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ERIC Number: EJ834832
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 60
ISSN: ISSN-1467-6370
US Higher Education Environmental Program Managers' Perspectives on Curriculum Design and Core Competencies: Implications for Sustainability as a Guiding Framework
Vincent, Shirley; Focht, Will
International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, v10 n2 p164-183 2009
Purpose: This study is the first of a five-phase research project sponsored by the Council of Environmental Deans and Directors (CEDD), an organization of environmental program managers operating under the umbrella of the National Council for Science and the Environment. The purpose of the project is to determine if a consensus on core competencies for environmental program graduates is achievable, and if so, to make recommendations for consideration by program managers. Design/methodology/approach: Q methodology was used to discern the perspectives of program managers at 42 CEDD member institutions on environmental curriculum design. An online survey preceded the Q sort exercise to elicit managers' curricular views and program characteristics. Survey responses were analyzed to select statements for the Q-sorting exercise and categorized according to emergent themes. Multiple regression analysis was used to explore the relationship between perspectives (factor loadings) and host institution Carnegie classifications. Findings: Three distinct, but not opposing, perspectives were identified from the initial Q-factor rotation, which suggests the possibility of agreement on core competencies. The perspectives differ in their views of: curriculum orientation (professional training versus liberal arts), curriculum breadth versus depth, and flexible versus fixed core competencies. Host institution classification (Carnegie) is a small but significant predictor for two of the three perspectives. A second Q-factor rotation reveals a consensus perspective that accommodates most respondents and aligns well with principles of sustainability, thus suggesting that sustainability may serve as a guiding paradigm for defining areas of core competence. Originality/value: No national study of program managers' views of curriculum design and the identification of core competencies has been conducted in the USA. (Contains 4 tables and 2 notes.)
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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