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Book part
Publication date: 1 March 2022

Clinton Cassar

Introduction: Public administration has always been at the forefront of promoting sound and ethical values in society. The myriad of events that are shaping our world

Abstract

Introduction: Public administration has always been at the forefront of promoting sound and ethical values in society. The myriad of events that are shaping our world, such as global warming, deforestation, poverty and economic instability, calls for a shift from government to governance. This change demands a collaborative type of governance on the quest to implement sustainability. Collaborative governance can be initiated by its workforce, who are the individuals closest to the structures of public administration and can act as agents of change in this mission. Thus, personnel need to be equipped with the required knowledge, attitudes and skills, about and for, sustainable development. This can be addressed through education for sustainable development (ESD), a lifelong tool which requires adaption to national requirements, but most importantly to societal needs.

Aim: This research focusses on a longitudinal case study from the Maltese islands, the smallest state of the European Union. Since enacting the Sustainable Development Act in 2012, through which sustainable development has been mainstreamed in the Maltese public sector, never was the need felt to educate public officers for sustainable development. Hence, this research aims at shedding light on the curriculum design process of an education module called ‘Public Administration and Sustainability’ as part of a Bachelor of Art’s programme at the University of Malta.

Method: Framing an educational module in a tertiary institution requires tact in aligning the syllabus, not only to the pedagogical requirements, but also to the place of work. In this exploratory study, two research questions, each linked with a set of original hypotheses are tackled through a pool of data obtained from a variety of methodological tools employed, by analysing two important variables – the curriculum and the student. The former is reviewed through a content analysis exercise whereas feedback from the latter is scrutinised through a questionnaire.

Findings: Data triangulation demonstrates that the curriculum design of the educational module promotes a holistic learning experience, since it integrates effectively the cognitive, affective and psychomotor domains of the Bloom’s Taxonomy. Furthermore, the different student cohorts share common positive views about this module.

Originality of Study: Previous studies indicate that there is a lacuna in research regarding curriculum design and review, especially regarding sustainable development. This research is significant as it attempts at filling this void by scrutinising closely curriculum design in higher ESD.

Implications: Drawing upon the results, a number of recommendations are provided, among them is ‘The Multiplier Transformation Triad Model’, which portrays the institutional, educational and individual transformations needed to promote sustainability. Moreover, this research might provide more insights about governments’ commitment towards sustainability but should also serve useful to researchers or practitioners in various fields such as public administration, governance, sustainability and even higher education.

Details

Managing Risk and Decision Making in Times of Economic Distress, Part A
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80117-427-5

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 8 November 2010

Kathryn Hegarty and Barbara de la Harpe

Sustainability education has at its heart an ethic of interdisciplinary research and teaching practice. This is because sustainability problems require integrated…

Abstract

Sustainability education has at its heart an ethic of interdisciplinary research and teaching practice. This is because sustainability problems require integrated solutions, multiple perspectives, bodies of knowledge and skill sets. Given the imperative to address looming environmental challenges and the need for every graduate to be equipped to do so, how do we enable and support interdisciplinary approaches to sustainability education within our disciplines and professional programmes? It is increasingly apparent that organisational learning for change must be taken forward in the context of local disciplinary meanings and priorities; this is how academics know themselves and identify and value their research – and teaching – priorities. However, at the same time this may create tensions when disciplinary boundaries need to be crossed and disciplinary identities are challenged. This chapter will consider (inter)disciplinarity in engagements with organisational learning and change, and suggest a way forward in order to create ‘bottom-up’ and ‘top-down’ transformation in education for sustainability.

Details

Interdisciplinary Higher Education: Perspectives and Practicalities
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-371-3

Book part
Publication date: 3 August 2020

Anne-Karen Hueske and Caroline Aggestam Pontoppidan

During the last two decades, there has been increasing emphasis on higher education institutions as agents promoting and advancing sustainability. This chapter addresses…

Abstract

During the last two decades, there has been increasing emphasis on higher education institutions as agents promoting and advancing sustainability. This chapter addresses how sustainability is integrated into management education at higher education institutions. It is based on a systematic literature review that teases out governance, education, research, outreach and campus operations (GEROCO) as key elements for embedding sustainability in management education. In addition, it identifies the important role of having an overall governing strategic direction that serves to anchor sustainability. The chapter highlights that sustainability and responsible management education initiatives are interconnected and are complex to embed through the university system.

Book part
Publication date: 18 March 2020

Alice Cassidy, Yona Sipos and Sarah Nyrose

There is a growing need to train and support educators to introduce or enhance aspects of sustainability into post-secondary curriculum. The authors provide an overview of…

Abstract

There is a growing need to train and support educators to introduce or enhance aspects of sustainability into post-secondary curriculum. The authors provide an overview of integration of curricular sustainability development and education as well as related institutional leadership at the post-secondary level. Turning to educational development for sustainability education, the authors share tools and resources to support educators from any discipline, to introduce, integrate, and/or enhance sustainability in their course, program, or initiative. The authors found very few examples of workshops to post-secondary teachers. For one such example, the Sustainability Education Intensive, a three-day workshop that the authors designed and led at the University of British Columbia. The authors summarize the workshop aspects that two years of participants found helpful, and how workshop involvement affected them as sustainability educators. The authors encourage post-secondary institutions to provide support in the form of workshops, resources, and funding to help educators introduce or enhance aspects of sustainability into their courses and programs. Students are asking for this, and, as they are future leaders, it is important that educators address the numerous environmental, social and economic issues that demand attention.

Details

Integrating Sustainable Development into the Curriculum
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-941-0

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Book part
Publication date: 17 April 2018

Emilio Boulianne and S. Leanne Keddie

This study explores how Canadian CPAs (Chartered Professional Accountants) are trained in sustainability. The main research questions are: What place should sustainability

Abstract

Purpose

This study explores how Canadian CPAs (Chartered Professional Accountants) are trained in sustainability. The main research questions are: What place should sustainability take in the accounting program? What place does sustainability occupy in the CPA accounting program? And, over time, has sustainability gained or lost ground within the Canadian professional accounting education program?

Methodology/approach

Content analysis and interviews.

Findings

We find that sustainability is not a key component of the CPA education program since its sustainability content has shrunk over the years. We believe that the groupthink phenomenon may have influenced the selection of CPA Competency Map participants (whose backgrounds reveal a lack of sustainability expertise) as well as the participants’ discussions. Additionally, a lack of consideration for society as a key stakeholder may have also influenced the shortage of sustainability content. Finally, power dynamics might have contributed to the financial accounting and reporting competencies dominating the new map.

Research limitations

We did not have access to the live meetings when the Map was created, although we conducted interviews with representatives involved in the process. This research is bound by a confidentiality agreement that limits us from providing sensitive details. However, we do not consider that these limitations undermine our contribution or reduce the relevance of our research.

Originality/value

Our research contributes to the under-researched domain of sustainability education and to understanding how groupthink, stakeholder theory and power dynamics may have contributed to the dearth of sustainability coverage in the new Canadian CPA program.

Book part
Publication date: 23 June 2020

Jessica Ostrow Michel

To date, higher education frameworks for teaching and learning are not designed to focus on interdisciplinary subject matters like sustainability. Consequently, based on…

Abstract

To date, higher education frameworks for teaching and learning are not designed to focus on interdisciplinary subject matters like sustainability. Consequently, based on an in-depth literature review, this chapter presents a theoretical framework for teaching and learning about sustainability. Within this framework, it is posited that opportunity to learn (OTL) about sustainability can directly influence promising practices of teaching and learning about sustainability (including both cognitively responsive teaching and teaching for sustainability) along with transformative sustainability learning outcomes. Additionally, it is posited that OTL can indirectly affect transformative sustainability learning outcomes by directly influencing promising practices of teaching and learning about sustainability. This in turn directly influences transformative sustainability learning outcomes. Implications from this framework offer a distinctive way to frame sustainability-specific subject matter and teaching practices. With respect to practice, this framework can provide critical information to instructors about how to teach sustainability. With regards to conceptual contributions, this framework can guide further research through this precise framing of discussions, as well as guiding data collection and analyses. Also, scholars can continue to examine the framework for facets that are most important, and continue to fine-tune it as it further develops and demonstrates its viability.

Details

Civil Society and Social Responsibility in Higher Education: International Perspectives on Curriculum and Teaching Development
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83909-464-4

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 13 July 2020

Sandra Mohr and Howard Purcell

This chapter explores sustainable development of leadership strategies as a social framework in higher education to help with defining, implementing, and envisioning a…

Abstract

This chapter explores sustainable development of leadership strategies as a social framework in higher education to help with defining, implementing, and envisioning a sustainable future. Leaders need to develop a sustainable approach for higher education that involves all stakeholders who benefit from having educated citizens to develop common interests that develop and promote sustainable objectives that focus on shared values. An educationally sustainable approach extends beyond a current leader’s time at the institution to continue stable growth and long-term approaches around making decisions, fostering systemic innovation, developing an engaged workforce, and providing quality services and solutions. Leaders need to link sustainable strategies to the school’s mission, values, and finances to help gain consensus and align the decision-making process. In an effort to develop leaders and programs around educational sustainability, governmental organizations have been established to help develop policies and programs to create a sustainable future. Additionally, professional organizations have formed that allow leaders a chance to connect, grow skills, and lead sustainability initiatives. And, higher education institutions have created offices focused around sustainability on campus and educational programs around sustainability leadership to help develop future leaders that are able to take action based on sustainability values and creating an inclusive and reflective process for decision-making. Sustainable leadership has the power to transform society through reorienting the educational system to help people develop knowledge, skills, values, and behaviors for an ever-changing world.

Details

Introduction to Sustainable Development Leadership and Strategies in Higher Education
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78973-648-9

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 7 March 2016

Daniel Etse and Coral Ingley

The purpose of this study is to determine the degree of attention to and the nature of sustainability issues in the curriculum of the Higher National Diploma (HND…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to determine the degree of attention to and the nature of sustainability issues in the curriculum of the Higher National Diploma (HND) Purchasing and Supply Management programme of Ghana.

Design/methodology/approach

Documentary research is the approach used to analyse the curriculum document for the programme of study.

Findings

Findings of this study reveal a low presence of sustainability in the curriculum, and most of the sustainability sub-topics address issues of social justice, while economic sustainability issues feature the least.

Practical implications

Deliberate and greater efforts should be made to integrate sustainability in the curriculum; all three dimensions of sustainability need to be well represented in the teaching and learning experiences; and there should be training and sensitisation of all relevant stakeholders in issues of sustainability.

Originality/value

This study provides an analysis of a higher education curriculum in terms of attention given to sustainability and the nature of sustainability issues addressed therein. It sets the research agenda for the study of curricula of other programmes for sustainability, as research literature on higher education curricula for sustainability in Africa, especially Ghana, is scarce (GUNi et al., 2011).

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 17 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 23 November 2021

Guichun Zong

There have been increasing calls for social studies educators to engage issues of sustainability. Proponents argue that the very survival of the planet depends on the…

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Abstract

Purpose

There have been increasing calls for social studies educators to engage issues of sustainability. Proponents argue that the very survival of the planet depends on the degree to which teachers can move learners away from unsustainable beliefs and behaviors to those grounded in interdisciplinary approaches to solving community and global challenges. How to implement this vision of sustainability education? The purpose of the paper is to report the results of teacher-educators' curriculum and pedagogical approaches to implement the National Council for Social Studies (NCSS) C3 framework to engage and empower prospective and practicing teachers to teach for a sustainable future.

Design/methodology/approach

The study is guided by the growing field of self-study in teacher education, a type of research undertaken by teacher-educators with the dual purpose of personal professional development and a deep understanding of teacher-education practices. Most data were derived from multiple, recursive conversations (both formal and informal) around curriculum decisions and pedagogical choices to integrate sustainability issues into teacher-education courses. Additional data sources include classroom lecture notes and PowerPoint presentations, course readings and resources.

Findings

The authors' three years of collaborative work has shown that an issues-centered, interdisciplinary approach to select and integrate global issues, the current event article analysis, young adult literature and discussion and deliberation of local sustainable development issues that are some of the most effective pedagogical tools to engage and empower teacher candidates in learning about issues that affect the sustainable development of global community. The NCSS C3 provides a powerful framework to scaffold the process of analyzing sustainable issues while also teaching social studies curriculum and standards and skills.

Originality/value

Scholars of global education have called for shifting from an anthropocentric philosophy to a bio-centric worldview emphasizing the embeddedness of humans within the environment. How can social studies teacher-educators implement this vision of global education What instructional resources strategies and learning activities can be effectively integrated into existing courses to help candidates develop competences and commitment to teaching for global sustainability The study examines the innovative approaches to addressing these critical topics in teacher education.

Details

Social Studies Research and Practice, vol. 17 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1933-5415

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 4 October 2021

Katrin Kohl, Charles Hopkins, Matthias Barth, Gerd Michelsen, Jana Dlouhá, Dzulkifli Abdul Razak, Zainal Abidin Bin Sanusi and Isabel Toman

Higher education and its leadership are not yet using their potential impact for a sustainable future. This paper aims to focus on UN developments and the long history of…

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Abstract

Purpose

Higher education and its leadership are not yet using their potential impact for a sustainable future. This paper aims to focus on UN developments and the long history of university involvement in sustainability might create more interest and understanding that sustainably oriented universities are actually possible and a much stronger role for higher education is needed when nations are discussing their future.

Design/methodology/approach

Literature review with a focus on international treaties and declarations on the UN level and international university networks, literature review of the background and potential of the whole-institution approach and the need/suggestions for further research, also to measure advancement.

Findings

History shows a strong engagement of higher education with sustainability from its beginnings. There have been strong calls/offers from within university networks to take a crucial role in moving towards sustainable development that involves more than teaching about sustainability. The international community calls for higher education to be involved in policymaking rather than simply implementation, have been limited and the full potential of higher education institutions using all opportunities such as being living labs for sustainability has not as yet been realized. Currently, calls for engagement are often still limited to training and providing research when scientific evidence is wanted.

Research limitations/implications

Literature review focused on UN level treaties/declarations English- and German-language review national developments limited to samples of members of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4 subcluster in the Higher Education and Research for Sustainable Development (HESD) Global Cluster by the International Association of Universities (IAU).

Practical implications

Guidance for university leaders and other stakeholders to become aware of and consider a whole-institution approach. Practitioner relevance as countries is encouraged to embed UN recommendations, treaties and declarations. Defining opportunities for further research. Presenting the HESD Cluster by the IAU as a sample for new approaches of higher education to interact with the SDGs.

Social implications

Strengthening the role of higher education in the pursuit of a better future would focus on science and research as a neutral basis for decision-making and policy development. Sustainability embedded in all streams of university can help universities to be a practical example of the possibilities of sustainability at work.

Originality/value

Composition of authors with UN background and involvement. Focus on UN treaties/declarations and guidance for academics and practitioners in leadership on adopted UN and other international documents. Summarizing the background of the whole-institution approach as a genuine development over time but including limitations and implications for future roles for higher education leadership. IAU SDG 4 Subcluster is unique in its own approach and with its connections to a global network of higher education institutions and UNESCO.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 23 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

Keywords

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