The reported research aims to examine the extent to which sustainability capabilities have been delivered by a specific example of Education for Sustainability (EfS) and Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), and how important the capabilities have been in the workplace.
Students who participated in an undergraduate internationally based research project were electronically surveyed. Questions sought responses related to demographics, the relevance of five “sustainability competencies” to the participant’s employment, the degree to which the five competencies had been developed within the students’ project and capabilities participants felt were important to their careers.
Clearly supported was the relevance of all five sustainability competencies, especially that of “interpersonal competence”.
A problem-based learning (PBL) design guided the students’ project and the findings indicate that these designs can be effective in delivering the five capabilities discussed. Interpersonal capability appears to be strongly developed, probably because PBL typically involves teamwork, often across disciplines. Nonetheless, those running these PBL-based subjects could note that careful design may be needed to ensure the development of systems thinking, anticipatory and normative capabilities. Also, the five competencies provide a reasonably good guide for what is important in the workplace and for designing learning experiences.
Clarification of competencies valued in the workplace provides guidance for the design of higher education curricular so that graduates become effective sustainability professionals.
The willing participation of the survey respondents has been clearly critical to the value of the research and is sincerely appreciated. Importantly, the support of the School Research Committee has ensured that the research was completed, and the comments of the reviewers have been the most valuable in developing the depth and readability of the paper; the authors thank both groups.
Thomas, I. and Depasquale, J. (2016), "Connecting curriculum, capabilities and careers", International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, Vol. 17 No. 6, pp. 738-755. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJSHE-03-2015-0049Download as .RIS
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