Fostering rapid transitions to education for sustainable development through a whole-system approach to curriculum and organizational change

Desha, Cheryl & Hargroves, Karlson (2012) Fostering rapid transitions to education for sustainable development through a whole-system approach to curriculum and organizational change. In Leal Filho, Walter (Ed.) Sustainable Development at Universities : New Horizons. Peter Lang Publishing Group, Frankfurt am Main, pp. 29-46.

[img] Accepted Version (PDF 1MB)
Available to QUT staff and students only | Request a copy from author

View at publisher


Despite decades of attempts to embed sustainability within higher education, literature clearly suggests that highly regulated disciplines such as engineering have been relatively slow to incorporate sustainability knowledge and skill areas, and are generally poorly prepared to do so. With current efforts, it is plausible that sustainability could take another two decades to be embedded within the curriculum. Within this context, this paper presents a whole system approach to implement systematic, intentional and timely curriculum renewal that is responsive to emerging challenges and opportunities, encompassing curriculum and organizational change. The paper begins by considering the evolution of curriculum renewal processes, documenting a number of whole system considerations that have been empirically distilled from literature, case studies, pilot trials, and a series of workshops with built environment educators from around the world over the last decade. The paper outlines a whole-of-institution curriculum renewal approach to embedding sustainability knowledge and skills within the DNA of the institutional offerings. The paper concludes with a discussion of research and practice implications for the field of education research, within and beyond higher education.

Impact and interest:

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

ID Code: 69987
Item Type: Book Chapter
Additional Information: This book, prepared in the context of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD), also known
as Rio+20, contains the papers submitted to the World Symposium on Sustainable Development at Universities (WSSD-U-2012),
which took place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on 5 and 6 June 2012. It pursues the following main aims: to document and
disseminate experiences from universities all round the world regarding education for sustainable development;
to foster the exchange of information, ideas and experiences acquired in the execution of projects; and to
introduce methodological approaches and projects which aim to integrate the topic of sustainable development in the
curriculum of universities. Last but not least, a further aim is to document and disseminate the wealth of experiences available
today, providing a truly global coverage. With over 70 chapters and a truy global coverage,
Sustainable Development at Universities: New Horizons is among the most comprehensive
publications on sustainability in higher education ever produced. It is meant to go beyond a description of the current state of knowledge,
and shall open the way for new thinking and new horizons in what is a rapidly expanding field, of central interest to
both industrialised and developing countries.
Additional URLs:
Keywords: HERN, Curriculum renewal, Education for sustainable development, Engineering Education, Higher Education, Sustainable development
ISBN: 9783631625606
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENGINEERING (090000) > OTHER ENGINEERING (099900) > Engineering not elsewhere classified (099999)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > EDUCATION SYSTEMS (130100) > Higher Education (130103)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > CURRICULUM AND PEDAGOGY (130200) > Curriculum and Pedagogy Theory and Development (130202)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Earth, Environmental & Biological Sciences
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2012 Peter Lang Scientific Publishers
Deposited On: 08 Apr 2014 23:37
Last Modified: 24 Feb 2016 04:34

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page