Higher education for sustainable development in Flanders: balancing between normative and transformative approaches

This new article is published Gold Open Access in Environmental Education Research. It is part of a special issue on Environmental and Sustainability Education in the BENELUX region.

The article presents a philosophical framework based on John Dewey’s work on the critical role of education in democracy, with specific focus on two constructs: ‘initiative and adaptability’ and ‘values and virtues’. The case of Flanders shows specific approaches and initiatives to encourage the integration of sustainability in higher education, e.g. learning networks for university educators, and the publication of frameworks and guidelines.

The Flemish case shows a gradual evolution from a focus on environmental management on campus, followed by a normative interpretation of what Higher Education for Sustainable Development should look like, and a more transformative approach in light of citizenship and democratic ideals. The case also shows considerable exchange of information between Flanders and the Netherlands, in which Dutch models and instruments were used in the Flemish context. The philosophical perspective provides theoretical grounding of the field of Higher Education for Sustainable Development, which enables to further develop the field, with a specific focus on initiative and adaptability on the one hand, and the importance of a virtues perspective on the other.

As a result of the agreement of Taylor & Francis (the publisher) and VSNU, this article is published Gold Open Access in Environmental Education Research and can be read and downloaded free by anyone. The full reference can be found below.

 

Full reference

Lambrechts, W., Van Liedekerke, L., Van Petegem, P. (2017). Higher education for sustainable development in Flanders: balancing between normative and transformative approaches, Environmental Education Research, online first.

 

Featured image: pexels.com

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