This paper aims to identify patterns and trends taking place in engineering education in sustainability, through analyzing the evolution of research conducted in relevant publications in the field of engineering education for sustainability in the past decades.
First, a bibliometric approach has been applied, adopting a co-word analysis based on co-occurrence of the keywords (300 items) in articles from three indexed journals related to engineering, education or sustainability. The selection of the articles has been based on the appearance of the previous three terms in the topic and title fields of the journal, where journal scope (based in the categories of the InCites Journal Citation Reports) covered at least two topics, and the third topic was applied in the search, as follows: International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education – Scope of the journal: sustainability and education, Keyword search: engineering (20 papers); Journal of Cleaner Production – Scope of the journal: sustainability and engineering, Keyword search: education (122 papers); International Journal of Engineering Education – Scope of the journal: engineering and education, Keyword search: sustainability (29 papers); Second, to identify topological patterns and their evolution, a structural and temporal analysis of the network of keywords and a categorization of the keywords in thematic clusters (named categories) have been performed.
The most relevant categories in terms of corresponding number of keywords, even though these have decreased in recent years, are those related with institutional and policy aspects to embedding or applying sustainability in higher education. At the same time, categories related to the professional development of faculty members, implementation and use of learning strategies (i.e. real-world learning experiences, educational innovative initiatives/tools/techniques) and cross-boundary schemes (i.e. transdisciplinarity, ethics, networking, etc.) increase their relevance in the past five years, signaling some of the challenging fields of interest in engineering higher education in sustainability in the near future.
Knowledge of the trends in devising sustainability education in engineering allows for designing curricular schemes and learning strategies to achieve competences, which are key factors for the change toward sustainability.
This research has a strong strategic value, as it indicates the focus of future research efforts and networking on some of the topics of greatest concern in engineering higher education for sustainability.
Tejedor, G., Rosas-Casals, M. and Segalas, J. (2019), "Patterns and trends in engineering education in sustainability: A vision from relevant journals in the field", International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, Vol. 20 No. 2, pp. 360-377. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJSHE-07-2018-0131Download as .RIS
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