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Higher education in turbulent times: navigating the transition from un-sustainability in a world dominated by technology

Higher education in turbulent times: navigating the transition from un-sustainability in a world... The purpose of this paper is to reflect on the implications for higher education of a rapidly changing global context, where technologies play a role in the propagation of unsustainable patterns of change. Drawing from research on science and technology studies as well as existing work on (higher) education for sustainability, it seeks to expose the multidimensional nature of these patterns to raise a series of questions for educators, particularly those in engineering, computer science and other technical disciplines, and inform structured curricular and organisational interventions.Design/methodology/approachTheoretical perspectives on unsustainable patterns of technological change are explored with the objective of informing how the mitigation of their evolution could be addressed in educational settings. Key themes in the sustainability and higher education literature are then identified with the purpose of informing curricular and organisational intervention.FindingsCountering unsustainable patterns of technological change requires the development of key sustainability competencies within more technical disciplines, informed by concepts in science and technology studies. This requires change at curricular, organisational and institutional levels to enable spaces for inter- and transdisciplinary learning to be created, so that skills may be developed.Originality/valueThis paper reflects on unsustainable patterns of technological change, identifying challenges for educators, in particular those in more technical disciplines. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education Emerald Publishing

Higher education in turbulent times: navigating the transition from un-sustainability in a world dominated by technology

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
1467-6370
eISSN
1467-6370
DOI
10.1108/ijshe-07-2021-0274
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to reflect on the implications for higher education of a rapidly changing global context, where technologies play a role in the propagation of unsustainable patterns of change. Drawing from research on science and technology studies as well as existing work on (higher) education for sustainability, it seeks to expose the multidimensional nature of these patterns to raise a series of questions for educators, particularly those in engineering, computer science and other technical disciplines, and inform structured curricular and organisational interventions.Design/methodology/approachTheoretical perspectives on unsustainable patterns of technological change are explored with the objective of informing how the mitigation of their evolution could be addressed in educational settings. Key themes in the sustainability and higher education literature are then identified with the purpose of informing curricular and organisational intervention.FindingsCountering unsustainable patterns of technological change requires the development of key sustainability competencies within more technical disciplines, informed by concepts in science and technology studies. This requires change at curricular, organisational and institutional levels to enable spaces for inter- and transdisciplinary learning to be created, so that skills may be developed.Originality/valueThis paper reflects on unsustainable patterns of technological change, identifying challenges for educators, in particular those in more technical disciplines.

Journal

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher EducationEmerald Publishing

Published: Jan 5, 2023

Keywords: Higher education; Transdisciplinarity; Sustainability; Education for sustainable development; Sustainability transitions; Engineering education for sustainable development

References