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Article
Publication date: 26 March 2021

Kirsten Kinzer

Public administration, or the implementation of public policies by civil servants, will be central to implementing the Agenda 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. And yet…

Abstract

Purpose

Public administration, or the implementation of public policies by civil servants, will be central to implementing the Agenda 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. And yet, few American master of public administration (MPA) programs explicitly focus on sustainable development or sustainability literacy. This study asks whether it is possible to build professional sustainability literacy within a general MPA course, specifically in a course on quantitative methods.

Design/methodology/approach

Through a natural experiment conducted in three sections of the graduate course Quantitative Methods in Public Administration at UNC Wilmington, the study explores the relationship between student growth in professional sustainability literacy and a student’s level of foundational sustainability literacy, pro-environmental behavior, background knowledge in statistics and their interest in sustainable development within public administration.

Findings

The study finds that there is a statistically significant relationship between growth in a student’s professional sustainability literacy and two variables: above average foundational sustainability literacy and a high level of interest in sustainability policies and programs.

Originality/value

This study is the first to consider an embedded approach to sustainability education in the field of public administration.

Details

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

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 3 February 2020

Tina M. Kruger, Nicholas McCreary, Brandon L. Verhoff, Virgil Sheets, James H. Speer and Stephen P. Aldrich

The purpose of this study was to explore college students’ understanding of sustainability and, specifically, the extent to which students see social justice as being…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study was to explore college students’ understanding of sustainability and, specifically, the extent to which students see social justice as being integral to sustainability.

Design/methodology/approach

Between fall 2015 and 2017, an online survey study was deployed to students at a Midwestern University in the USA to assess attitudes and concerns about environmental issues and awareness of the university’s activities related to these issues. This analysis included ten assessment items from a larger study, of which 1,929 participants were included in the final sample. A chi-square goodness-of-fit and variable cluster analysis were performed on the included items.

Findings

Items such as “recycling,” “economic viability” and “fair treatment of all” were identified as integral to the concept of sustainability, while items such as “growing organic vegetables” and “reducing meat consumption” had high levels of “not applicable” and “don’t know” responses, with differences arising across gender and class standing. Social justice-related items were seen as more distally connected to sustainability.

Research limitations/implications

This study is limited by a non-random sample of students.

Practical implications

College students tend not to recognize the integral nature of social justice or the relevance of food to sustainability, providing an opportunity for universities to better prepare their students for a sustainable future.

Social implications

Universities might adopt policies and curricula that address these areas of ignorance.

Originality/value

This study is among the first to identify specific areas of college students’ lack of understanding about sustainability.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 21 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 13 February 2017

Sarah Speight

The purpose of this editorial is to provide some context to this special issue and explain how the authors are linking sustainability and digital literacy.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this editorial is to provide some context to this special issue and explain how the authors are linking sustainability and digital literacy.

Design/methodology/approach

Making reference to relevant literature, the paper explores how the four case studies, all written by practitioners, adopt particular approaches to learning for sustainability.

Findings

Driven by personal commitment to the sustainability agenda, the authors have found their own routes to developing effective learning for their own students or for general audiences via massive open online courses (MOOCs). Their initiatives have limited reach at present, but all signal the growing commitment within higher education to sustainability as a subject of study and pedagogic approach in teaching and learning, and to the development of digital literacy.

Originality/value

Digital pedagogies can support sustainability literacy by facilitating the convenient delivery of content and also by facilitating networked and collaborative learning that can cross the boundaries of culture and context.

Details

On the Horizon, vol. 25 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1074-8121

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 10 April 2007

Paul E. Murray and Alison J. Cotgrave

This paper seeks to analyse the hypothesis that sustainability is destined to become the operating paradigm for construction education in the UK.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to analyse the hypothesis that sustainability is destined to become the operating paradigm for construction education in the UK.

Design/methodology/approach

An international literature review is used to assess the relationship between sustainability and the built environment. The viewpoints of the construction‐related professions are examined by analysing the accreditation policies of key professional bodies and through a survey of public sector‐based UK building professionals. International and national policy initiatives on educating for sustainability are reviewed and a survey of UK universities delivering construction degrees is used to explore the environmental content of construction courses. A brief case study describes recent efforts to systematically embed sustainability within construction education.

Findings

The sustainability agenda and construction are intricately linked. The rationale, therefore, for embedding sustainability within the construction curriculum is powerful. Strong policy drivers for embedding sustainability in the curriculum also exist, but the response from construction educators is thus far patchy. However, the case study demonstrates that integrating sustainability issues within construction courses is readily achievable.

Practical implications

The findings will influence policy decisions taken by educators and professional bodies seeking to respond to the fast‐developing sustainability agenda.

Originality/value

This research demonstrates the rationale for systematically embedding sustainability within the construction curriculum to the benefit of professionals, professional bodies and educators.

Details

Structural Survey, vol. 25 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-080X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 24 July 2019

Leah Watkins, Rob Aitken and Jess Ford

A sustainable future requires that we empower our children to not only make green consumer choices but also consider the wider issues of sustainable consumption. This…

Abstract

Purpose

A sustainable future requires that we empower our children to not only make green consumer choices but also consider the wider issues of sustainable consumption. This paper aims to investigate suitable measures to evaluate children’s sustainable consumption and production (SCP) knowledge, attitudes and behaviour and develop and test intervention content aimed at improving literacy in this area.

Design/methodology/approach

A mixed method approach was adopted to develop measurement and intervention materials for SCP. 21 Year Eight (12-13-year-old) New Zealand children participated in one-hour focus groups where they completed scales to measure their sustainable consumption attitudes two major environmental values, behaviours The middle school environmental literacy survey and knowledge and participated in discussions to evaluate the SCP knowledge intervention content and questions developed.

Findings

A qualitative analysis of group discussion was used to test the understandability, perceived usefulness and level of difficulty of the intervention booklet to inform its further development. The results show children’s (prior) knowledge score was highly correlated with their attitudes, and attitudes were highly correlated with both intention and behaviour scores. The paired t tests demonstrated significant differences in the pre- and post-intervention knowledge scores.

Research limitations/implications

The measures and intervention content piloted in this study fill an important gap in existing literature, addressing the lack of appropriate measures and resources to encourage and enhance children’s important role in contributing to a sustainable consumption future.

Originality/value

The development of a measurable intervention will enable the establishment of a platform for the continued and participatory development of sustainable consumption and production resources for children.

Details

Young Consumers, vol. 20 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1747-3616

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 16 August 2021

Ira R. Feldman and Todd LeVasseur

Abstract

Details

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

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Article
Publication date: 20 June 2008

Saeid Moradi Rekabdarkolaei and Fattane Amuei

The aim of this paper is to evaluate ICT literacy differences in trainee student teachers from the view of sexuality.

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to evaluate ICT literacy differences in trainee student teachers from the view of sexuality.

Design/methodology/approach

In the research, sender differences in self‐reported ICT experience and ICT literacy among first year graduate trainee teachers were investigated. The questionnaires were made available in two forms: printed and online. Also, dynamic model of ICT literacy was employed. Three main components of aspiring teachers' ICT literacy were covered: present general problem‐solving and technical ICT capabilities; situational and longitudinal sustainability; and transferability of ICT capabilities into future professional domain.

Findings

Results show no significant differences were found between females' and males' previous experience with ICT. However, males on average worked with computers significantly more hours per week than females. Significant differences between males' and females' technical ICT capabilities and situational and longitudinal sustainability were observed. Males' scores were higher. In the regression analysis, when the impact of the background and ICT experience variables was controlled, gender failed to be a significant predictor of the sustainability scores. However, it remained a significant predictor of some trainee teachers' scores, related to their technical ICT capabilities.

Originality/value

This paper adds to the literature on the evaluation of ICT literacy differences in trainee student teachers from the view of sexuality and will be of interest to those in the field.

Details

Campus-Wide Information Systems, vol. 25 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1065-0741

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Article
Publication date: 26 March 2019

Clare D’Souza, Silvia McCormack, Mehdi Taghian, Mei-Tai Chu, Gillian Sullivan-Mort and Tanvir Ahmed

Curricula is developing from a pure knowledge-based outcome to a more skill-based outcome, with the objective of creating and advancing competencies that meet employer…

Abstract

Purpose

Curricula is developing from a pure knowledge-based outcome to a more skill-based outcome, with the objective of creating and advancing competencies that meet employer expectations. While the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) demand organisations to change practices and adapt to sustainable goals, there is a lack of understanding in how competencies can enhance these goals. The purpose of this paper is twofold: Study 1 explores competencies related to sustainability required in a work force and examines employer perceptions on the existing literature for competencies. Study 2 empirically tests the influence of sustainability scholarship on non-technical competencies in the work force.

Design/methodology/approach

A mixed method approach was undertaken. A sample of managers from 39 large Australian organisations participated in the scoping study. This was followed by further interviewing executives from 12 multinational corporations in China to assess the validity of competencies and provide deeper understanding of the issues at hand. The quantitative study analysed a sample of executive responses from 229 multinationals in China using factor and regression analysis to test for the effects of mediation.

Findings

The research highlights that the underlying competencies regarding sustainability influences the bigger picture within firms for attaining sustainability. The affective and cognitive growth of sustainability scholarship is governed mainly by a firm’s sustainable values. Core organisational values facilitate the development of non-technical competencies. These relationships and their cumulative effect on competencies provide a theoretical framework for acquiring sustainability within organisations. Employees need sustainability scholarship for enhancing sustainability. Sustainability scholarship reflects high-level learning obtained through universities or training. The research found that non-technical competencies such as professional ethical responsibility mediate between core business competencies and sustainability scholarship.

Originality/value

By exploring employer’s perception of competencies, the study first makes an important contribution in addressing the need to support SDGs by bridging organisational-level competencies and sustainability literacy, which hold significant benefits for practitioners, academia and organisations at large. Second, the theoretical findings strengthen the need for embedding competencies in the curriculum. It conveys the need for sustainability literacy/scholarship to align with organisational training and learning pedagogies, in order to effectively meet industry needs. Third, it provides useful insights on employers’ estimation about workplace competencies and broadens our understanding on the contribution that competencies within organisations make to this end.

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Article
Publication date: 13 February 2017

Subarna Sivapalan

This paper aims to discuss the outcomes of a study conducted to explore the perceptions and expectations of undergraduate engineering learners on the potential of…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to discuss the outcomes of a study conducted to explore the perceptions and expectations of undergraduate engineering learners on the potential of incorporating sustainability within the Professional Communication Skills (PCS) module, via blended learning.

Design/methodology/approach

A mixed methods case study approach was used, using surveys, learner reflections and interviews.

Findings

Key findings include (a) learners finding a heightened sense of awareness of environmental, social and cultural dimensions of sustainability, (b) development of sustainability literacy and communication skills for the real world, (c) scepticism and apprehension of blended learning teaching and learning methods, (d) development of capacity for self-directed learning resulting from flipped learning and (e) differences in quality of peer and lecturer interaction online and in the traditional classroom set up.

Originality/value

Sivapalan’s (2015) study suggests that Malaysian engineering graduates lack sustainability knowledge, competences and values, and often struggle to cope with professional responsibilities that require them to exercise these literacies. Much of this is attributed to the lack of sustainability integration within the undergraduate engineering curriculum, and within teaching approaches used. To date, there is little research within the Malaysian engineering education context to gauge the extent to which non-technical academic modules such as the PCS module could be used as a platform to incorporate sustainability learning outcomes. Research to gauge learners’ feedback and reflections on the integration of sustainability via non-technical modules and blended learning approaches is also scarce.

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Article
Publication date: 21 November 2016

Bo Xia, Nur Rosly, Peng Wu, Adrian Bridge and Josua Pienaar

The increasing need for sustainability-literate construction professionals has prompted higher education institutions to incorporate a sustainability agenda education into…

Abstract

Purpose

The increasing need for sustainability-literate construction professionals has prompted higher education institutions to incorporate a sustainability agenda education into their construction courses. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the sustainability knowledge embedded into a quantity surveying (QS) undergraduate course.

Design/methodology/approach

Using the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) as a case study, analysis of sustainability knowledge embedded into the QS course is conducted by examining the content of QS course structure, unit aims, learning outcomes, assessment framework and weekly lecture and tutorial materials.

Findings

The results show that the “incorporation approach”, i.e. the practice of incorporating the sustainability themes into existing relevant subjects, is mainly used in delivering the sustainability knowledge to the QS students. Additionally, it is found that in its QS course, QUT has covered all aspects of sustainability comprehensively from an environmental viewpoint and with regard, to economic, social and governance aspects.

Practical implications

This research also proposes recommendations for further improvement of the sustainability education in the QUT QS course and beyond.

Originality/value

This study revealed the current practices and approaches of incorporating sustainability knowledge into QS education programme and addressed the knowledge requirements of future sustainability literate QS professionals.

Details

Smart and Sustainable Built Environment, vol. 5 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-6099

Keywords

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