Students are not taught how to contribute in practice to a sustainable world

Students at the University of Gävle 2017

Students at the University of Gävle 2017

2021-05-10 

“We have studied 15 universities in different countries, and the results are discouraging. We need to re-think and focus on providing the students with practical tools,” says Rodrigo Lozano, researcher in industrial engineering and management at University of Gävle

The study is a continuation of a project on how higher education institutions implement sustainability in higher education, a project that was previously awarded a prize in the U.S. Now the focus is on how sustainability is taught.

Responses from 600 university teachers and professors from 15 universities in Sweden, Finland, Italy, Spain, Hungary, South Africa, Australia, Mexico, Colombia, Portugal. Serbia and Poland have provided the basis for a book that will be published on May 11.

“It shouldn’t just be theory”

The researchers have observed that although students learn about critical thinking, analysis and interdisciplinary work, the lessons fail when it comes to developing practical competences in sustainability work.

For this reason, the researchers argue that lessons need to be improved to develop sustainability competences further. Another way is to simply reduce the number of lessons and use different pedagogical approaches instead. Such strategies are supported by previous research, for example from MIT.


Rodrigo Lozano

Rodrigo Lozano

“We need to combine theoretical lessons with other types of pedagogical approaches: with case studies, with going out into the field and with strategic thinking,” Rodrigo Lozano says.

“I don’t criticize all current teaching, but what I say is that in general, it must be done in a different way, a way that the students can relate to. They need to be shown how to implement their knowledge in their lives.”

He emphasizes that it is necessary to provide students not only with the tools for their profession, but also to teach them about the consequences the decisions they make may have for society and for the environment.

“The book focuses on this subject and shows how it can be done. It is so important that students really understand the complexity of sustainability. They are our future leaders, decision-makers, academics and professionals in this world,” says Rodrigo Lozano.


Boksläpp: "Developing Sustainability Competences Through Pedagogical Approaches: Experiences from International Case Studies" av Rodrigo Lozano och Maria Barreria, släpps 11 maj.



"Developing Sustainability Competences Through Pedagogical Approaches:
Experiences from International Case Studies" by Rodrigo Lozano och Maria Barreria, will be published on 11 May and is available at:

https://www.springer.com/gp/book/9783030649647#aboutAuthors

Research presentation Rodrigo Lozano


Contact

Rodrigo Lozano, researcher in industrial engineering and management at University of Gävle
Phone: 073-461 83 56
E- mail: rodrigo.lozano@hig.se

Maria Barreiro Gen, researcher in industrial engineering and management at University of Gävle
Phone: 026-64 84 75
E-mail: maria.barrerio@hig.se



Text: Douglas Öhrbom
Photo students: Britt Mattsson
Photo Rodrigo Lozano: Private

Published by: Douglas Öhrbom Page responsible: Veronica Liljeroth Updated: 2021-05-10
Högskolan i Gävle
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