Journal article

Students' perceptions of education for sustainable development

15 Apr 2014
Description

Purpose

This study investigated whether a course which focused on raising students' awareness of sustainability, from a balanced perspective, that is, one which gives equal consideration to the social and economic aspects as well as the environmental would produce graduates with the knowledge and commitment required to drive the sustainability agenda forward. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

An analysis of students' final entries in their reflective journal was used to explore whether their views on sustainability reflected a balanced view.

Findings

The findings of this research confirmed previous studies showed that initially students do have an enviro-centric bias. It also showed that despite experiencing a pedagogical approach which challenged views by encouraging discussion, debate, and reflection and which provided what was considered to be a balanced view of sustainability, many of the students still leaned towards an environmentally focused perspective of sustainability.

Research limitations/implications

The conclusions are based on one data set but are supported by other data described in the paper.

Practical implications

The finding led the authors to conclude that a concerted holistic effort within and across courses is needed within tertiary institutions if students' views about sustainability are to be challenged.

Originality/value

The outcomes demonstrate that students' reflective journals can be used to gather information about the change in students' perceptions about sustainability.

Publication Details
Identifiers: 
DOI: 
10.1108/IJSHE-09-2012-0079
Published year only: 
2014
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