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Article

Education for Sustainability in Practice: A Review of Current Strategies within Italian Universities

1
Interuniversity Department of Regional & Urban Studies and Planning, Politecnico di Torino and Università di Torino, Viale Mattioli, 39, 10125 Turin, Italy
2
Department of Architecture & Design, Politecnico di Torino, Viale Mattioli, 39, 10125 Turin, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2020, 12(13), 5246; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12135246
Received: 28 January 2020 / Revised: 9 June 2020 / Accepted: 15 June 2020 / Published: 28 June 2020
Universities play a crucial role in the short-term implementation of education for sustainable development goals (SDGs). The fourth SDG aims to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and to promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”. Indeed, SDG4 is not intended as a goal in itself, but rather, a tool to achieve different goals and explore the best practices, via deductive-theoretical or inductive-experiential methods. Still, current literature on education for SDGs does not always consider the infrastructural and practical factors affecting the success or the failure of the practices mentioned above. The main purpose of this paper is to organize and describe a set of ongoing education for sustainability strategies that took place from 2016 to 2019 in Italian universities. Eighteen best practices have been collected after a national call by the Italian Network of Sustainable Universities (RUS), that aimed to map the current landscape of SDGs-related actions. Data have been analyzed based on the qualitative description provided by each university, according to four criteria: trigger, course type, approach (top-down/bottom-up) and declared mission. Results are depicted as a map of the current Italian higher education system, where a predominant mission (teaching) and a prevalent driver (top-down) have been found as the frequent features of SDGs educational initiatives. Further developments highlight the value of this first country-wide mapping of the Italian Higher Education Institutions implementing SDGs in their activities, that can avoid the isolation of individual experiences and, most importantly, can suggest some comparability and transferability criteria for similar cases. View Full-Text
Keywords: transdisciplinarity; mission-oriented; SDGs implementation; higher education institutions; partnership for the goals transdisciplinarity; mission-oriented; SDGs implementation; higher education institutions; partnership for the goals
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MDPI and ACS Style

Sonetti, G.; Barioglio, C.; Campobenedetto, D. Education for Sustainability in Practice: A Review of Current Strategies within Italian Universities. Sustainability 2020, 12, 5246. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12135246

AMA Style

Sonetti G, Barioglio C, Campobenedetto D. Education for Sustainability in Practice: A Review of Current Strategies within Italian Universities. Sustainability. 2020; 12(13):5246. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12135246

Chicago/Turabian Style

Sonetti, Giulia; Barioglio, Caterina; Campobenedetto, Daniele. 2020. "Education for Sustainability in Practice: A Review of Current Strategies within Italian Universities" Sustainability 12, no. 13: 5246. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12135246

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