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The wheel of fortune as a novel support for constructive alignment and transformative sustainability learning in higher education

Sue Noy (School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia)
Teresa Capetola (School of Health and Social Development, Faculty of Health, Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia)
Rebecca Patrick (School of Health and Social Development, Faculty of Health, Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia)

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education

ISSN: 1467-6370

Article publication date: 27 May 2021

Issue publication date: 2 July 2021

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Abstract

Purpose

Education for Sustainability in Higher Education (ESHE) sits within and across disciplinary settings that share the need for a framework that provides a basis for pedagogy, assessment and learning outcomes (Kalsoom, 2019). ESHE strives to create transformative learning spaces that help students gain the knowledge and skills they need to understand and contribute to shaping a world based on communities living within the limits of earth’s resources. This paper aims to offer a novel solution to the challenge of teaching students from different disciplines struggling with the complexity of sustainability.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper explores the development of an interdisciplinary subject designed for undergraduate students from four faculties. It presents a case study of pedagogy that moves away from three pillars/concentric circles approaches towards practices based in systems thinking and interactive transformative learning. It describes the iterative process of developing and implementing an infographic: the “Sustainability Wheel of Fortune” (Wheel), to support constructive alignment of content, assessment tasks and learning outcomes.

Findings

The Wheel provides a holistic, interconnected and dynamic focus for framing content and teaching. The pedagogy aligns with sustainability competencies, builds in flexibility in response to changing times and student experiences and provides teachers and students with a common framework for interrogating the possibilities for sustainable futures.

Originality/value

The Wheel is a novel learning tool for contemporary sustainability education. It captures key elements of approaches to and concepts about sustainability, visually reinforces the idea of a holistic interconnected approach and provides a framework that supports the constructive pedagogy of an interdisciplinary sustainability subject.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors thank Dr Kimberley James for the final critical reading and to the teaching team (including Dr James) and students who have contributed to this process over many years.

Citation

Noy, S., Capetola, T. and Patrick, R. (2021), "The wheel of fortune as a novel support for constructive alignment and transformative sustainability learning in higher education", International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, Vol. 22 No. 4, pp. 854-869. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJSHE-08-2020-0289

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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