Effective Communication for Strategic Sustainable Development Education: The Hook and Ladder Technique
Abstract: In order to reach sustainability, a greater capacity to facilitate the implementation of the principles on which sustainability is founded is required. Effective methods of communicating sustainability will be necessary. Although there is a notable range of successful methods, opportunities to expand that range always remain and are worthy of exploration. This study pursues capacity building by testing a communication method variation that uses questions, audience participation, and metaphors intended to make the subject matter more easily understood and more permanently retained. An initial trial of the method was attempted with several groups of senior secondary students who were introduced to the ideas of sustainability during group and individual sessions. The students were surveyed before, during and after the sessions to measure their understanding and acceptance of sustainability concepts and principles. Of the students surveyed, all showed greater knowledge after instructional sessions using this technique. Results suggest that using a consciously dynamic and adaptive approach to choice of metaphors and questions can make the subject of sustainability easier to understand and remember.
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