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ERIC Number: EJ984856
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 50
ISSN: ISSN-1350-4622
Making the Hidden Curriculum Visible: Sustainability Literacy in Higher Education
Winter, Jennie; Cotton, Debby
Environmental Education Research, v18 n6 p783-796 2012
Despite strong political support for the development of sustainability literacy amongst the UK graduates, embedding sustainability in the higher education curriculum has met with widespread indifference, and in some cases, active resistance. However, opportunities exist beyond the formal curriculum for engaging students in learning about sustainability. Previous research has highlighted the potential of the university campus for experiential, place-based learning about and for sustainability. This has been conceptualised as the "informal" curriculum, consisting of extra-curricular activities and student projects linking estates and operations to formal study. However, the impact of the so-called "hidden curriculum" (the implicit messages a university sends about sustainability through the institutional environment and values) has been overlooked as a potential influence on student learning and behaviour. This article reports on a small-scale research project which utilised a phenomenographic approach to explore students" perceptions of the "hidden sustainability curriculum" at a leading sustainability university. The findings suggest that helping students deconstruct the hidden campus curriculum may enhance aspects of sustainability literacy; developing students' understanding about sustainability and creating solutions to sustainability issues, enabling evaluative dialogue around campus sustainability and also self-reflection, which could be transformative and translate into pro-environmental behaviour change. This research is transferable to other contexts.
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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