This study has two aims. It aims to analyse three essential pre-conditions of an authentic sustainability curriculum (ASC). The theoretical analysis involves the definition of authenticity through the learning outcomes (LOs) framework called authentic minimum (AM). This paper also aims to gauge students’ views on economic growth, sustainability and mindfulness.
The theoretical aim was accomplished by extensive study of and critical reflections on the relevant literature. The empirical research was qualitative using an online questionnaire as survey instrument consisting of predominantly open-ended questions involving students of two economic faculties. Directed content analysis and nonparametric quantitative methods were used to assess the answers.
Viable sustainability goals are in stark contrast with the promotion of sustainable economic growth in sustainable development goals 8 and the reigning neoliberal agenda. The empirical findings provide valuable insights into how undergraduate students view mindfulness, economic growth and aspects of sustainability.
The empirical research has some obvious limitations that warrant caution in generalizing the results. The authors used a sample of convenience and the base population of the survey consisted only in students of economics in two economic faculties of two Hungarian universities.
Practical implications of the present paper are many all sharing; however, the need for existential courage on the part of teachers, students and leaders of higher education institutions. Existential courage is required for profound personal transformation, for going against mainstream ideology and the possible confrontations with colleagues, leaders of institutions, students, friends or family members.
On the theoretical side, the concept of ASC was introduced with AM as its LOs framework. For the first time, an attempt was made to interpret authenticity in sustainability education as an integration of mindfulness, human and environmental ethics and a firm opposition to economic growth and neoliberal ideals. The analysis of qualitative data supported earlier research and also provided unique findings in the examined areas.
Lengyel, A., Szőke, S., Kovács, S., Dávid, L., Bácsné Bába, É. and Müller, A. (2019), "Assessing the essential pre-conditions of an authentic sustainability curriculum", International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, Vol. 20 No. 2, pp. 309-340. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJSHE-09-2018-0150Download as .RIS
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