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ERIC Number: EJ904275
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 27
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 75
ISSN: ISSN-0316-1218
Sustainability in Higher Education: Psychological Research for Effective Pedagogy
Myers, Olin Eugene, Jr.; Beringer, Almut
Canadian Journal of Higher Education, v40 n2 p51-77 2010
Psychological theory and research can make key contributions to sustainability scholarship and practice, as is demonstrated here in the field of higher education pedagogy. College students undergo profound changes in epistemological assumptions and in identity during their undergraduate years. Data on the Measure of Intellectual Development for students participating in learner-centred pedagogies at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington, showed a trend toward more complex thinking by these students (N = 153). Qualitative data on student identity development associated with transdisciplinary, project-based campus sustainability courses were collected at Canada's University of Prince Edward Island and at Western Washington University in Bellingham. Findings revealed the identity of "learner" blending with that of "change agent"; a greater sense of identity in relation to the campus community and the different perspectives of its stakeholders, the sustainability movement; and a sense of empowerment backed up by practical skills. Sustainability poses new challenges for intellectual-moral development and identity development. Psychological theory gives insights into how pedagogies should be designed to challenge students just beyond their level of intellectual, moral, and identity development, in order to expose them to intellectual-moral growth and identity alternatives conducive to the complexities of sustainability advocacy and practice. (Contains 2 figures, 4 tables, and 6 notes.)
Canadian Society for the Study of Higher Education. P.O. Box 34091, RPO Fort Richmond, Winnipeg, MB R3T 5T5, Canada. Tel: 204-474-6404; Fax: 204-474-7561; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada