What do engineering students learn in sustainability courses? The effect of the pedagogical approach
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The introduction of sustainable development (SD) courses into engineering education has been a key goal for many technological universities, accreditation agencies and national and international university networks. This paper presents the results of a 5-year research project that analysed how SD competences were introduced into technological universities. To evaluate which pedagogical approach best facilitates SD learning, ten courses on sustainability from five European technological universities were analysed using conceptual maps as assessment tools. The findings show that: Students initially perceived sustainability as mainly related to technology, which they consider should be able to resolve the environmental problems of the planet. They sawlittle relevance in the social and attitudinal aspects of sustainability. This misunderstanding was partially redressed by the course. Courses that apply a more community-oriented and constructive, active learning pedagogical approach, increase students’ knowledge of SD. This paper presents the methodology and results of the research, as well as recommendations for the teaching of SD in technological universities.
CitationSegalas, J.; Ferrer, D.; Mulder, K. What do engineering students learn in sustainability courses? The effect of the pedagogical approach. "Journal of cleaner productIon", Febrer 2010, vol. 18, núm. 3, p. 275-284.