Ours is a unique historical moment. The scope and range of human impacts on the Earth are unprecedented. So, too, are the possibilities to build a secure basis for a sustainable and sustaining future (or world). Never has so much depended on our wisdom, foresight, and the quality of our thinking. Higher education has a strategic contribution to make helping to: rediscover ancient truths, create new ideas and equip, empower, and inspire the rising generation. These goals, in turn, require mobilizing the research, educational, and organizational resources of the university community. The Center, then, is designed to meet the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century boldly and creatively.
The Center for Environmental and Sustainability Education works toward realizing the dream of a sustainable and peaceful future for Earth through scholarship, education, and action. The Center advances understanding and achievement of the goals of environmental and sustainability education through innovative educational research methods, emergent eco-pedagogies, and educational philosophy and practice based on ethics of care and sustainability. The Center seeks to elevate the environmental mission of Florida Gulf Coast University and serve the university community, the local community of the Western Everglades and Barrier Islands, and the wider community of scholars.
I. To advance innovative educational research methodologies and pedagogies in environmental and sustainability education. This work will include developing methods for the assessment of sustainability, philosophical research, and curriculum and program development, and will take place in a variety of educational settings and geographical locations, ranging from local to global.
II. To educate for an ecologically literate citizenry and to advance civic engagement in the critical environmental issues of the Western Everglades and Barrier Islands. Key areas of emphasis will include ethics, activism, and the literary arts.
III. To provide professional development for educators in environmental education and education for sustainability. The priority audiences will include University administrators, faculty, and in-service and pre-service teachers.
IV. To provide opportunities for faculty, administrators, staff, and students from across the campus to engage in scholarly activity, teaching, and service related to environmental and sustainability education. The Center will cooperate with other FGCU Centers and Institutes to advance common interests and to achieve the University’s environmental mission.