ERIC Number: EJ1074976
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 18
Exploring a Transformative Orientation to Sustainability in Universities: A Question of Loose and Tight Framings
Scott, William A. H.
Environmental Education Research, v21 n6 p943-953 2015
This review essay examines three new books on higher education and sustainability. It explores a number of the issues raised in the books, in particular, the meaning of a transformative orientation towards sustainability. The idea of loose and tight conceptual framings of sustainability is employed. A tight framing is where an institution embodies a vision, values and values-informed practices that have been shifted to fit a particular conceptualisation of sustainability which gives meaning, not just to what that institution does, but also to what it is trying to become. A loose framing is where an institution takes sustainability seriously in what it does, without having in place values, dispositions and orientations, and an appropriate conceptually grounded vision. It is argued (i) that the essential distinction here is between that of doing sustainability, and a shift to being sustainable as a whole institution; (ii) that any developmental journey to a tight framing would need to be a deliberate one; (iii) that changes to curriculum, management, leadership and governance would need to be in place before this can start; and (iv) that an important step "on" the journey will involve institution-wide deliberations on the conceptual framing(s) to adopt.
Descriptors: Sustainability, Universities, Higher Education, Concept Formation, Institutional Characteristics, Institutional Mission, Strategic Planning, Environmental Education, Organizational Change, Administrative Change, Governance, Leadership Effectiveness, Curriculum Development, Organizational Development, Participative Decision Making, Transformational Leadership, Foreign Countries, Comparative Analysis, Books
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site: http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia; United Kingdom; United States