Best practice in environmental education centres
Environmental education (EE) and education for sustainable development (ESD) is provided in a variety of formal and non-formal settings, including EE and ESD centres. This provision is uncoordinated due to the lack of a National Strategy on Education for Sustainable Development in Ireland. No initiative is in place to encourage an environmental management system (EMS) similar to ISO 14001. The creation o f a directory of current best practices in centres coupled with an EMS will enhance the development of sustainable environmental systems. The purpose of this dissertation is to provide an overview of best practice in environmental education (EE) and education for sustainable development (ESD) centres. A survey was carried out to obtain an overall view of best practice in EE and ESD centres as demonstrated by aspects of the built environment and the day-to-day running of each centre. The research found that there are seventy EE or ESD centres spread throughout the country. Only three centres have an EMS in place. All but one centre was interested in a green award scheme similar to An Taisce’s Green Flag for schools, which is based on an EMS. The survey showed that centres are more proactive in the aspects of insulation and litter and waste management, while scores for good practice in the use of energy and sustainable transport were low. A checklist of good practices has been included in the study to help centres add to or improve on environmental aspects within a centre. A central register for new and existing EE and ESD centres should be created. Selfmonitoring of best practice in centres based on an EMS should be encouraged. A network for centres and an association for EE and ESD educators would enable the sharing of knowledge and experience. Ultimately, the publication and implementation of Ireland’s National Strategy on Education for Sustainable Development is recommended to promote good practice in all sectors of education.
- Theses - Science ITS 
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