Conceptions of the Sustainability-Pedagogy Relationship: Should Sustainability Be Introduced in Higher Education Curricula?

By Patrick Baughan.

Published by The International Journal of Pedagogy and Curriculum

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: May 19, 2014 $US5.00

This paper considers whether sustainability issues can and should be included in higher education curricula. The notion of sustainability-informed curricula has already been examined in a range of published studies, but the present study focuses on views and perspectives of two specific staff groups, under-represented in earlier research, these being professional service staff with roles in sustainability, and educational development staff. Consequently, and following a fuller contextualisation of the relevant issues and debates, this article summarises two small-scale empirical studies undertaken by the author, implemented at two higher education institutions, each study seeking to make a contribution to addressing this gap. The findings suggest that professional staff with sustainability roles view that there are many benefits to be gained through the development of more sustainability-infused curricula, whilst educational developers have more cautious views about such issues. Drawing on these findings, it will be argued that there is a strong rationale for promoting more sustainability informed curricula, but that there are challenges involved too. As a result, it is important to collect the views of particular staff groups who have expertise in these areas, if and when considering curriculum change of this type.

Keywords: Sustainability, Higher Education Curricula, Educational Developers, Sustainability Staff

International Journal of Pedagogy and Curriculum, Volume 20, Issue 4, November 2014, pp.53-63. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: May 19, 2014 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 780.437KB)).

Patrick Baughan

Senior Lecturer in Educational Development, Department of Learning Enhancement and Development, City University London, London, London, UK

Patrick is a Senior Lecturer in Educational Development at City University London, and has a major role in teaching and developing the University’s MA Academic Practice programme, which is designed predominantly for staff with teaching responsibilities. His academic interests are based around issues in higher education, including assessment, feedback, sustainability, academic conduct, and broader issues in educational integrity; he also has interests in various workplace issues, such as the psychological contract. Patrick has considerable teaching, supervision, and course leadership experience in higher education and distance learning. Patrick is a Fellow of the (UK) Higher Education Academy (FHEA) and undertakes a number of roles for the Society for Research in Higher Education (SRHE).