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Views on education for sustainable development (ESD) among lecturers in UK MSc taught courses.
: Personal, institutional and disciplinary factors
Zeitschriftenausgabe (-> Ref.Nr):
International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education
Seite (von-bis):
Purpose -– In the new Sustainability 2.0 era of education for sustainable development (ESD) transforming,
curriculum remains a high interest topic, including in the UK. Among influential factors for progress, lecturer
views on sustainable development and ESD in curriculum are important. In particular, the relationship
between espoused views on sustainability and development and these views institutionalized into the
curriculum require further investigation. Existing qualitative interview studies of lecturers identify a range of
views about sustainable development and ESD but rarely focus on postgraduate environments nor use
thematic discourse analysis.
Design/methodology/approach – This active interview study enrolled a cohort of academics (n = 21)
teaching into ten postgraduate UK taught masters degrees. Using active interviews and thematic discourse
analysis, this study focused lecturer accounts of translating sustainable development into ESD, student
attitudes and characteristics and course nature and content in relation to institutional, disciplinary, personal
and other drivers and discourses. Thematic discourse analysis and NVivo 12 the study identified themes and
discourses arising from the interview accounts.
Findings – In addition to identifying echoes of previously identified themes, this study focuses on the
influence of interviewer–interviewee interaction and the interrelated nature of themes developed from 972
substantive codes. These themes identify the key influences as institutional, personal and disciplinary
perspectives, institutional contrasts and tensions; pragmatic and passionate student characteristics; flexible
sustainability principles and definitions; and social and personal ethics, ideology and equity, as key factors.
Despite varying in length and depth, interviewees all show a deep appreciation for the challenges of defining
and teaching sustainable development in complex institutional circumstances.
Practical implications – Faculty accounts of sustainable development and ESD practice depend on
personal ethics and experiences, disciplinary discourses and institutional drivers and arrangements. Rather
than focusing on simple categorizations of views in abstract, progress toward transformational ESD should
acknowledge the need for dialogue about the importance of a plurality of views and discourses.
Originality/value – Thematic discourse analysis of a multi-institutional cohort affords closer analysis of
contextual institutional and identity factors influencing approaches to HESD. Academic views cannot be
easily subcategorized into broad conservative or radical positions. Final discussion of the relevance of
institutional theory to sustainability change is also new.
Original-Quelle (URL):
Datum des Zugriffs: