EUSTEPS module teaching is expanding

The EUSTEPs module has been taught to some 5,300 students in five countries so far this academic year!

The Department of Primary Education at AUTH (Greece), the leading academic partner of the EUSTEPs project, incorporated the module into its curriculum. As a result, the module was taught to 553 first-year undergraduate students attending the compulsory course Environmental Education—Education for Sustainability in the winter and spring semesters. In addition, 100 undergraduate students attending the course on Environmental concepts and issues in Education were exposed to the EUSTEPs module also. The module was taught to 10 Master students as part of the course Teaching and research using new technologies in education for sustainability.

At Universidade Aberta in Portugal the personal Ecological Footprint calculator, a major pillar of the EUSTEPs module, was incorporated last month into Fieldwork II, a course designed to apply, consolidate and develop the theoretical knowledge learned in earth and life science courses, as well as in environmental and technological sciences. The concept of Ecological Footprint and guidelines on how to use the personal Footprint Calculator were discussed with the 24 participating undergraduate students. After they used the Calculator, their results were analysed and the best solutions to reduce individual Ecological Footprints were discussed, using the materials from the EUSTEPs module.

Forty-five students at the University of Aveiro in Portugal who took the course on Environmental Sustainability this spring had the opportunity to experience the EUSTEPs module, including 21 Master students. In addition, the module was incorporated into the Natural Resources Economics and the Cross-cutting Engineering Skills/Introduction to Environmental Problems courses, providing the EUSTEPs module teaching to an additional 85 students. Furthermore, the module was offered to 20 Ph.D. students.

At the University of Siena in Italy the module was incorporated into the Sustainable Development Law, Environmental Sustainability Indicators, and Life Cycle Thinking courses that counted 75 Masters students in all this winter. Twelve undergraduate students were also offered the module in the context of the course on Environmental and Cultural Heritage Chemistry.

Most encouraging were the impacts of the First Multiplier Event, which took place last January, on expanding the adoption of the EUSTEPs module at academic institutions outside of the project partners. At the University of Ljubjana in Slovenia, the module was incorporated into a course on Environmental Geography provided to 40 undergraduate students.

The large recognition, however, must go to Universidade Paulista, a Brazilian institution based out of Saõ Paulo whose network extends to more than 900 campuses around the country. Two educators dispensing courses on Engineering (Production and Environment/Development and Sustainability/Engineering and Environment) were able to teach the module to 4,230 students at both undergraduate and master levels.

Worth noting, finally, is the first foray of the EUSTEPs module teaching into professional training. Provided by the Department of Sociology and Economic Law at the University of Bologna, a Certification course of Higher Technical Specialization has been designed for tourism promotion technicians specialized in the design and distribution of travel packages. In this context, some of the teaching materials from the EUSTEPs module was used with the diverse student body in attendance, including employees from the hospitality sector, as well as high-school and university graduates. This contribution was organized through the ecotourism DestiMED project.