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ERIC Number: EJ1173103
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018
Pages: 22
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1350-4622
What Elements in a Sustainability Course Contribute to Paradigm Change and Action Competence? A Study at Lincoln University, New Zealand
Piasentin, Flora Bonazzi; Roberts, Lin
Environmental Education Research, v24 n5 p694-715 2018
A significant shift in the dominant paradigm governing the relationship of humans with nature and society is crucial in order to change the current unsustainable practices. This article describes a pilot-study based on a Masters level sustainability course, which explored what specific content, activities and resources may contribute to promoting paradigm change and action competence among university students. Paradigm change and the development of action competence were assessed by analyzing students' weekly written reflections on their learning experiences and by comparing pre- and post-course questionnaires. At the end of the course students had enhanced their beliefs regarding socio-economic aspects of sustainability and gained an increase in awareness about local sustainability issues. Also some students showed a reframing of certain assumptions related to the dominant paradigm concerning beliefs about the environment and society at large and an increase in self-confidence about promoting change towards sustainability. The main course elements contributing to these results were the class discussions and a structured debate on green growth; an exercise that asked students to reflect on 'what does my happiness depend on?'; weekly feedbacks which stimulated reflection on what they had learnt; and guest speakers' accounts of their experiences of putting sustainability into practice.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New Zealand
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A