Targeting vocational training: education for the implementation of resource conservation
Michael Scharp, Angelika Wilhelm-Rechmann
Institute for Futures Studies and Technology Assessment, Germany
It is widely uncontested that resource use has to be transformed worldwide in order to respect planetary boundaries and to reach the Sustainable Development Goals. To achieve more effective use of raw materials and other natural resources, concepts and practice of resource efficiency and resource conservation have to be mainstreamed. Energy consumption and conservation are now frequently discussed in all educational sectors in Germany, but the conservation of material resources remains mostly absent. Strategically important but rarely considered actors in society to promote effective resource conservation are educational institutions for vocational training and further professional development.
The project “LehrRess” therefore brings together various german vocational training institutions to assess in which standard training modules the conservation of material resources can be integrated and how training materials should be conceptualized to facilitate the uptake by educational institutions and personnel. In a discursive process between scientists, school administrators and educational practitioners, key target groups, effective teaching topics, teaching aims and core competencies are debated and evaluated. Building on the results, teaching materials on a variety of subjects are developed, for example on the ecological rucksack of a cellphone, coffee-to-go or on obsolescence. Specifically targeting apprentices, a supplementary qualification “Ressourcen-Scout” is offered. The teaching materials are implemented, evaluated and optimized. Their distribution is then supported and optimized through a concept for further training for educators as well as through workshops and training modules for teachers.
The presentation makes the case for applied research on strategically developing teaching materials and on effectively mainstreaming resource efficiency and resource conservation in a key target audience. It analyzes key aspects that are supportive for or obstructive to the uptake in formal educational systems.