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Cotton and sustainability: Impacting student learning through Sustainable Cotton Summit

Jung Ha‐Brookshire (Textile and Apparel Management, University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri, USA)
Pamela Norum (Textile and Apparel Management, University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri, USA)

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education

ISSN: 1467-6370

Article publication date: 20 September 2011

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the effect of intensive extra‐curricular learning opportunities on students' knowledge, skills, and attitudes regarding cotton and sustainability.

Design/methodology/approach

A three‐phase extra‐curricular learning opportunity was designed to include a Sustainable Cotton Summit; pre‐summit and post‐summit surveys of students' knowledge, skills, and attitudes toward cotton; and an individual essay competition.

Findings

The two‐group mean comparisons showed that the summit made the largest impact on students' knowledge in cotton and sustainability, followed by students' skills and attitudes. The student essays indicated that the summit provided insight that is not readily available in their education curricula.

Research limitations/implications

The benefits derived from educating students about sustainability and cotton should be extended to other fibers, as well as to other segments of the supply chain.

Practical implications

Businesses involved with cotton supply chain must do a better job at educating and explaining sustainability aspects of cotton to consumers. Educators must also further their efforts in preparing students as professionals in the industry.

Originality/value

In response to the lack of educational opportunities about cotton and sustainability in the textile‐ and apparel‐related academic field in the USA, this study offered the two‐day Sustainable Cotton Summit in 2010 in which over 400 students have participated. Changes in students' knowledge, skills, and attitudes were assessed through pre‐ and post‐summit surveys, and post‐summit essays.

Keywords

Citation

Ha‐Brookshire, J. and Norum, P. (2011), "Cotton and sustainability: Impacting student learning through Sustainable Cotton Summit", International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, Vol. 12 No. 4, pp. 369-380. https://doi.org/10.1108/14676371111168287

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited