Action research in communities of practice to develop curricula for sustainability in higher education

Sibbel, A, Hegarty, K and Holdsworth, S 2013, 'Action research in communities of practice to develop curricula for sustainability in higher education' in Sandra Caeiro, Walter Leal Filho, Charbel Jabbour, Ulisses M. Azeiteiro (ed.) Sustainability Assessment Tools in Higher Education Institutions: Mapping Trends and Good Practices Around the World, Springer, Switzerland, pp. 387-404.


Document type: Book Chapter
Collection: Book Chapters

Title Action research in communities of practice to develop curricula for sustainability in higher education
Author(s) Sibbel, A
Hegarty, K
Holdsworth, S
Year 2013
Title of book Sustainability Assessment Tools in Higher Education Institutions: Mapping Trends and Good Practices Around the World
Publisher Springer
Place of publication Switzerland
Editor(s) Sandra Caeiro, Walter Leal Filho, Charbel Jabbour, Ulisses M. Azeiteiro
Start page 387
End page 404
Subjects Higher Education
Summary Universities worldwide have recognized their responsibilities for transformative learning to promote sustainability. To meet this challenge requires extensive curriculum innovation, but substantial progress has been made only in some institutions. Expedient strategies are urgently required to reshape teaching and research to make a significant contribution to sustainability through higher education. This chapter describes some influential initiatives emerging from a single project concerned with education for sustainability. These initiatives include a dedicated community of practice, professional staff development activities, and ongoing action research in teaching by a few sustainability champions. Several key influences on outcomes are identified. In particular, it is the formative, defining relationships that academics have with their disciplines, or professional fields, that influence the diffusion of sustainability education. This means that the impetus for sustainability education must begin from within local disciplinary contexts, if it is to engage and resonate with teaching and research staff. From this point, it was possible to develop the tools and processes to support a wider university community in recognizing responsibilities for sustainability education. Finally, a model explains the synergistic effects of these initiatives, emerging from this single project, for collaborating to build an effective multidisciplinary frontline for curriculum change.
Copyright notice © Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2013
ISBN 9783319023748
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