Educational Research

Educational Research (ISSN:2141-5161) Vol. 3(8), pp. 677-684, August 2012         
Copyright © 2012 International Research Journals


Full Length Research Paper

Applying problem-based training approach into the training program on industrial ecology and environment

Sirinapat Charmondusit a and Kitikorn Charmondusit b*

aResearch and Academic Service Department, Faculty of Environment and Resource Studies, Mahidol University, Salaya Campus, Nakornpathom, 73170, Thailand.

bEco-Industry Research and Training Center, Faculty of Environment and Resource Studies, Mahidol University,

 Salaya Campus, Nakornpathom, 73170, Thailand.

*Corresponding Author E-mail:;

Tel: +662-4415000, Ext: 2309; Fax: +662-4419509-10

Received 23 July, 2012; Accepted 14 August, 2012


The training program on industrial ecology and environment hosted by Mahidol University is designed to provide an understanding of the principles concepts and practice of industrial ecology, which have direct benefits for the sustainable development of industrial sectors in Asia. In 2011, for the first time, the problem-based training (PBT) approach was used to design the course structure of the 3rd international training course on industrial ecology. Three modules, which are in-class learning, field study (learning by doing), and group discussion (analysis and synthesize idea), were offered as a framework for this course. Fourteen participants from nine participating countries in South Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East joined this training program. Sustainability management of the Northern Region Industrial Estate (NRIE) and community area were delivered as a project study, which referred to the three main issues: 1) water quality of the Kuang river, 2) soil contaminated problem, and 3) community feedback to the NRIE. The results from the training program revealed that industrial activities in the NRIE did not affect the water quality in the Kuang river and soil quality around NRIE area. In addition, the local people who live within or near that area have positive attitude towards the NRIE. This training approach was a challenge for the majority of participants who had not previously been exposed to it. Participant’s feedback was overwhelmingly positive. Participant’s satisfaction level with the training program had a mean score of 4.92 (out of 5) with all participants agreeing or strongly agreeing that using the PBT methodology can enhance the transdisciplinarity between academics and practitioners, self-regulated learning, and collaboration.


Keywords: Industrial ecology, Problem based training, Sustainability management, Eco-industrial estate.


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