; learning goals; social learning; sustainability;

    JEL classification:

    • Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics
    • Q0 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General
    • Q2 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q3 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products

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