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Sustainable consumption: a teaching intervention in higher education

Pedro Álvarez-Suárez (Department of Educational Sciences, Faculty of Education, University of Granada, Granada, Spain)
Pedro Vega-Marcote (Department of Pedagogy and Didactics, Faculty of Educational Sciences, University of Corunna, A Coruña, Spain)
Ricardo Garcia Mira (Department of Psychology, Faculty of Educational Sciences, University of Corunna, A Coruña, Spain)

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education

ISSN: 1467-6370

Publication date: 1 January 2014

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe and analyse a teaching strategy designed to increase the awareness of trainee teachers and educate them with regard to sustainable consumption.

Design/methodology/approach

Ninety-four subjects (trainee teachers) were assessed on their knowledge of the environmental impacts of consumerism, their attitudes to sustainable consumption and their behavioural intentions before (pre-test) and after (post-test) the teaching intervention took place.

Findings

Statistical analysis of the results obtained revealed that subjects increased their knowledge of the social and environmental impacts of consumerism, became more aware of the need to take action in this regard, and developed behaviours oriented towards a sustainable model of consumption.

Research limitations/implications

The proper application of an educational strategy of this nature requires more time than that actually assigned to the teaching intervention itself. This obstacle was overcome by using the time envisaged by the European Space for Higher Education, but the outcome could not be monitored.

Practical implications

A reduction of individual and collective consumption in universities.

Originality/value

The study demonstrates the possibilities of an educational strategy that when applied to trainee teachers in higher education promotes sustainable consumption.

Keywords

Citation

Álvarez-Suárez, P., Vega-Marcote, P. and Garcia Mira, R. (2014), "Sustainable consumption: a teaching intervention in higher education", International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, Vol. 15 No. 1, pp. 3-15. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJSHE-06-2011-0044

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited