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|Title:||Education for sustainability: Developing a postgraduate-level subject with an international perspective|
|Author(s):||Graeme D. Buchan, (Soil and Physical Sciences Group, Lincoln University, Canterbury, New Zealand), Ian F. Spellerberg, (Lincoln University, Canterbury, New Zealand), Winfried E.H. Blum, (BOKU University, Vienna, Austria)|
|Citation:||Graeme D. Buchan, Ian F. Spellerberg, Winfried E.H. Blum, (2007) "Education for sustainability: Developing a postgraduate-level subject with an international perspective", International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, Vol. 8 Iss: 1, pp.4 - 15|
|Keywords:||Curriculum development, Masters degrees, Sustainable development|
|Article type:||Case study|
|DOI:||10.1108/14676370710717553 (Permanent URL)|
|Publisher:||Emerald Group Publishing Limited|
Purpose – To describe the development and structure of a new Master's-level subject entitled “Aspects of sustainability: an international perspective” as a potential model, adoptable by other tertiary-level educators.
Design/methodology/approach – This paper describes the evolution and re-shaping of a subject designed for postgraduate students from diverse programmes (from science-based to sociology-based). It was re-designed in 2004, in part to support the co-introduction by Lincoln University of two new, globally innovative Masters degrees, but also as a contribution to the Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (DESD, 2005-2014). The two new degrees are taught and awarded jointly by Lincoln University and a partner European University, and thus are based on unique Northern-Southern hemisphere linkages. We describe the subject content (including its major assignment), and its evaluations by students.
Findings – A successful subject has been developed, but it required a step change in its structure in order to (a) retain connectedness and common themes across its wide-ranging topics, and (b) meet the expectations and aspirations of multi-disciplinary, multi-national classes.
Practical implications – This paper details the key ingredients of a subject designed to prepare postgraduate students for careers involving sustainability at international or regional level. The subject's structure is a potential model for adoption in other tertiary programmes.
Originality/value – The subject's structure is highly appropriate for a multi-disciplinary, multi-national student group, and demonstrates one university's efforts to contribute to DESD. The format of the main assignment is offered as a model for adoption by others engaged in education for sustainability.
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