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Work-based learning as a catalyst for sustainability: a review and prospects

Wall, T, Hindley, A, Hunt, T, Peach, J, Preston, M, Hartley, C and Fairbank, A (2017) Work-based learning as a catalyst for sustainability: a review and prospects. Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning, 7 (2). pp. 211-224. ISSN 2042-3896

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Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to highlight the continuing dearth of scholarship about the role of work-based learning in education for sustainable development, and particularly the urgent demands of climate literacy. It is proposed that forms of work-based learning can act as catalysts for wider cultural change, towards embedding climate literacy in higher education institutions. Design/methodology/approach - This paper draws data from action research to present a case study of a Climate Change Project conducted through a work-based learning module at a mid-sized university in the UK. Findings - Contrary to the predominantly fragmented and disciplinary bounded approaches to sustainability and climate literacy, the case study demonstrates how a form of work-based learning can create a unifying vision for action, and do so across multiple disciplinary, professional service, and identity boundaries. In addition, the project-generated indicators of cultural change including extensive faculty-level climate change resources, creative ideas for an innovative mobile application, and new infrastructural arrangements to further develop practice and research in climate change. Practical implications - This paper provides an illustrative example of how a pan-faculty work-based learning module can act as a catalyst for change at a higher education institution. Originality/value - This paper is a contemporary call for action to stimulate and expedite climate literacy in higher education, and is the first to propose that certain forms of work-based learning curricula can be a route to combating highly bounded and fragmented approaches, towards a unified and boundary-crossing approach.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: L Education > LC Special aspects of education
Divisions: Leadership & Organisational Development (from Sep 19)
Publisher: Emerald Publishing Limited
SWORD Depositor: A Symplectic
Date Deposited: 11 Jul 2022 15:21
Last Modified: 11 Jul 2022 15:30
DOI or ID number: 10.1108/HESWBL-02-2017-0014
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/17224
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