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Article
Publication date: 18 January 2021

Ingrid Molderez

There is a growing call for novel approaches in education with respect to sustainable development. Transformative learning lacks empirical research. This paper responds to…

Abstract

Purpose

There is a growing call for novel approaches in education with respect to sustainable development. Transformative learning lacks empirical research. This paper responds to that gap and aims at analysing how transformative learning nurtures ecological thinking.

Design/methodology/approach

The Students Swap Stuff sustainability project is the result of a transformative and action-oriented learning process within the course Corporate Social Responsibility of the Master Environmental, Health and Safety Management, Faculty of Economics and Business at KU Leuven, Brussels, Belgium. Framed by the appreciative inquiry method, students set up a swapping system to limit overconsumption, waste and spillage caused by students’ stay in Brussels for a semester or longer. The paper is focusing on participatory action research, using semi-structured interviews with twenty-two participating students exploring whether their assumptions regarding the dominant paradigms in management have been transformed. Forty-nine participants in the closet swap completed a questionnaire related to their motivations.

Findings

The project was helpful in rethinking the traditional economic system and in decentering the economic element allowing for a different way of thinking, integrating trust and restoring the value of just giving. Four insights from the Students Swap Stuff project are relevant for other action-oriented learning approaches: start from a specific framework to guide the action; give enough time to dream what might be, but always link it to delivering what will be; insert sufficient moments of reflection; and give the students ample opportunities to express their feelings during the project.

Research limitations/implications

First, the research focused on one case, the Students Swap Stuff, with a limited number of students participating in the project. The aim of action-oriented learning, however, was not mere action, but the action had to lead to insights that are helpful for other cases and situations. Second, the interviews were set up between peers. Information about their background, such as families, preferred activities during leisure time, attitudes in favor of the environment, were not directly integrated in the semi-structured questions. This could be part of follow-up research emphasizing aspects of environmental psychology.

Practical implications

This study reveals that transformative and action-oriented learning demand a lot from students and lecturers. To avoid confusion on the concept “action,” praxis could be used to emphasize that thinking and doing exist simultaneously. Students learn in a natural way, but do not always see the effects immediately. Lecturers have to respond to this in a constructive way and have to include reflection moments on a regular basis.

Originality/value

Apart from the dominant research on students as objects, there is little research with students. This paper goes further by combining two stances: students as co-creators of knowledge; and students as participants in action research.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 22 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 3 February 2021

David Mathias Paaske, Olman Segura-Bonilla and Jairo Hernandez-Milian

The purpose of this paper is to challenge the current educational methods taking place in Danish lower secondary school by introducing the concept of education for…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to challenge the current educational methods taking place in Danish lower secondary school by introducing the concept of education for sustainable development (ESD) to help managers and teachers facilitate an action-oriented approach aimed at potentiating the level of sustainability and environmental awareness.

Design/methodology/approach

This conceptual paper is based on the relevant literature and examines the necessity to move beyond traditional education curricula by offering a new practical sustainable framework for facilitating ESD at Danish lower secondary schools. A particular focus relates to evaluating and adopting sustainable approaches in the educational literature that is sufficiently sensitive to practical changes in Danish lower secondary teaching methods.

Findings

With the purpose of generating awareness about climate change and students’ ecological footprint to lower secondary school students in Denmark, it was found that embedding ESD in the Danish curriculum would be an important tool for this purpose. The authors outline practical recommendations for managers at the lower secondary school level.

Originality/value

This conceptual paper addresses the core issue of traditional education in Danish lower secondary schools by suggesting to adopt the educational framework of ESD. To this end, the authors have offered a variety of specific practical suggestions accordingly to how traditional education can be redesigned by focusing on action-oriented learning and future-oriented ESD. Furthermore, the authors propose that certain educational components of smart cities might promote an underlying commitment to meet the core issues of climate change, as this has yet to be examined. The research on ESD for managers at the Danish lower secondary school level is fairly limited to date.

Details

Journal of Work-Applied Management, vol. 13 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2205-2062

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 2003

Bishnu Raj Upreti

Conflict is an inevitable part of any society. It often alters the social relations in society. Effective management of conflict requires an improvement in distorted…

Abstract

Conflict is an inevitable part of any society. It often alters the social relations in society. Effective management of conflict requires an improvement in distorted social relations. The aim of this paper is to offer an action‐oriented, learning‐based methodology to address over‐growing conflict in society. Based on the examination of the conventional approaches used in rural Nepal, this paper argues that conventional methodologies are not able to resolve growing social conflicts in the community. This paper concludes that a more responsive conflict management methodology is required to deal with growing social conflict in the community. This paper then offers the correct management methodoligies to fill this badly needed gap.

Details

International Journal of Development Issues, vol. 2 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1446-8956

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Article
Publication date: 3 January 2017

Teresa Vilaça

The purpose of this paper is to discuss teachers’ practices, barriers and facilitating factors associated with a regional school-based action-oriented sexuality education…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to discuss teachers’ practices, barriers and facilitating factors associated with a regional school-based action-oriented sexuality education (SE) project with the use of information and communication technology.

Design/methodology/approach

This qualitative research was anchored in a constructivist paradigm, set up as a multiple case study (six schools) with exploratory aims. Observation, teacher group interview, online class-diaries and contents of the project website were used for data collection. Cross-case analysis was carried out following single case analyses.

Findings

It was found that when teachers attend in-service teacher education and training they develop professional competences to act as facilitators of students’ inquiry-based learning on action-oriented knowledge and on carrying out collective actions to promote sexual health and well-being. Collaborative and reflexive work among teachers emerged as a facilitator factor and SE integration in the school curriculum as the principal barrier.

Research limitations/implications

The results of the cross-case analysis of this qualitative research based on single cases developed in their own social contexts can only be generalized with caution to other similar contexts.

Practical implications

Despite the limitations of this study, it has great importance for both research and practice as it contributes to the evidence regarding the implementation of the combined action of the democratic approach (participatory and action-oriented) and the use of ICT on SE.

Originality/value

This paper provides important information for those working on school health education projects, particularly considering how action-oriented SE is applied in different contexts.

Details

Health Education, vol. 117 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-4283

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Article
Publication date: 4 October 2019

Josefine Fokdal, Ratka Čolić and Danijela Milovanović Rodić

This paper aims to supplement existing research on a joint approach to integrate sustainability into higher planning education (HPE) by facilitating an international…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to supplement existing research on a joint approach to integrate sustainability into higher planning education (HPE) by facilitating an international transformative learning process. It looks at three different urban master’s programs in Serbia (Belgrade) and Germany (Berlin and Stuttgart).

Design/methodology/approach

In this paper, students' assessments of the pedagogical model, individual learning outcomes and the long-term value of the pedagogical model in respect of key competences for sustainability are presented and discussed. Basic assumptions of the study include that assessment from the students' perspective can provide feedback on the transformational learning experience with the aim of improving the experience and thus learning outcomes; help identify limitations and target specific areas for improvement in the pedagogical model; and improve the evaluation of effectiveness in developing knowledge and skills for sustainability in HPE.

Findings

The paper provides evidence that a learner-centered and action-oriented approach, as well as a global dialogue among peers from different backgrounds and nationalities, is an effective way to educate future generations of urban planners to become “change agents” for societal transformation toward a more sustainable future within their respective contexts.

Originality/value

The paper is a supplement to the existing research on educational initiatives that attempts to integrate sustainability into the curricula, especially of urban-related programs; showcases outcomes of the pedagogical model(s) for sustainable development applied, especially when addressing the competences of students working in developing, transitional and developed countries or different geographic contexts; and shows long-term learning outcomes after the students move into work practice.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 21 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 1997

Cameron M. Ford and dt ogilvie

Argues that expertise based solely on rational, quantitative approaches to decision making problematic in rapidly changing business environments that arrest the tools of…

Abstract

Argues that expertise based solely on rational, quantitative approaches to decision making problematic in rapidly changing business environments that arrest the tools of forecasting, analysis and planning. Where managers must take action in the face of considerable ambiguity, they must justify decisions on “gut instincts”, “best guesses” and other qualitative considerations. Unfortunately, traditional management education is primarily based on quantitative approaches to analysis and planning that may be ineffectual in ambiguous environments. Discusses an alternative approach to management education and training that seeks to blend analytic rigour with insight, intuition, creativity and learning‐by‐doing. Compares assumptions underlying traditional and action‐oriented approaches, and provides examples that suggest how management education and training can enhance their relevance by balancing quantitative and qualitative methods of decision making.

Details

Career Development International, vol. 2 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1362-0436

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 2005

Deborah Blackman and Steven Henderson

In this paper it is held that a transformational learning organisation could be clearly distinguished from non‐learning organisations. This paper seeks to establish…

Abstract

Purpose

In this paper it is held that a transformational learning organisation could be clearly distinguished from non‐learning organisations. This paper seeks to establish whether or not this is actually the case.

Design/methodology/approach

Case studies were developed for two organisations considering themselves to be learning organisations (Company 2 and Company 4) and two that did not (Company 1 and Company 3). To establish the balance of the learning behaviours within the firms according to Shivistrava's typology, a questionnaire was used to elicit information about learning behaviours and activities, and general understanding about what such terms as knowledge, information and learning meant to individuals within the firms.

Findings

The results of applying the Shrivastava model showed that most knowledge is action‐oriented and incrementally developed, in that it is developed in order to achieve a certain goal. Certain events will lead to a perceived need for certain behaviours and the organisational procedures and policies will encourage actions.

Originality/value

Shrivastava's typology outlines four perspectives of organisational learning: adaptation, developing knowledge of action‐outcome relationships, assumption sharing, and institutionalised experience. These definitions imply that they will reflect different knowledge bases.

Details

The Learning Organization, vol. 12 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-6474

Keywords

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Abstract

Details

SDG4 – Quality Education
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-423-1

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Article
Publication date: 4 October 2011

Mary M. Somerville and Margaret Brown‐Sica

Libraries required to accommodate new services within existing facilities can benefit from an inclusive planning approach which produces a design concept and project…

Abstract

Purpose

Libraries required to accommodate new services within existing facilities can benefit from an inclusive planning approach which produces a design concept and project phases for repurposing space. In the process, organizational decision making can move from print‐centered to program‐driven through intention use of information to learn. This paper seeks to explore this issue.

Design/methodology/approach

Participatory action research (PAR) offers an action‐oriented and learning‐centered approach to (re)design of library facilities through an iterative plan‐act‐observe‐reflect cycle. Auraria Library's culminating charette illustrates the efficacy of PAR principles and practices for repurposing library facilities in response to changing user demands.

Findings

Over an 18‐month period, participatory action research activities fostered data collection and interpretation activities, preparatory to a two‐day design charette conducted with and for members of campus constituencies. In addition to clarifying design elements for project phases with estimated budgets, the inclusive inquiry processes initiated campus relationships essential to successful project implementation.

Research limitations/implications

This research study reports the latest findings in a series of North American implementation projects begun in 2003. The most ambitious to date, it involves library staff and campus stakeholders in inclusive library redesign processes.

Practical implications

Amidst dynamically changing internal and external circumstances, libraries can employ participatory action research principles and practices to use information to learn. The Auraria Library example illustrates the transferability of using inclusive information‐centered and learning‐focused approaches for organizational direction setting.

Social implications

The purpose of the action‐oriented and learning‐focused approach is to engage participants in using information to learn. Participatory action research is therefore intrinsically emancipatory.

Originality/value

A paucity of professional literature on participatory action research exists in the library and information science field. Therefore, this contribution both offers a promising approach for collaborative decision making and fills a gap in the professional knowledge base.

Details

The Electronic Library, vol. 29 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0264-0473

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Book part
Publication date: 11 January 2016

Meifang Xiang

The primary purpose of this study is to introduce a method of using former students’ advice and learning experiences to affect subsequent students’ thoughts and beliefs…

Abstract

Purpose

The primary purpose of this study is to introduce a method of using former students’ advice and learning experiences to affect subsequent students’ thoughts and beliefs about accounting learning in a positive way thereby improving their academic performance.

Methodology/approach

At the end of Fall 2009, the instructor invited the students to give suggestions to future accounting students about their learning experiences. On the first days of the following three semesters, I showed the feedback to the subsequent students. I recommended that the students read the suggestions after class and throughout the semester when necessary. I also conduct the survey to collect the students’ perceptions on the usefulness of former students’ advice. Analyses are conducted to assess the impact of the students’ advice on class attendance, exam performance, and the dropout rate for the course.

Findings

The results show that former students’ advice and learning experiences can help subsequent students improve class attendance, course performance, and the drop rate.

Social implications

The study provides a useful and easy-to-adopt learning supplement to help students succeed in a course that many students find challenging. The study also gives educators a simple but useful and efficient way to achieve greater student involvement in their learning processes.

Originality/value

To the best of my knowledge, this study is the first to focus on the impact of former students’ advice and learning experience on the following students’ learning performance in accounting education.

Details

Advances in Accounting Education: Teaching and Curriculum Innovations
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-767-7

Keywords

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