In Transition towards Sustainability: Bridging the Business and Education Sectors of Regional Centre of Expertise Greater Sendai Using Education for Sustainable Development-Based Social Learning.
This article discusses a business-school collaborative learning partnership in the
Regional Centre of Expertise (RCE) on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) in
Greater Sendai. This partnership is further linked to a broader context of multi-stakeholder
public participation in the RCE that was set up to advance the ESD agenda in the region.
The authors propose a conceptual framework for multi-stakeholder, ESD-based social
learning within the RCE with the aim of enabling the creation of a sustainability-literate
society. This proposal is based on the results of students’ prior experience in ESD
activities, optimal age for ESD learning and future job choices presented in this paper,
together with a reported article that the levels of sustainability of the two sectoral
organizations were mixed and hence need improvement. The paper argues that it will be
good to focus on bridging the business and education sectors by building ESD capacity of
the children and youth in the formal education sector. It contends this could be done
through collaborative learning using the government-mandated “Period of Integrated
Studies” (PIS) in the Japanese primary and secondary school curriculum. Additionally, it
will be appropriate for the RCE Greater Sendai Steering Committee to facilitate and
coordinate the learning processes and also promote networking and cooperative interactions
among the actors and stakeholders in the region. Recommendations for improvement of the learning partnerships in RCE Greater Sendai are made for consideration at the local and
national policy levels.