Model of community of practice in environmental science education

Abstract

Environmental science is a multidisciplinary and integrating area which aims to establish sustainable and strategic policy-making processes. Environmental science education can promote personal initiatives and social participation in the resolution of the increasing challenges of environmental deterioration, and fundamental issues relating to sustainable development of natural resources. However, the conventional form of environmental science education mainly focuses on the classroom teaching. We undertook informal consultation with 60 students from different disciplines; a majority of them were in favor of incorporating practical components aligned with the formal classroom lectures in order to enhance their understanding of the application of environmental science in their daily lives. Because we believe in the importance of environmental science education in raising students’ awareness of the environmental consequences caused by humanity, we wish to share our knowledge and experience in different aspects of environmental science education and hence, form the proposed community of practice (CoP). The prime aim of this CoP is to develop a model transforming the learning design of conventional environmental science education in authentic learning, via E-learning and experiential learning. Major outcome of this CoP is to provide evidence on how students can benefit from the authentic learning and hence, the new form of environmental science education would potentially be integrated in the curriculum for future development. Throughout this CoP, students are expected to encounter a broad scope for the application of knowledge in environmental science into their daily lives; articulate opinions and ideas clearly and coherently; acquire real-time knowledge, skills and possible solutions to tackle some of the modern societies’ most pressing challenges; increase the students’ competitiveness and foster our graduate attributes as stated in University Vision 2020.

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