Critical attributes of sustainability in Higher Education: a categorisation from literature review

Viegas, Claudia V., Bond, Alan J. ORCID:, Vaz, Caroline R., Borchardt, Miriam, Medeiros Pereira, Giancarlo, Selig, Paulo M. and Varvakis, Gregório (2016) Critical attributes of sustainability in Higher Education: a categorisation from literature review. Journal of Cleaner Production, 126. pp. 260-276. ISSN 0959-6526

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Sustainability in Higher Education has been investigated mainly through examining institutional approaches, curricula content, or students’ and teachers’ perceptions of sustainability in practice. However, a deep characterisation of the foundations of this phenomenon is lacking. This article aims to address the existing lack of depth and comprehensiveness by identifying and categorising the critical attributes of Sustainability in Higher Education. Categories are the basic levels for knowledge classification, and critical attributes relate to the main perceived characteristics within categories. Both were structured through a literature review and a systematic analysis using the Proknow-C method. A set of 2,513 studies on sustainability in education and related fields, published between 2000 to 2015, enabled the identification of 259 as appropriate for devising four categories: foundations, knowledge, personal, and integrative assets with 4, 4, 4, and 3 attributes respectively. From these, 129 papers presented at least four relationships among attributes of all categories. An assessment between the attributes identified for the selected studies delivered 85 analyses, with the following findings: (i) epistemologies of Sustainability in Higher Education develop in learning context; (ii) creativity should better link foundational and personal assets; (iii) transdisciplinarity is an epistemic transgression; (iv) resilience of active learners emerges in knowledge and personal assets relationships; (v) knowledge deconstruction and affectiveness form active learning; (vi) personal assets need to fit to complex dynamics of reality. Our analysis provides a means of benchmarking existing practice for Sustainability in Higher Education, and can be used as the basis for building capacity in a systematic way.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: sustainability in higher education,philosophy,epistemology,interdisciplinarity,transdisciplinarity,knowledge
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Environmental Sciences
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Science > Research Groups > Environmental Social Sciences
Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 22 Mar 2016 09:34
Last Modified: 21 Oct 2022 04:32
DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2016.02.106

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