A historical-cultural approach to sustainable development education of undergraduate students

1.1 Social, cultural, linguistic and educational mediation
Paper in a Symposium (Symp)
5:10 PM, Wednesday 30 Aug 2017 (20 minutes)
Environmental Education should be a continuous and ongoing process which constitutes one of the dimensions of the undergraduate’s comprehensive education (Santos, 2010). This education is aimed at producing knowledge but also at developing habits, skills and attitudes related to creative processes. It is however often forgotten that it is also about supporting the elaboration of values that take into the harmonization of relationships among human beings as well as their relation to the rest of Society and with Nature. This is of the utmost importance in order to conciliate the orientation of economic, social and cultural processes with sustainable development. To contribute to the sustainable development of the university, teachers, students and other educative agents need to perform, together, a historical-logical analysis (Vygotsky, 1978) of the environmental problems generated from each profession. The mediation of this analysis, acting as a dialectical interaction, may lead to a level of thinking which brings about a change of thought (Buysse & Vanhulle, 2009) and provokes a comprehensive process allowing the student to develop a new system of values that encompasses a consciousness of his or her responsibility regarding the economic, technological, psychosocial, cultural and spiritual transformations generated by the professional practice (Madrigal, 2014). It also allows for the elaboration of a system of historical, technical and methodological knowledge that enables the student to contribute to the change of patterns of production, distribution, and consumption of material and spiritual values. This is related to the development of a capacity to design, plan and implement the professional activity, founded on the ethical premises that the material and spiritual production of mankind should be grounded in the finite nature of the natural resources, the existence of limits in the biosphere in its capacity to absorb the waste of human activity and in the identification of truly social needs.
Universidad de Ciego de Avila
Université Laval