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ERIC Number: EJ801890
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 14
ISSN: ISSN-1467-6370
Embedding Sustainable Development at Cambridge University Engineering Department
Fenner, Richard A.; Ainger, Charles M.; Cruickshank, Heather J.; Guthrie, Peter M.
International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, v6 n3 p229-241 2005
Purpose--The paper seeks to examine the latest stage in a process of change aimed at introducing concepts of sustainable development into the activities of the Department of Engineering at Cambridge University, UK. Design/methodology/approach--The rationale behind defining the skills which future engineers require is discussed and vehicles for change at both undergraduate and postgraduate level are described. Reflections on the paradigms and pedagogy of teaching sustainable development issues to engineers are offered, as well as notes on barriers to progress which have been encountered. Findings--The paper observes that the ability to effectively initiate a change process is a vital skill which must be formally developed in those engineers wishing to seek sustainable solutions from within the organisations for which they will work. Lessons are drawn about managing a change process within a large academic department, so that concepts of sustainable development can be effectively introduced across all areas of the engineering curriculum. Practical implications--A new pedagogy for dealing with changes from the quantitative to the qualitative is required, as the paper questions where the education balance should lie between providing access to technological knowledge which can be applied to designing hard solutions, and training engineers to rethink their fundamental attitudes towards a broader, multiple perspective approach in which problem formulation and context setting play a vital role in reaching consensual solutions. Originality/value--The paper reviews previously recognised key themes for engineering education for sustainable development, and proposes three further essential ingredients relating to an engineer's ability to engage in problem definition, manage change in organisations, and understand the nature of technical and business innovations. (Contains 1 table.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (England)