Developing the model on the learning for sustainable development in higher education

Authors: Liisa Rohweder and Anne Virtanen

Type of publication: Article peer review

The study highlights how higher education institutions could be proactive leaders in promoting societal change for sustainable development. In total, 30 researchers and teachers of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) from universities in the Baltic Sea Region participated in the development of a model on learning for sustainable development by introducing educational cases and developing the important factors of ESD, based on these cases, their own experience and theoretical knowledge. The critical factors of ESD were re-developed and categorised into contextual (integrative approach, time perspective and spatiality), mental (value clarification, systemic thinking, critical reflection and motivation building) and activity (partnership, cooperation, communication and participation) related aspects. By using these critical factors in higher education, teachers can more likely ensure that the outcome of the learning process will increase competences for sustainability. The development of the model was based on a constructive research approach rarely used in pedagogical research. Therefore, the study increased the understanding of participants about this qualitative research tradition.

Rohweder. L., Virtanen. A. 2009. Developing the model on the learning for sustainable development in higher education. Journal of Teacher Education for Sustainability 11 (1): 31-42.
DOI 10.2478/v10099-009-0030-5