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Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to assess the effectiveness of active teaching methodologies, namely, problem-oriented learning and the case method, to develop sustainability competencies. It also analyses the advantages and challenges for teachers when implementing the sustainable development goals (SDGs) in eight undergraduate and postgraduate degrees within the framework of a cross-departmental collaboration.

Design/methodology/approach

A mixed research methodology was used: a quantitative study to assess the levels of acquisition of sustainability and research competencies and the potential correlation between them, as well as a mixed study of the advantages and challenges for the teachers participating in the cross-departmental initiative. Curriculum content linked to the SDGs was worked on. Active teaching methodologies and a competency assessment rubric were used as curriculum implementation strategies in the eight courses involved.

Findings

Active teaching methodologies are suitable to implement the SDGs in university teaching and to develop both sustainability and research competencies. A synergic effect is observed between them. Coordinated work between teachers of different subjects in several degrees contributes to developing a culture of sustainability at the university.

Research limitations/implications

Although the collaboration between teachers from different disciplines was successful, this study did not promote interdisciplinary projects among students from different degrees. This promises to be highly valuable for future research.

Practical implications

Students can become present and future leaders in achieving the SDGs. This approach can be replicated in other educational institutions.

Social implications

This study bridges the gap between theoretical recommendations and the practical implementation of the SDGs in undergraduate and postgraduate degrees.

Originality/value

Coordinated work between teachers of different subjects in different degrees contributes to the development of a culture of sustainability at the university.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 25 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 12 July 2024

Denise Rodríguez-Zurita, Maria Jaya-Montalvo, Jerry Moreira-Arboleda, Esther Raya-Diez and Paul Carrión-Mero

This study aims to delve into the evolution, trends and implications of scientific production related to service learning (SL) and community engagement for sustainability in…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to delve into the evolution, trends and implications of scientific production related to service learning (SL) and community engagement for sustainability in higher education institutions (HEIs). Because HEIs play a crucial role in achieving the sustainable development goals (SDGs), experiential learning approaches are needed to actively involve students in sustainable development.

Design/methodology/approach

In total, 869 publications from Web of Science and Scopus databases were analysed using a bibliometric approach that included performance analysis and science mapping. Subsequently, a systematic literature review was conducted on 118 publications, focusing on their contribution to SDGs and alignment with United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation’s fields of expertise.

Findings

The findings reveal two significant trends: a substantial shift from curriculum development (2000–2010) to education for sustainable development (2011–2022), and the effectiveness of experiential learning teaching approaches, such as the integration of SL with community engagement and the use of innovative research methods in promoting the acquisition of sustainable development competencies. Additionally, community-based research, participatory action research and capacity development emerged as the primary topics.

Research limitations/implications

While this research is based on publications from two prominent databases, it may not include significant studies published in other databases.

Practical implications

These findings suggest that stakeholders should incorporate experiential learning activities and innovative research approaches to enhance education in, for and from sustainability.

Originality/value

This study offers a fresh perspective on the intellectual framework of experiential learning teaching approaches concerning sustainability in HEIs.

Details

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

Keywords

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