Assessing the suitability of sustainability frameworks for embedding sustainability in higher education curricula: pragmatism versus transformation
KeywordEducation for sustainability
Sustainable Development Goals
Three Pillars Approach
RightsThis article is © (2021) Emerald Group Publishing and permission has been granted for this version to appear here: https://bradscholars.brad.ac.uk. Emerald does not grant permission for this article to be further copied/distributed or hosted elsewhere without the express permission from Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
Open Access statusGreen
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractPurpose. This viewpoint paper addresses the use of sustainability frameworks in embedding education for sustainability into the curriculum of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). We focus on the paradox that sustainability frameworks must facilitate transformation of existing structures whilst also being well-enough aligned with current conditions to be readily adopted by today’s HEIs. Design/methodology/approach. We propose a set of four criteria for assessing the suitability of sustainability frameworks for use across the curriculum: Relevance to Current Curricula; Language; Institutional Fit; and Concept of the Future. Using these criteria, we assess how various frameworks align with the current (unsustainable) state of affairs, and their transformative potential. The frameworks assessed are: the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); the Three Pillars Framework; and the Capitals Approach. Findings. We find that each of the frameworks has strengths and weaknesses: the SDGs and the Capitals Approach perform well on alignment, but less well on transformation. Conversely, the Three Pillars Framework perform well on transformation and less well on alignment. By applying the criteria set out in this paper, we hope those working to embed sustainability into the curricula of HEIs will be better equipped to navigate the tensions presented by sustainability transitions. Originality. Using a novel set of criteria for assessing sustainability frameworks, this paper provides guidance that was previously lacking to education for sustainability professionals who are attempting to embed sustainability into the curriculum at HEIs.
CitationDruckman A and Mair S (2021) Assessing the suitability of sustainability frameworks for embedding sustainability in higher education curricula: pragmatism versus transformation. International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education. Accepted for publication.
Link to publisher’s versionhttps://www.emerald.com/insight/publication/issn/1467-6370
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Putting livelihoods thinking into practice: implications for development management.Mdee (nee Toner), Anna L.; Franks, Tom R. (Bradford Centre for International Development, 2005-08)The failure of `blueprint¿ development interventions to deliver substantive improvements in poverty reduction has been well recognised over the last twenty years. Process approaches seek to overcome the rigidity and top-down operation of much aid-funded intervention. Sustainable livelihoods approaches (SLA) are one of the latest additions to this family of approaches. As a theoretical framework and as a set of principles for guiding intervention, sustainable livelihoods thinking has implications for development management. Drawing on research exploring the application of sustainable livelihoods principles in ten development interventions, this paper considers how these principles have evolved from continuing debates surrounding process and people-centred (bottom-up) approaches to development management. This research suggests that whilst these principles can improve the impact made by interventions, the effective application of sustainable livelihoods and other process approaches are fundamentally restricted by unbalanced power relationships between development partners.
The emperors clothes – corporate social responsibility creating shared value and sustainabilityMcIntosh, Bryan; Sheppy, B.; Zuliani, J.D. (2016)Corporations in the 21st play a decisive role in the future of society. Their power and influence in world affairs often seems devoid of ethics and seems to exceed the reach and the means of many nations. As a result, the strategic positions they take towards value creation and ethics affects every individual on the planet. This paper explores strategic routes that organisations could apply to facilitate economic growth while ensuring their ecological integrity and ensuring social enhancement generating benefits to a wider scope of organisational stakeholders. By conducting a critical analysis and clarifying common misconceptions between Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Creating Shared Value (CSV) and Sustainability, it is possible to determine how these interrelated strategic approaches have evolved. This article argues the importance of transforming the purpose of organisations to encapsulate stakeholder value creation as the main reason for their existence.
Environmental sustainability orientation, competitive strategy and financial performanceDanso, A.; Adomako, Samuel; Amankwah-Amoah, J.; Owusu-Agyei, S.; Konadu, R. (2019-07)Extant research has established that environmental sustainability orientation (ESO) has a positive influence on performance outcomes. Nevertheless, several contingencies tend to affect the strength of this relationship. In this study, we draw on natural resource-based theory to introduce competitive strategies as moderators in the ESO-performance nexus. Using time-lagged data obtained from 269 firms in Ghana, this study finds that firms pursuing the differentiation strategy can positively boost performance outcomes with ESO than without differentiation strategy. We also find that firms can use the low-cost or the integrated strategy to get higher impact on performance with ESO respectively. Based on the results, firms in Ghana do not need differentiation strategy in order to boost the effect of ESO on financial performance. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.