Sustainability, science, and higher education: The need for new paradigms

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In translating the concept of sustainable development into science and education, a number of fundamental barriers and practical obstacles have to be taken into account. However, there are also interesting opportunities and attractive challenges to make sustainable development "researchable, teachable, and learnable." New paradigms, or at least a shift in dominant paradigms, are required. Transition of the old curricula into more "sustainability-oriented curricula" means that the limited mono- and multidisciplinary approaches need to be replaced by full multi- and interdisciplinarity. This educational transition, which took place in several Dutch universities in the past two decades, and shifts in paradigm changed the educational system, which is now based on ideas from problem-based learning, project education, internationalization, multi- and interdisciplinarity, and competence-based education.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)294-303
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 11.10.2010