Education for Sustainable Development (ESD): Challenges to integrate Sustainable Development (SD) concept into university courses

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Abstract

Education for sustainable development (ESD) is a long-term mechanism to translate the principles and values of sustainable development (SD) concept into practices. With the 'nurturing' nature of ESD it is hoped that it would give the learners a lasting impact on their practices. However, ESD poses great challenges to educators at every level of education system, including university educators worldwide, in many aspects. This paper focuses only on the aspect of integrating SD concept into university courses, with reference to Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM). Hence, this paper analyses the challenges to integrate SD concept into university courses found in the literature, and with reference to UKM. The methods used in this study are the analysis and synthesis of scientific literature, as well as logical and comparative analysis. The results show four main challenges faced by university educators: (a) the basis of integration, i.e., the extent to which SD provides a suitable basis for integration into university courses; (b) the integration ability, i.e., the extent to which SD can be integrated into the courses by individual lecturers during the planning, implementation, and assessment stages; (c) the operational context, i.e., the appropriate operational context where the development of SD in teaching and learning process is expected to occur; and (d) mechanism of assessment, i.e., the appropriate mechanism to assess student's learning experience of SD. The findings illustrate that integrating SD concept into university courses is feasible although no doubt it is challenging. A university would have to overcome all of the challenges discussed in order to implement the integration of SD concept into university courses. Thus, a university like UKM would have to face challenges centered on the basis of integration, the integration ability, the operational context and mechanism of assessment, in order to realize the integration of SD concept into university courses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1714-1722
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Applied Sciences Research
Volume8
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2012

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sustainable development
university
education
Malaysia
educator
technical literature
ability
level of education
education system
learning process
university teacher
planning

Keywords

  • Basis of integration
  • Education for sustainable development (ESD)
  • Integration ability
  • Mechanism of assessment
  • Operational context
  • Sustainable development (SD)
  • University courses

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

Cite this

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title = "Education for Sustainable Development (ESD): Challenges to integrate Sustainable Development (SD) concept into university courses",
abstract = "Education for sustainable development (ESD) is a long-term mechanism to translate the principles and values of sustainable development (SD) concept into practices. With the 'nurturing' nature of ESD it is hoped that it would give the learners a lasting impact on their practices. However, ESD poses great challenges to educators at every level of education system, including university educators worldwide, in many aspects. This paper focuses only on the aspect of integrating SD concept into university courses, with reference to Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM). Hence, this paper analyses the challenges to integrate SD concept into university courses found in the literature, and with reference to UKM. The methods used in this study are the analysis and synthesis of scientific literature, as well as logical and comparative analysis. The results show four main challenges faced by university educators: (a) the basis of integration, i.e., the extent to which SD provides a suitable basis for integration into university courses; (b) the integration ability, i.e., the extent to which SD can be integrated into the courses by individual lecturers during the planning, implementation, and assessment stages; (c) the operational context, i.e., the appropriate operational context where the development of SD in teaching and learning process is expected to occur; and (d) mechanism of assessment, i.e., the appropriate mechanism to assess student's learning experience of SD. The findings illustrate that integrating SD concept into university courses is feasible although no doubt it is challenging. A university would have to overcome all of the challenges discussed in order to implement the integration of SD concept into university courses. Thus, a university like UKM would have to face challenges centered on the basis of integration, the integration ability, the operational context and mechanism of assessment, in order to realize the integration of SD concept into university courses.",
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