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Helen Avery

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Working with the divides : Two critical axes in development for transformative professional practices

Author

  • Helen Avery
  • Birgitta Nordén

Summary, in English

Purpose

The paper aims to provide a conceptual map of how to mediate between sustainability theory and practice in higher education and how disciplinary divides can be bridged. It further looks at issues linked to knowledge views and drivers for institutional change that affect opportunities for whole institution development promoting action preparedness.
Design/methodology/approach

Taking its point of departure in the University Educators for Sustainable Development report UE4SD (2014, 2015), the paper discusses ways that ideas and interaction can be mediated in higher education settings, to connect sustainability research with vocational programmes. Different options are considered and compared.
Findings

Although the literature stresses both action orientation and the need for holistic transdisciplinary approaches, many institutional drivers limit opportunities for more integrating approaches.
Research limitations/implications

However, while conclusions may hold for universities at an overarching level, it is likely that certain research and teaching environments have been able to transcend such barriers.
Practical implications

Conceptually mapping the different forms that dialogue, interaction and flows of ideas take within higher education institutions has relevance for whole institution development for sustainability.
Social implications

Importantly, producing sustainability science with relevance to practice in various professions is a fundamental condition to support accelerated transitions to sustainability at societal levels.
Originality/value

The paper makes a significant contribution by focusing on concrete institutional pathways for knowledge exchange and negotiation that can support education for sustainability in higher education.

Department/s

  • Centre for Advanced Middle Eastern Studies
  • Arabic Studies
  • MECW: The Middle East in the Contemporary World

Publishing year

2017

Language

English

Pages

666-680

Publication/Series

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education

Volume

18

Issue

5

Document type

Journal article

Publisher

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Topic

  • Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
  • Environmental Sciences
  • Educational Sciences

Keywords

  • sustainability research
  • higher education
  • professional programmes
  • knowledge flows
  • organisational development
  • theory and practice
  • transdisciplinarity

Status

Published

ISBN/ISSN/Other

  • ISSN: 1467-6370