Social Media-based Communities of Practice for Education in Citizenship and Sustainability

Social Media-based Communities of Practice for Education in Citizenship and Sustainability

Dimitra Florou (University of Athens, Greece) and Dimitris Gouscos (University of Athens, Greece)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-839-2.ch008
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Abstract

Finally the chapter reinforces the view that the development of such communities in education offers on the long run the ability to remodel the public sphere, strengthen public consultation, promote proposals from the citizens, promote the policy of sustainability, and finally, the efficient use of new technologies, both in society and education.
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Public Sector Reform Towards Sustainability

During the last decade of the 20th century, due to the focus of public management reform programs and research on New Public Management (NPM) the public sector reforms have been neglected. (Elke Löffler & Colin Talbot, 2004,). As Talbot argues that there are “four paradoxical models that underpin the NPM: let politicians decide, let managers manage, let customers choose, let stakeholders participate” and since “tensions” between them “will not go away” he believes that “the only real issue is how best manage these contradictions ” (Talbot, 2004p. 17).

Public sector has been driven to a different direction to the managerial reforms of the 1980s and 1990s, by new challenges (Bovaird and Löffler, 2002, Bovaird, Tony and Löffler, Elke 2002):

  • Political pressure from issues, such as crime and vandalism, terrorism, asylum, economic deprivation, the problem of pensions and quality of life for an ageing population, etc.

  • The use of ICT not only in relation to service delivery but also in dealing with public policy issues in general

  • Pressure from the media as there is a rapid proliferation of private press, radio and television channels and people have access to much greater information from the Internet

  • The great increase of globalization which makes governments an important economic player but which also exposes them to a volatile global economy

  • The development of a differentiated civil society, in which many (very vocal, and usually well educated) people are using the new media to engage in debates on ‘quality of life’ issues and national public policy issues, while others are increasingly isolated by the digital divide.

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