LEARNING SUSTAINABILITY IN THE CONTEXT OF THE HARVESTING PRACTICES OF A FORESTRY COMPANY

Name: Katia Cyrlene de Araujo Vasconcelos
Type: PhD thesis
Publication date: 25/03/2019
Advisor:

Namesort descending Role
Annor da Silva Junior Advisor *

Examining board:

Namesort descending Role
Alfredo Rodrigues Leite da Silva Internal Examiner *
Annor da Silva Junior Advisor *
Marcia Juliana d'Angelo External Examiner *
Rubens de Araújo Amaro Internal Examiner *
Valcemiro Nossa External Examiner *

Summary: The objective of this research was to understand how sustainability learning occurs in the context of the harvesting practices of a forestry company. The attention to the topic is justified by the fact that businesses have been increasingly trying to insert an integrated view of the economic, environmental and social pillars in their strategies and decision-making processes and, to do so, it is necessary to develop a long-term perspective with responsibility towards future generations, which makes sustainability an essential condition to development. However, conceptual disagreements on what is sustainability, its real motives and its lack of operationalization are widely discussed and, among its several gaps to operationalize it, the combination of education and learning has been deemed fundamental. Although it is noticed an
increase in the studies that consider sustainability learning as a social process, there is still the predominance of the instrumental perspective connected to changing processes in the cognitive and individual levels. Thus, by using the perspective of the Practice-Based Studies, this thesis argues that the development of reflexive, conscious, autonomous people who are responsible for sustainable actions is only possible if knowledge and acting are connected by practices established in a process of interaction and participation among the organizational practioners and situated in a combination of environment, language, social and material world. That way, a qualitative research of interpretative nature was performed, through a sole case study within the context of the harvesting operations in a forestry company, which
has sustainability in the core of its business strategy. By using the accounts present in the individual interviews, open-ended questionnaire, direct observation and documentary research, it was described the context of forestry harvesting operations, the genesis and meanings of sustainability in this context, as well as the ways in which sustainability knowledge is generated and disseminated. In conclusion, to those professionals, sustainability is a concept with different dimensions, mainly understood as actions that denote concern with the future and the environment, based on the values of respect and responsibility. It is highlighted that this concept is not assimilated by all of them in the same way, but it is understood and appropriated from specific working contexts, and also, conjugated the processes of generation and
dissemination of knowledge that the company has been carrying out to provide a sustainability body of knowledge, the knowledge has been generated and reproduced in an activity based on participation, WHERE, in a social construction process, new forms of work are learned, based on a combination of planning and safety practices, promoting the practical knowledge of the systemic perspective, care, responsibility, integrative perspective and future vision. It was also evinced that all
these practices are mediated by language, an essential tool of this mediation, and, through discursive practices, this group has been establishing alliances, building common concepts, producing and reproducing practices that change the way of doing and knowing, therefore changing the way of learning.

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