In Transition towards Sustainability: Bridging the Business and Education Sectors of Regional Centre of Expertise Greater Sendai Using Education for Sustainable Development-Based Social Learning
This article discusses a business-school collaborative learning partnership in the Regional Centre of Expertise (RCE) on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) in Greater Sendai. This partnership is further linked to a broader context of multi-stakeholder public participation in the RCE that was set up to advance the ESD agenda in the region. The authors propose a conceptual framework for multi-stakeholder, ESD-based social learning within the RCE with the aim of enabling the creation of a sustainability-literate society. This proposal is based on the results of studentsâ€™ prior experience in ESD activities, optimal age for ESD learning and future job choices presented in this paper, together with a reported article that the levels of sustainability of the two sectoral organizations were mixed and hence need improvement. The paper argues that it will be good to focus on bridging the business and education sectors by building ESD capacity of the children and youth in the formal education sector. It contends this could be done through collaborative learning using the government-mandated â€œPeriod of Integrated Studiesâ€ (PIS) in the Japanese primary and secondary school curriculum. Additionally, it will be appropriate for the RCE Greater Sendai Steering Committee to facilitate and coordinate the learning processes and also promote networking and cooperative interactions among the actors and stakeholders in the region. Recommendations for improvement of the learning partnerships in RCE Greater Sendai are made for consideration at the local and national policy levels.
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