Sustainability in engineering education: A review of learning outcomes

Resource type
Journal Article
Authors/contributors
Title
Sustainability in engineering education: A review of learning outcomes
Abstract
Although UNESCO and the UN's Sustainable Development Goals have articulated the critical role of engineering in achieving sustainable forms of development, there remains the need to analyze the design, features, and nature of sustainability-focused initiatives in engineering education. To date, few studies have identified the main knowledge gaps in this sector of higher education. At the same time, there is no known research exploring student and graduate learning outcomes in particular contextual settings. To address these gaps, this article uses a realist scoping review to map and analyze how engineering education has approached sustainability in higher education institutions since the 1990s. Our study explores the approaches of curricula, teaching, and learning renewals promoted in higher education engineering programs identifying critical differences between the expected and actual learning outcomes. Key findings drawn from a range of international contexts include broad evidence that engineering education providers desire to approach sustainability from an integrative perspective. However, this approach typically demands more administrative resources to develop formal and hidden curriculum mechanisms. As a result, engineering education struggles to foster the associated intra- and inter-cultural learning characteristics expected within integrated sustainability education. Findings also suggest re-evaluating the connotation and senses of ‘being and becoming an engineer’, including social responsibilities in engineering education, to empower students as active agents of change. Implications for practice, policy, and curriculum development of nine approaches to engineering education for sustainability are also offered, alongside possibilities and priorities for future research.
Publication
Journal of Cleaner Production
Volume
330
Pages
129734
Date
2022-01-01
Journal Abbr
Journal of Cleaner Production
Language
en
ISSN
0959-6526
Short Title
Sustainability in engineering education
Accessed
05/04/2022, 20:26
Library Catalog
ScienceDirect
Citation
Gutierrez-Bucheli, L., Kidman, G., & Reid, A. (2022). Sustainability in engineering education: A review of learning outcomes. Journal of Cleaner Production, 330, 129734. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2021.129734