Connecting Competences and Pedagogical Approaches for Sustainable Development in Higher Education: A Literature Review and Framework Proposal
Research into and practice of Higher Education for Sustainable Development (HESD) have been increasing during the last two decades. These have focused on providing sustainability education to future generations of professionals. In this context, there has been considerable progress in the incorporation of SD in universities’ curricula. Most of these efforts have focussed on the design and delivery of sustainability-oriented competences. Some peer-reviewed articles have proposed different pedagogical approaches to better deliver SD in these courses; however, there has been limited research on the connection between how courses are delivered (pedagogical approaches) and how they may affect sustainability competences. This paper analyses competences and pedagogical approaches, using hermeneutics to connect these in a framework based on twelve competences and twelve pedagogical approaches found in the literature. The framework connects the course aims to delivery in HESD by highlighting the connections between pedagogical approaches and competences in a matrix structure. The framework is aimed at helping educators in creating and updating their courses to provide a more complete, holistic, and systemic sustainability education to future leaders, decision makers, educators, and change agents. To better develop mind-sets and actions of future generations, we must provide students with a complete set of sustainability competences.