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ERIC Number: EJ1113213
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 21
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1467-6370
Assessing Sustainability Teaching and Learning in Geography Education
Widener, Jeffrey M.; Gliedt, Travis; Tziganuk, Ashlee
International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, v17 n5 p698-718 2016
Purpose: This study aims to understand if geographers, who teach in a new sustainability program, are conveying new knowledge, understanding, skills and competence about the integrated and holistic concept of "sustainability", rather than individual human-environmental issues to the students. In other words, are geography professors creating effective sustainability courses in a department with a rich history in geography education? Design/methodology/approach: This study utilizes the McKeown-Ice and Dendinger comprehensive assessment tool for sustainability teaching to examine how geographers teach sustainability from an integrated and holistic perspective. Surveys with students are used to evaluate and compare how effective three geography courses were at teaching sustainability. Findings: The results suggest that each course was effective in teaching students the main concepts of sustainability. There were, however, differences in teaching practical solutions to achieve sustainability and in the coverage of the causes of sustainability problems. Geographers might consider altering their curriculum or pedagogy to build stronger interdisciplinary linkages to teach the integrated concepts of sustainability rather than its individual parts. Research limitations/implications: This initial study focuses on one research university in the USA. Its proof of concept will be expanded to evaluate international sustainability education programs nested in existing departments and degree programs. Originality/value: Sustainability education programs are being created across the globe and are often attached to existing degree programs exhibiting components of sustainability. How effective are they in teaching this interdisciplinary concept? This study validates a framework for assessing sustainability teaching and learning. It recommends changes to enhance the ability for integrated sustainability education programs to comprehensively teach sustainability.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Oklahoma
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A