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Article

Students’ Innovation in Education for Sustainable Development—A Longitudinal Study on Interdisciplinary vs. Monodisciplinary Learning

1
Institute of Psychology, University of Hamburg, 20146 Hamburg, Germany
2
Institute of Psychology, Goethe University Frankfurt am Main, 60629 Frankfurt am Main, Germany
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Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Richard A. Niesenbaum
Sustainability 2021, 13(3), 1322; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13031322
Received: 15 December 2020 / Revised: 12 January 2021 / Accepted: 22 January 2021 / Published: 27 January 2021
Innovative ideas are essential to sustainable development. Students’ innovative potential in higher education for sustainable development (HESD) has so far been neglected. Innovation is often associated with an interdisciplinary approach. However, the results of research on diversity and its role in innovation are inconsistent. The present study takes a longitudinal approach to investigating student teams in project-based learning courses in HESD in Germany. This study examines how innovation develops in interdisciplinary student teams in contrast to monodisciplinary student teams. The results of the latent change approach from a sample of 69 student teams indicate significant changes in students’ innovation over time. Monodisciplinary student teams outperform interdisciplinary student teams in idea promotion (convincing potential allies) at the beginning, whereas interdisciplinary student teams outperform monodisciplinary student teams in idea generation (production of novel and useful ideas) in the midterm. There is no difference in the long term. The results indicate that interdisciplinary student teams have an advantage in the generation of novel ideas but need time to leverage their access to different discipline-based knowledge. We discuss practical implications for the design of interdisciplinary learning with strategies to support students in the formation phase in project-based learning in HESD. View Full-Text
Keywords: higher education for sustainable development; project-based learning; interdisciplinary learning; interdisciplinarity; student innovation higher education for sustainable development; project-based learning; interdisciplinary learning; interdisciplinarity; student innovation
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MDPI and ACS Style

Braßler, M.; Schultze, M. Students’ Innovation in Education for Sustainable Development—A Longitudinal Study on Interdisciplinary vs. Monodisciplinary Learning. Sustainability 2021, 13, 1322. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13031322

AMA Style

Braßler M, Schultze M. Students’ Innovation in Education for Sustainable Development—A Longitudinal Study on Interdisciplinary vs. Monodisciplinary Learning. Sustainability. 2021; 13(3):1322. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13031322

Chicago/Turabian Style

Braßler, Mirjam; Schultze, Martin. 2021. "Students’ Innovation in Education for Sustainable Development—A Longitudinal Study on Interdisciplinary vs. Monodisciplinary Learning" Sustainability 13, no. 3: 1322. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13031322

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