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Title: Fit for purpose? : an evaluation of education for sustainable development pedagogy in higher education
Author: Trueman, Carole
ISNI:       0000 0004 7654 0732
Awarding Body: Ulster University
Current Institution: Ulster University
Date of Award: 2016
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It is believed that damage occurring to the earth's environment and the quality of life for future generations will be irreparable (Lozano et al., 2013). Sustainable development as a concept has been used as a means of integrating strategies to reduce this degradation. Education has been deemed to be key to promoting this sustainable future, and thus the term education for sustainable development (ESD) was coined. Research proposes that higher education institutions in particular could be significant contributors to ESD (Karatzoglou, 2013). Literature surrounding ESD has increased within recent years due to the UNESCO Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005-2014). Particular emphasis has been placed on reorientation of education towards sustainability (Sterling, 2001). It is believed that the curriculum should be holistic, participatory, promote critical thinking and values that promote sustainability (Firth and Smith, 2013). However, changes in the curriculum to date have been deemed minimal and the effectiveness of the Decade of Education for Sustainable Development questioned (McKeown and Day, 2015). This research argues that ESD does not have a distinct pedagogy, but instead is made up of various component parts. These component parts take the form of learning pedagogies presented as (andragogy, social learning, experiential learning and transformative learning). A qualitative approach was used to collect data for this research with emphasis being placed on using the four mentioned learning theories to evaluate ESD within different learning settings (classroom, fieldwork, volunteer setting and work based learning environment). This thesis identifies that each learning theory researched promotes good pedagogical practice whilst incorporating ESD indicators. The research concludes that a careful balance of different elements of these learning theories is needed to effectively deliver ESD within higher education.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available