Pedagogical Approaches and Design Aspects To Enable Leadership for Sustainable Development

Document type: Journal Articles
Article type: Original article
Peer reviewed: Yes
Full text:
Author(s): Merlina Missimer, Tamara Connell
Title: Pedagogical Approaches and Design Aspects To Enable Leadership for Sustainable Development
Journal: Sustainability: The Journal of Record
Year: 2012
Volume: 5
Issue: 3
Pagination: 172-181
ISSN: 1937-0695
Publisher: Mary Ann Liebert, Inc
URI/DOI: 10.1089/sus.2012.9961
Organization: Blekinge Institute of Technology
Department: School of Engineering - Dept. of Strategic Sustainable Development (Sektionen för ingenjörsvetenskap - Avd. för strategisk hållbar utveckling)
School of Engineering S- 371 79 Karlskrona
+46 455 38 50 00
Authors e-mail:
Language: English
Abstract: Various sets of skills for dealing with sustainability and the complexity of the modern world have been put forward by different actors in the field of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). In connection with these skills, pedagogical methods such as lifelong learning, social learning, problem-based learning, dialogue education, and empowerment for ESD have been discussed. This paper looks at how these theories and methods can be put into practice by examining a real-world example of a sustainability master’s program at Blekinge Institute of Technology (BTH) in Sweden. In 2004, BTH launched the international transdisciplinary master’s program Strategic Leadership towards Sustainability, which aims to develop leaders who will be able to address the ever-increasing sustainability challenge. The program combines a robust scientific framework for planning and decision making toward sustainability, with the leadership skills needed to energize large-scale societal change. In 2009, the Engineering Education for Sustainable Development (EESD) observatory awarded BTH the ranking of No. 1 in Sweden and third in Europe for demonstrating success in EESD. This paper describes the specific pedagogical approaches and design elements that were implemented to train and develop the skills and expertise surrounding leadership for sustainable development. It further presents and analyzes survey data taken from program alumni reflecting on the success of the program. The results of the survey clearly show that while there is room for improvement, overall the program design is extremely successful in equipping its graduates with the skills necessary to address the sustainability challenge. Finally, the authors offer reflections on the lessons learned after six years of continual improvements.
Subject: Sustainability\General
Keywords: Education for sustainable development, pedagogy, skills, competencies, leadership, sustainability
Note: Sustainability: The Journal of Record, Vol. 5, No. 3, June 2012: 172-181 Open Access Journal - Romeo Blue publisher