Sustainability science in education : analysis of master's programmes' curricula

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Salovaara , J J , Soini , K & Pietikainen , J 2020 , ' Sustainability science in education : analysis of master's programmes' curricula ' , Sustainability Science , vol. 15 , no. 3 , pp. 901–915 .

Title: Sustainability science in education : analysis of master's programmes' curricula
Author: Salovaara, Janne J.; Soini, Katriina; Pietikainen, Janna
Other contributor: University of Helsinki, Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science (HELSUS)
University of Helsinki, Department of Agricultural Sciences

Date: 2020-05
Language: eng
Number of pages: 15
Belongs to series: Sustainability Science
ISSN: 1862-4065
Abstract: Sustainability science is an emerging, free-standing scientific discipline. It has introduced a new approach to both sustainability research and educational programmes, while evoking novel perspectives to stronger societal contextualization. Among several other areas of sustainability research, competencies for sustainability have become a focal topic of sustainability education research. This research explores the educational programmes and the representation of the theory-based key competencies for sustainability. Through a qualitative content study of 45 master programmes associated with sustainability science, we aim to understand what kind of sustainability competencies can be found in sustainability science master's programmes and how they reflect the current discussions of the discipline of sustainability science and possibly drive the future education in the field. The study reveals that commonly suggested competencies including systems thinking, anticipatory, strategic, interpersonal, and normative competencies were frequently mentioned as content and learning outcomes in the curricula and are firmly present and widely employed in sustainability education. Additionally, this study identified three other clusters of competencies: diverse modes of thinking, methodological plurality, and competencies for autonomy. In addition to the contribution to education in the field by suggesting three emerged competencies for sustainability science specifically, we aim to contribute to the ongoing discussion about the discipline by suggesting a process-oriented framing of sustainability science.
Subject: Sustainability science
Higher education
Curriculum development
Education for sustainable development
Sustainability professional
1172 Environmental sciences
119 Other natural sciences
516 Educational sciences

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