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Understanding the Gap between University Ambitions to Teach and Deliver Climate Change Education

Hindley, A (2022) Understanding the Gap between University Ambitions to Teach and Deliver Climate Change Education. Sustainability, 14 (21). ISSN 2071-1050

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Open Access URL: https://doi.org/10.3390/su142113823 (Published version)


This paper aims to determine why there is a gap between university ambitions to teach climate change education, even where formal commitments and institutional incentives exist to encourage action. To explore this, acknowledgement of prior conceptual work is considered. A new matrix emerges, which conceptualizes the influences of organizational values, organisational culture, personal values and positionality-identity on the integration of climate change education into the curriculum. The role and influence of the researcher is addressed using an auto-ethnographic approach. A thematic analysis is applied to data collected from program leaders for an undergraduate curriculum review at a medium-sized university Business School, in north-west England. Five clusters are used to structure the results and explore the narrative, before applying these to the new matrix for illustrative purposes. The discussion suggests a lack of knowledge by staff or confusion over the communicated organizational values; an organizational culture that perceives sustainability and climate change are not priorities for the institution; and an attitude-behavior gap that can be attributed to personal values. In conclusion, organizational culture can be changed to increase the priority of sustainability and climate change through an objective in staff annual Personal Development Reviews, for example. Recommendations are made for further research.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Decade of Action; climate change education; conceptualization; Carbon Literacy; higher education; 12 Built Environment and Design
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
Divisions: Business & Management (from Sep 19)
Publisher: MDPI AG
SWORD Depositor: A Symplectic
Date Deposited: 26 Oct 2022 14:53
Last Modified: 26 Oct 2022 15:00
DOI or ID number: 10.3390/su142113823
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/17947
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