A distance learning course as a
tool to implement SD in
Gyula Lakatos, E
va Csobod, Mariann Kiss, Ilona Me
University of Debrecen, Department of Applied Ecology,
Keywords Distance learning, Higher education, Sustainable development, Environment,
Abstract The environment and society course is designed as a postgraduate teacher retraining
course, mainly for teachers, in the form of distance learning in order to provide a ﬂexible learning
in space and time. Training on sustainable development represents an educational-instructional
process that can lead to the rise of a population group being sensitive to environmental problems.
The course deals with environmental and sustainable education in their complexity. It provides an
introduction to the natural, built and social environment and to the development of social and
economic life. This course centres on the education and retraining of sustainable development.
Furthermore, both the content (education of environmental and sustainable development) and the
form (distance learning and innovative teaching methodologies) of the course will be disseminated
as models to the Hungarian higher education community.
Agenda 21, the statement published in the 1992 UN Conference in Rio de
Janeiro, 1992, focusing on the environment and development conceives:
“education has a primary role in advancing sustainable development”.
Understanding the principles of sustainable development, the interdependence
of environment, economy and social systems ensures that humans may be able
to use natural resources and the environment efﬁciently, yet as preserving the
homeostasis of the earth.
Ecology and sustainable development have inﬁltrated our everyday life both
as a branch of science and as an attitude, a rate of life that determines and
reacts on the sphere of politics and economy. This statement, of course, may
reﬂect the inﬁnite, unlimited nature of ecology, yet at the same time allows the
man of scientiﬁc considerations and knowledge to think and act according to
the requirements and principles of ecology. With the presence of an ecological
attitude, there occurs a need equally to possess an appropriate economic
approach, even at the most basic stages, and probably it is the adequate
information from both pools of knowledge that brings about the ecological
economic and economic ecological forms of action and behaviour (Cunningham
and Saigo, 1995).
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SD in Hungary
International Journal of Sustainability
in Higher Education
Vol. 4 No. 1, 2003
q MCB UP Limited