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Article
Publication date: 10 April 2009

Cheryl J. Desha, Karlson Hargroves and Michael H. Smith

The purpose of this paper is to present the case for engineering departments to undertake rapid curriculum renewal (RCR) towards engineering education for sustainable…

1734

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present the case for engineering departments to undertake rapid curriculum renewal (RCR) towards engineering education for sustainable development (EESD), to minimise the department's risk exposure to rapidly shifting industry requirements, government regulations and program accreditation. This paper then outlines a number of elements of RCR.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper begins by proposing that Higher Education Institutions face a “time lag dilemma,” whereby the usual or “standard” curriculum renewal approach to embed new knowledge and skills within the curriculum may take too long, lagging behind industry, regulatory, and accreditation shifts. This paper then outlines a proposed RCR approach. This paper presents a number of preliminary “elements of RCR” formulated from a literature review of numerous existing but largely ad hoc examples of curriculum renewal within engineering and other discipline areas, together with the authors' experience in trialling the elements.

Findings

This paper concludes that a strategically implemented process of curriculum renewal to EESD can help a department address its risk exposure to likely and impending shifts in industry, regulations and accreditation. A number of examples of implementing “elements of RCR” are emerging and this literature can inform a strategic approach to curriculum renewal.

Practical implications

The aim of this paper is to highlight the potential risks and opportunities for engineering departments as they consider “how far” and “how fast” to proceed with curriculum renewal for EESD, along with providing an overview of a range of options for implementation.

Originality/value

This paper fulfils an identified information/resources need.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 10 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 13 September 2013

Edmond P. Byrne, Cheryl J. Desha, John J. Fitzpatrick and Karlson “Charlie” Hargroves

This paper aims to present key findings from an inquiry into engineering accreditation and curricula renewal. The research attempted to ascertain conceptions of requisite…

1169

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to present key findings from an inquiry into engineering accreditation and curricula renewal. The research attempted to ascertain conceptions of requisite sustainability themes among engineering academics and professionals. The paper also reflects on the potential role of professional engineering institutions (PEIs) in embedding sustainability through their programme accreditation guidelines and wider implications in terms of rapid curricula renewal.

Design/methodology/approach

This research comprised an International Engineering Academic Workshop held during the 2010 International Symposium on Engineering Education in Ireland, on “accreditation and sustainable engineering”. This built on the findings of a literature review that was distributed prior to the workshop. Data collection included individual questionnaires administered during the workshop, and notes scribed by workshop participants.

Findings

The literature review highlighted a wide range of perspectives across and within engineering disciplines, regarding what sustainability/sustainable development (SD) themes should be incorporated into engineering curricula, and regarding language and terminology. This was also reflected in the workshop discussions. Notwithstanding this diversity, clusters of sustainability themes and priority considerations were distilled from the literature review and workshop. These related to resources, technology, values, ethics, inter‐ and intra‐generational equity, transdisciplinarity, and systems and complex thinking. Themes related to environmental and economic knowledge and skills received less attention by workshop participants than represented in the literature.

Originality/value

This paper provides an appreciation of the diversity of opinion regarding priority sustainability themes for engineering curricula, among a group of self‐selected engineering academics who have a common interest in education for SD. It also provides some insights and caveats on how these themes might be rapidly integrated into engineering curricula.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 14 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 6 July 2012

Magdalena Svanström, Ulrika Palme, Maria Knutson Wedel, Ola Carlson, Thomas Nyström and Michael Edén

The purpose of this paper is to report on methods developed, within a three‐year Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) project at Chalmers University of Technology…

583

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to report on methods developed, within a three‐year Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) project at Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden, to achieve a higher degree of embedding of ESD in engineering programmes. The major emphasis is on methods used, results achieved and lessons learned from the work.

Design/methodology/approach

The basic idea that methods and activities were built on was that the only way to achieve long‐term changes is to increase the motivation and capacity of lecturers and program directors to perform the required changes.

Findings

Activities that were developed and tested focused on coaching discussions and on workshops for teachers, gathering teachers from one programme at a time. These activities aimed at starting learning processes in individuals. Special care was taken into keeping the feeling of responsibility and initiative in the faculty members within the programmes. A special “resource group” of experienced ESD teachers was available as support for programme directors and lecturers.

Originality/value

The methods reported on are further developments of a method that has been used in Delft University of Technology (the Individual Interaction Method) in the Netherlands. The experiences from Chalmers are discussed in such a way that they provide useful insights for others aiming at similar changes at university.

Article
Publication date: 8 April 2014

Shireen J. Fahey, John R. Labadie and Noel Meyers

The aim of this paper is to present the challenges external drivers and internal inertia faced by curriculum designers and implementers at institutions of higher…

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to present the challenges external drivers and internal inertia faced by curriculum designers and implementers at institutions of higher education. The challenges to academics from competing factors are presented: internal resistance to changing existing curricula vs the necessity to continuously evolve programmes to reflect a dynamic, uncertain future. The necessity to prepare future leaders to face global issues such as climate change, dictates changing curricula to reflect changing personal, environmental and societal needs.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper uses the case study method to examine two models of climate change curriculum design and renewal. One model, from an Australian university, is based upon national education standards and the second is a non-standards-based curriculum design, developed and delivered by a partnership of four North American universities.

Findings

The key findings from this study are that the highest level of participation by internal-to-the-programme academics and administrators is required. Programme quality, delivery and content alignment may be compromised with either stand-alone course delivery and learning outcomes, or if courses are developed independently of others in the programme. National educational standards can be effective tools to guide course and programme management, monitoring, review and updating.

Practical implications

The paper includes implications for postgraduate level curricula design, implementation and programme evaluation.

Originality/value

The paper is the first to compare, contrast and critique a national standards-based, higher education curriculum and a non-standards-based curriculum.

Details

Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, vol. 6 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-7003

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 9 July 2021

Cheryl Desha, Savindi Caldera and Deanna Hutchinson

This study aims to explore the role of planned, sudden shifts in lived experiences, in influencing learner capabilities towards improved problem-solving for sustainable…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to explore the role of planned, sudden shifts in lived experiences, in influencing learner capabilities towards improved problem-solving for sustainable development outcomes. The authors responded to employers of engineering and built environment graduates observing limited “real-life” problem-solving skills, beyond using established formulae and methods, in spite of attempts over more than two decades, to train engineers and other built environment disciplines in areas such as whole system design and sustainable design.

Design/methodology/approach

A grounded theory approach was used to guide the analysis of data collected through ethnographic methods. The process involved reflecting on authors’ efforts to develop context appreciation within a course called “International Engineering Practice”, using two years of collected data (archived course information, including course profile; completed assessment; lecture and field visit evaluations; and focus groups). The study is built on the authors’ working knowledge of Bloom’s Taxonomy and Threshold Learning Theory, and the well-established role of “context appreciation” in complex problem-solving. After the first iteration of the course, the authors looked for additional theoretical support to help explain findings. The Cynefin framework was subsequently used to augment the authors’ appreciation of “context” – beyond physical context to include relational context, and to evaluate students’ competency development across the four domains of “clear”, “complicated”, “complex” and “chaotic”.

Findings

This study helped the authors to understand that there was increased capacity of the students to distinguish between three important contexts for problem-solving, including an increased awareness about the importance of factual and relevant information, increased acknowledgement of the varying roles of professional practitioners in problem-solving depending on the type of problem and increased appreciation of the importance of interdisciplinary teams in tackling complex and complicated problems. There were several opportunities for such courses to be more effective in preparing students for dealing with “chaotic” situations that are prevalent in addressing the United Nations’ 17 sustainable development goals (UNSDGs). Drawing on the course-based learnings, the authors present a “context integration model” for developing problem-solving knowledge and skills.

Research limitations/implications

The research findings are important because context appreciation – including both physical context and relational context – is critical to problem-solving for the UNSDGs, including its 169 targets and 232 indicators. The research findings highlight the opportunity for the Cynefin framework to inform holistic curriculum renewal processes, enhancing an educator’s ability to design, implement and evaluate coursework that develops physical and relational context appreciation.

Practical implications

The study’s findings and context integration model can help educators develop the full range of necessary problem-solving graduate competencies, including for chaotic situations involving high degrees of uncertainty. Looking ahead, acknowledging the significant carbon footprint of global travel, the authors are interested in applying the model to a domestic and/or online format of the same course, to attempt similar learning outcomes.

Originality/value

Connecting Bloom’s taxonomy deep learning and threshold learning theory critical path learning insights with the Cynefin framework context domains, provides a novel model to evaluate competency development for problem-solving towards improved holistic physical and relational “context appreciation” outcomes.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 22 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 15 January 2018

Victor Maddalena, Amanda Pendergast and Gerona McGrath

There is a growing emphasis on teaching patient safety principles and quality improvement (QI) processes in medical education curricula. This paper aims to present how the…

499

Abstract

Purpose

There is a growing emphasis on teaching patient safety principles and quality improvement (QI) processes in medical education curricula. This paper aims to present how the Faculty of Medicine at Memorial University of Newfoundland engaged medical students in quality improvement during their recent curriculum renewal process.

Design/methodology/approach

In the 2013-2014 academic year, the Faculty of Medicine at Memorial University of Newfoundland launched an undergraduate medical education curriculum renewal process. This presented a unique opportunity to teach quality improvement by involving students in the ongoing development and continuous improvement of their undergraduate curriculum through the implementation of quality circles and other related QI activities.

Findings

The authors’ experience shows that implementing QI processes is beneficial in the medical education environment, particularly during times of curriculum redesign or implementation of new initiatives.

Originality/value

Student engagement and participation in the QI process is an excellent way to teach basic QI concepts and improve curriculum program outcomes.

Details

Leadership in Health Services, vol. 31 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1751-1879

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 7 December 2018

Alison Taysum and Khalid Arar

This chapter presents a comparative analysis of the English, Northern Irish, Arab Israeli, Trinidad and Tobago and the US cases. The focus is what we have learned from the…

Abstract

This chapter presents a comparative analysis of the English, Northern Irish, Arab Israeli, Trinidad and Tobago and the US cases. The focus is what we have learned from the research about: the relationships within Education Governance Systems to navigate turbulence; building capacity for empowering senior-level leaders to deliver on their manifestos and outstanding track records for school improvement; reducing the achievement gap between dominant groups and marginalised groups in International Governance Systems. The chapter identifies that all cases require participatory multi-stakeholder action to develop and support collaborative networked learning communities in practice. Such communities of and for practice need to Empower Young Societal Innovators for Equity and Renewal (EYSIER). Policy and Education Governance Systems have the potential to synthesise the best of what has been said and done in the past, with innovative ways of working by empowering networks of knowledge building and advocacy. These networks co-create opportunities for action learners to work together to describe intersectionalities of discrimination and begin to remove fear of discrimination and marginalisation from Education Governance Systems. From this position, senior-level leaders can work with their leaders, teachers, parents and students to optimise how learning about the self, and learning how to learn improves community education for all students and EYSIER.

Details

Turbulence, Empowerment and Marginalisation in International Education Governance Systems
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78754-675-2

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 14 August 2007

James S. Baxter

This paper aims to review property and valuation education within the university context, using the experience of program re‐development at RMIT University, Melbourne…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to review property and valuation education within the university context, using the experience of program re‐development at RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia, as a case study.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper utilises a literature review, comparing and contrasting the program renewal process within the university to experiences elsewhere and their inherent values. In critically examining some of the difficulties found within the program renewal process, issues symptomatic of the wider valuation profession and tertiary education system have been revealed. It provides the genesis of a wider study linking tertiary education and the valuation profession's needs in the mid‐term.

Findings

Valuation education is often subsumed within a generalist property curriculum. As part of their resource allocation models universities are now paying close attention to teaching quality, research output, and graduate outcomes, often favouring generalist curricula rather than discipline‐specific. There needs to be a careful analysis of the university experience of property and valuation students to ensure that graduate capabilities meet industry expectations, and that graduates themselves are able to adapt to future change. There also needs to be greater attention paid to the quality of teaching within universities and more evidence that mainstream tertiary teaching pedagogy is properly applied within the programs offered.

Research limitations/implications

As a case study this paper chronicles the experiences at one university. It indicates a need for a wider, systematic study of how greater engagement by property and valuation academic and teaching staff can be more actively engaged in mainstream university teaching pedagogy.

Originality/value

The value of this paper lies in its chronicling of a detailed and structured renewal process. It highlights real difficulties faced by tertiary academics in a narrow discipline such as valuation during a renewal process, aimed at continuing high‐quality professional education.

Details

Journal of Property Investment & Finance, vol. 25 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-578X

Keywords

Abstract

Details

Education Policy as a Roadmap for Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83909-298-5

Book part
Publication date: 7 December 2018

Khalid Arar and Alison Taysum

This chapter identifies that distributed leadership is about sharing power for political pluralism. Distributed leadership has a comprehensive commitment to bringing…

Abstract

This chapter identifies that distributed leadership is about sharing power for political pluralism. Distributed leadership has a comprehensive commitment to bringing different groups with different interests, different languages and dialects, different knowledge bases, different metaphysical knowledge and different religions, or no religion, together through provisional agreement on key principals of political pluralism. Marginalised groups may not feel like they belong and may be vulnerable to ideologies that give them a sense of being disconnected from community. Such a position stands as a barrier to political pluralism and shared world views. The situation might be ignored in schools because developing political liberalism through participatory, evidence-informed leadership that is logical, moral and ethical requires time, and agents need to be prepared for such identity work. However, the problem cannot be ignored if community members seek to belong with risky gangs, and are vulnerable to radicalisation, which is very dangerous for them and for their communities. Empowering others may be achieved by developing their capability to ask good questions, and apply collaborative critical thinking for solving social and personal problems. Such empowerment requires shifts from hierarchical teaching of standardised knowledge that is right or wrong to doing the right thing as mature citizens in becoming. The chapter also identifies that it cannot be assumed that leaders are willing or able to distribute leadership, or that doing so would be a panacea for navigating the turbulence faced by their schools to empower societal innovators for equity and renewal. Rather, we concur with Leithwood et al. (2008) who advocate for a thoughtful and purposeful approach to developing leadership for school improvement.

Details

Turbulence, Empowerment and Marginalisation in International Education Governance Systems
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78754-675-2

Keywords

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