Perspectives and Practice across Higher Education
Routledge – 2010 – 384 pages
How do we equip learners with the values, knowledge, skills, and motivation to help achieve economic, social and ecological well-being? How can universities make a major contribution towards a more sustainable future? Amid rising expectations on HE from professional associations, funders, policy makers, and undergraduates, and increasing interest amongst academics and senior management, a growing number of higher education institutions are taking the lead in embracing sustainability. This response does not only include greening the campus but also transforming curricula and teaching and learning.
This book explains why this is necessary and – crucially – how to do it. Bringing together the experience of the HEFCE funded Centre for Sustainable Futures (CSF) at the University of Plymouth and the Higher Education Academy's Education for Sustainable Development Project, the book distills out the curriculum contributions of a wide range of disciplinary areas to sustainability. The first part of the book provides background on the current status of sustainability within higher education, including chapters discussing interdisciplinarity, international perspectives and pedagogy. The second part features 13 chapter case studies from teachers and lecturers in diverse disciplines, describing what has worked, how and why - and what hasn't. Whilst the book is organised by traditional disciplines, the authors and editors emphasise transferable lessons and interdisciplinarity so that readers can learn from examples outside their own area to embed sustainability within their own curricula and teaching. Subject areas covered include: geography, environmental and Earth Sciences, nursing/health, law, dance, drama, music, engineering, media and cultural studies, art and design, theology, social work, economics, languages, education, business and built environment.
"At a time when universities are struggling to introduce sustainability literacy across the curriculum, this is a most timely book that provides much needed, practical insights into how this can be done." – Professor Patricia Broadfoot, CBE, Chair UUK/Guild HE Sustainability Task Group
"Higher education has a critically important role in orienting teaching and learning towards ensuring a sustainable future for all, and producing graduates who can make a positive difference. Yet, to date, substantial challenges remain with regard to rethinking and renewing curricula and pedagogies in many universities. This book addresses this problem - and opportunity - and in turn, challenges, guides and inspires its readers. We are very happy to commend it as a significant and timely contribution to the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development." – UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development Secretariat, UNESCO
"The book provides practical material for those who want to go beyond the traditional disiciplinary boundaries to integrate new content, methods and to link with other disciplines." – GreenTeacher.org
"This book opens up the minds of the educationalists and policy makers in the West on the concept of sustainable development." – Dr. Vaidehi Nathan, Organiser Weekly
"Sustainability Education…is a well researched and written book, with commendable aims." – EsCalate
"Sustainability Education is a terrific book, which should be in the personal library of every university President and Senior Administration." – Dr. Karen Hurley, Sessional Instructor, School of Environmental Studies, University of Victoria, Canada
"This comprehensive and scholarly volume opens a window to sustainability practices in higher education institutions across the United Kingdom…the book provides valuable global perspectives on a topic that connects educators across national boundaries." – Diversity and Democracy
"Sustainability Education is an important contribution to a discourse that is certain to grow rapidly in the years ahead." – Stephen. M. Wheeler, Journal of Planning Education and Research, Sage Publications.
1. Introduction 2. More than the sum of their parts? Interdisciplinarity in relation to sustainability 3. 'It's not just bits of paper and light bulbs': A review of sustainability pedagogies and their potential for use in higher education 4. Third-wave sustainability in higher education: Some (inter)national trends and developments 5. Education for sustainability in the business studies curriculum: Ideological struggle 6. Geography, earth and environmental sciences: A suitable home for ESD? 7. Climate change, sustainability and health in UK higher education: The challenges for nursing 8. Sustainability - is it legal? The benefits and challenges of introducing sustainability into the law curriculum 9. Staging sustainability: Making sense of sustainability in HE dance, drama and music 10. Engineering our world towards a sustainable future 11. Developing critical faculties: Environmental sustainability in media, communications and cultural studies in higher education 12. Sustainability in the theology curriculum 13. Sustaining communities: sustainability in the social work curriculum 14. Sustainability and built environment professionals: A shifting paradigm 15. Costing the Earth: The economics of sustainability in the curriculum 16. Translating words into action and actions into words: Sustainability in languages, linguistics and area studies curricula 17. If sustainability needs new values, whose values? Initial teacher training and the transition to sustainability 18. Conclusion
Paula Jones is a Research Assistant at the Centre for Sustainable Futures at the University of Plymouth, UK. David Selby is Foundling Director of Sustainability Frontiers, an international non-governmental organization concerned with global, sustainability and climate change education; he is also Adjunct Professor in the Faculty of Education, Mount St. Vincent University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. Stephen Sterling is Professor of Sustainability Education at the Centre for Sustainable Futures, University of Plymouth, and Senior Advisor to the Higher Education Academy ESD Project, UK.