Learning about sustainability: what influences students’ self-perceived sustainability actions after undergraduate education?
2016 (English)In: Sustainability, ISSN 2071-1050, E-ISSN 2071-1050, Vol. 8, no 6, 510Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Changing societies’ minds about sustainability requires knowledge about the situation, awareness of what needs to be done and actions to change today’s unsustainable behaviors. Universities are challenged to develop students’ ability to appreciate the complexities of sustainability and translate sustainability knowledge of education into systemic, anticipatory and critical thinking and actions. To meet this challenge, universities provide specific study programs and courses and integrate sustainability in education and activities. There is limited research on the results of such efforts from a student perspective. The study focused on an identical cohort of 108 undergraduate students who answered a survey about their self-perceived knowledge, awareness and actions before and after their studies in a Swedish university. All 108 students had sustainability integrated into their study programs; forty-eight also attended specific sustainability courses. The test model explains variations in students’ self-perceived sustainability actions at the end of their studies. There were differences already in students’ initial self-perceived knowledge between the groups. The students’ female gender, self-perceived initial actions, studying sustainability courses as well as the increase in self-perceived sustainability knowledge contribute significantly to the later sustainability actions. The results show student development, which can encourage those working with education for sustainable development in universities.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 8, no 6, 510
awareness, ESD, gender, higher education, integration, longitudinal study, knowledge
Other Engineering and Technologies not elsewhere specified Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-21526DOI: 10.3390/su8060510ISI: 000378776800007ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84975727049OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hig-21526DiVA: diva2:931308