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Implementing Competence Orientation: Towards Constructively Aligned Education for Sustainable Development in University-Level Teaching-And-Learning

1
Freelance Education for Sustainable Development Specialist, anders kompetent GmbH, Gärtnerstrasse 18, 8400 Winterthur, Switzerland
2
Freelance Education for Transformative Learning Specialist, STRIDE unSchool for Entrepreneurial Leadership and dr. ruth förster, training & beratung, Kiefernweg 32, 8057 Zurich, Switzerland
3
Centre for Development and Environment, University of Bern, Mittelstrasse 43, 3012 Bern, Switzerland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2019, 11(7), 1891; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11071891
Received: 26 February 2019 / Revised: 25 March 2019 / Accepted: 26 March 2019 / Published: 29 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Competencies in Education for Sustainable Development)
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Abstract

The call for integration of competences in tertiary education for sustainable development (ESD) has been heard. Helpful competence models for ESD are available but little exists about how to put them into practice. As illustrated in this article in an initial review of competence models for change agency, this is not easy because competences are fundamentally context-bound and generalized models make little sense. Faculty staff who wish to foster competences for SD therefore need help with contextualising and operationalising competences. They often lack the pedagogic-didactic understanding needed to implement competence orientation in their teaching, in an institutional context where knowledge transmission is traditionally rated higher than competence development. Using a reflective practitioner approach, this paper addresses the need for methodological guidance by introducing a heuristic procedure and a didactic planning tool from adult education that enable lecturers to establish coherent ESD teaching-and-learning environments and curricula: the tree of science model and constructive alignment. Two case studies show how these instruments can be used to increase coherence when operationalising competences for SD. The article concludes by outlining three factors that foster integration of competence orientation in ESD: pedagogic-didactic tools, professional development for ESD, and institutional change. View Full-Text
Keywords: competence orientation; tertiary education; ESD pedagogy; ESD teaching; constructive alignment; reflective practitioner approach competence orientation; tertiary education; ESD pedagogy; ESD teaching; constructive alignment; reflective practitioner approach
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Wilhelm, S.; Förster, R.; Zimmermann, A.B. Implementing Competence Orientation: Towards Constructively Aligned Education for Sustainable Development in University-Level Teaching-And-Learning. Sustainability 2019, 11, 1891.

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