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Achieving transformative sustainability learning: engaging head, hands and heart

Achieving transformative sustainability learning: engaging head, hands and heart Purpose – The current UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development echoes many scholars' calls to re‐envision education for sustainability. Short of a complete overhaul of education, the paper seeks to propose learning objectives that can be integrated across existing curricula. These learning objectives are organized by head, hands and heart – balancing cognitive, psychomotor and affective domains. University programs and courses meeting these learning objectives exhibit an emergent property here termed transformative sustainability learning (TSL). Design/methodology/approach – Theoretically, TSL grew from traditions of sustainability education and transformative education. Practically, TSL emerged from experimental learning collaborations sponsored by the University of British Columbia in 2003 and 2004 in an effort to enable explicit transitions to sustainability‐oriented higher education. Primarily through action research, these community‐based, applied learning experiences constituted cyclical processes of innovation, implementation and reflection. Findings – The paper finds: advancement of head, hands and heart as an organizing principle by which to integrate transdisciplinary study (head); practical skill sharing and development (hands); and translation of passion and values into behaviour (heart); development of a cognitive landscape for understanding TSL as a unifying framework amongst related sustainability and transformative pedagogies that are inter/transdisciplinary, practical and/or place‐based; creation of learning objectives, organized to evaluate a course or program's embodiment of TSL. Originality/value – By enabling change within existing structures of higher education, the paper complements and contributes to more radical departures from the institution. The work to date demonstrates potential in applying this learning framework to courses and programs in higher education. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education Emerald Publishing

Achieving transformative sustainability learning: engaging head, hands and heart

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References (93)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1467-6370
DOI
10.1108/14676370810842193
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The current UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development echoes many scholars' calls to re‐envision education for sustainability. Short of a complete overhaul of education, the paper seeks to propose learning objectives that can be integrated across existing curricula. These learning objectives are organized by head, hands and heart – balancing cognitive, psychomotor and affective domains. University programs and courses meeting these learning objectives exhibit an emergent property here termed transformative sustainability learning (TSL). Design/methodology/approach – Theoretically, TSL grew from traditions of sustainability education and transformative education. Practically, TSL emerged from experimental learning collaborations sponsored by the University of British Columbia in 2003 and 2004 in an effort to enable explicit transitions to sustainability‐oriented higher education. Primarily through action research, these community‐based, applied learning experiences constituted cyclical processes of innovation, implementation and reflection. Findings – The paper finds: advancement of head, hands and heart as an organizing principle by which to integrate transdisciplinary study (head); practical skill sharing and development (hands); and translation of passion and values into behaviour (heart); development of a cognitive landscape for understanding TSL as a unifying framework amongst related sustainability and transformative pedagogies that are inter/transdisciplinary, practical and/or place‐based; creation of learning objectives, organized to evaluate a course or program's embodiment of TSL. Originality/value – By enabling change within existing structures of higher education, the paper complements and contributes to more radical departures from the institution. The work to date demonstrates potential in applying this learning framework to courses and programs in higher education.

Journal

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher EducationEmerald Publishing

Published: Jan 11, 2008

Keywords: Action research; Experiential learning; Education; Learning; Canada

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