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Circular economy, sustainability and teacher training in a higher education institution

Anxela Bugallo-Rodríguez (Faculty of Educational Studies, University of A Coruña, A Coruña, Spain)
Pedro Vega-Marcote (Faculty of Educational Studies, University of A Coruña, A Coruña, Spain)

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education

ISSN: 1467-6370

Article publication date: 27 August 2020

Issue publication date: 11 December 2020

602

Abstract

Purpose

Higher education institutions have a valuable dual role in disseminating the circular economy (CE) as a new sustainability paradigm. First, the university teaches students about this subject. Second, it prepares future teachers to incorporate sustainability into other educational levels. This paper aims to present the results of implementing a set of activities designed to improve the attitudes and actions of students to reduce their daily impact on campus and to be active agents for change to the CE.

Design/methodology/approach

The participants were students enrolled for the Degree in Primary Education at the University of Corunna. Following a qualitative approach, students’ proposals were analyzed using the key indicators identified by the European Commission to measure progress toward the CE.

Findings

The results demonstrate that these activities make students reflect and act on their daily impact. They propose and develop diverse solutions on campus, such as increased paper-, water- and energy-saving activities and discover the benefits of teaching for action. However, the indicators show that they do not apply the three principles of the CE in a balanced way.

Research limitations/implications

An improvement should analyze the same students in the following year to verify progress.

Originality/value

This experience with preservice teachers may help to extend the values and knowledge associated with integral sustainability and provide CE solutions on campus and in schools throughout the country.

Keywords

Citation

Bugallo-Rodríguez, A. and Vega-Marcote, P. (2020), "Circular economy, sustainability and teacher training in a higher education institution", International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, Vol. 21 No. 7, pp. 1351-1366. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJSHE-02-2020-0049

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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