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Sustainability 2014, 6(7), 4181-4199; doi:10.3390/su6074181

A Peaking and Tailing Approach to Education and Curriculum Renewal for Sustainable Development

1
Science and Engineering Faculty, Queensland University of Technology, 2 George Street, Brisbane 4001, Australia
2
Curtin University Sustainability Policy Institute, Kent Street, Bentley, Perth 6102, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 24 March 2014 / Revised: 20 June 2014 / Accepted: 20 June 2014 / Published: 2 July 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Education and Skills for the Green Economy)
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Abstract

Contextual factors for sustainable development such as population growth, energy, and resource availability and consumption levels, food production yield, and growth in pollution, provide numerous complex and rapidly changing education and training requirements for a variety of professions including engineering. Furthermore, these requirements may not be clearly understood or expressed by designers, governments, professional bodies or the industry. Within this context, this paper focuses on one priority area for greening the economy through sustainable development—improving energy efficiency—and discusses the complexity of capacity building needs for professionals. The paper begins by acknowledging the historical evolution of sustainability considerations, and the complexity embedded in built environment solutions. The authors propose a dual-track approach to building capacity building, with a short-term focus on improvement (i.e., making peaking challenges a priority for postgraduate education), and a long-term focus on transformational innovation (i.e., making tailing challenges a priority for undergraduate education). A case study is provided, of Australian experiences over the last decade with regard to the topic area of energy efficiency. The authors conclude with reflections on implications for the approach.
Keywords: sustainable development; capacity building; engineering education; built environment; energy efficiency; curriculum renewal sustainable development; capacity building; engineering education; built environment; energy efficiency; curriculum renewal
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Desha, C.; Hargroves, K.'. A Peaking and Tailing Approach to Education and Curriculum Renewal for Sustainable Development. Sustainability 2014, 6, 4181-4199.

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