The Sustainable Self : A Personal Approach to Sustainability Education book cover
1st Edition

The Sustainable Self
A Personal Approach to Sustainability Education

ISBN 9781849712408
Published February 17, 2011 by Routledge
288 Pages

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Book Description

Achieving a sustainable society is the biggest issue of our time. It is not an issue confined to a particular subject area or to certain jobs. It is a way of thinking and behaving that will need to be embedded in all aspects of all of our lives.

The Sustainable Self is the perfect resource for lecturers, trainers, students and professionals of any discipline who need to teach or learn about sustainability. There is widespread agreement that we need to live more sustainable lives. But when up against entrenched habits and everyday obstacles, it can be difficult to turn good intentions into action.

This book presents a complete curriculum for effecting a personal transformation towards sustainability, showing you how to align your personal and professional actions with your values and beliefs. Full of activities that can be done individually or in groups, it is supported by additional resources online including downloadable worksheets and directories of sustainability organisations. Recommended readings at the end of each chapter enable readers to pursue areas of personal or professional interest.

Table of Contents

Preface  1. We Matter  2. Awareness: Personalising Sustainability  3. Motivation: Values Matter  4. Attitudes Matter  5. Beliefs Matter  6. Self-empowerment  7. Knowledge: Sustainability Principles  8. Core Knowledge Themes  9. Skilful Means: Sustainability Skills  10. Sustainability Practice

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Paul Murray is Associate Professor in Sustainable Construction and Sustainability at the University of Plymouth, England. He devised the UK's first undergraduate degrees in Environmental Building in the 1990s and was awarded a coveted National Teaching Fellowship in 2004 by the Higher Education Academy for his outstanding contribution to teaching excellence. He used his award to fund the development of values-centred sustainability training techniques, which form the basis of this book.


'This timely and clearly written book puts the personal into the professional, and is a guide to the kinds of personal change necessary to the effective realization of sustainability. Based on years of experience running innovative workshops with academics, students and business professionals, Murray's book serves as primer on 'what matters' if any of us are going to make a real difference: sustainable living, personal values and responsibility, and maps out how readers can both empower themselves and others to take positive pathways in an uncertain and confusing world.' Professor Stephen Sterling, Centre for Sustainable Futures, University of Plymouth, UK

'I wish most sincerely to support this excellent book and hope that many others use the tools now made available to change the future and make our fragile world more sustainable for those future generations.' Professor Patrick James, Professor of Teaching and Learning Initiatives, University of South Australia 'This inspiring and engaging book makes a significant contribution to our understanding of decision making at a crucial stage in human history.'                                                                                                Professor Stephen Martin, Chair of the Higher Education Academy's Sustainable Development Advisory Group, UK 

'This unique book focuses not on passing on knowledge, but on ways to change attitudes and behaviours. The methods, developed from extensive research and practice by the author, will be invaluable for educators and their students.'                                            Dr. Alison Cotgrave, Liverpool John Moores University, UK 

'What makes this book so critical and refreshing is that it grounds the urgency with respect to sustainability in engaging examples, real stories and provoking images from across the globe, while simultaneously opening up the possibility of tangible learning-based change and self-transformation linked to a planetary conscience.'                     Arjen Wals, Professor and UNESCO Chair of Social Learning and Sustainable Development, Wageningen University, The Netherlands

'I cannot wait to get my hands on this book for the benefit it will bring to my students. It will get them thinking and feeling and help them to grow.'                                          Andrew Plumrisdge, Bristol Business School, UK