This chapter discusses the findings of a study at a public university in Malaysia, which reflect the country’s evolving situation regarding sustainability education. The study aimed to explore the knowledge of and attitudes to sustainability of the academic staff at the university, and the pedagogical approaches they used in curricula. Through a mixed method approach, primary data were collected through an online quantitative survey containing 90 statements related to Education for Sustainable Development Goals, knowledge, attitudes, pedagogical techniques, and learning objectives. Following the survey, a focus group discussion was conducted involving several academic staff from the university to explore their perspectives on current sustainability teaching practices and to identify emerging issues. Findings revealed that there were generally positive levels of understandings and attitudes among the academic staff toward education on sustainability development (ESD). Furthermore, the staff agreed highly with ESD learning objectives, and various pedagogical approaches were in use. These are important findings as the levels of awareness and attitudes among academics play a key role in shaping successful implementation of a range of pedagogical techniques for ESD goals. As well as the challenges identified in the study, the chapter puts forward useful insights and key aspects to enhance ESD practices at all levels in the country. Options for policy and practice to move beyond sustainable development as a goal or aspiration for teaching and learning to a practical and pedagogical reality of ESD practices in Malaysian higher education institutions are also discussed.
The authors are grateful for contribution to the project: Professor Don Passey, Lancaster University, UK, input into survey design; Professor Leong Choon Heng, Sunway University, input into project design. The researchers extend their thanks to the survey respondents and the focus group members for their participation, and Sunway University Internal Grant Scheme for funding for the project implementation.
Crosling, G., Atherton, G., Shuib, M., Rahim, A.A., Azizan, S.N. and Nasir, M.I.M. (2020), "The Teaching of Sustainability in Higher Education: Improving Environmental Resilience in Malaysia", Sengupta, E., Blessinger, P. and Yamin, T.S. (Ed.) Introduction to Sustainable Development Leadership and Strategies in Higher Education (Innovations in Higher Education Teaching and Learning, Vol. 22), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 17-38. https://doi.org/10.1108/S2055-364120200000022002
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