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Article

An Exploration of the Relationship between Sustainability-Related Involvement and Learning in Higher Education

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Mechanical Engineering and STEM Education, Tufts University, Medford, MA 02155, USA
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School for Environment and Sustainability, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA
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Student Life Sustainability, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA
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Sustainable Living Experience, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA
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Graham Sustainability Institute, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48104, USA
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U-M Campus Farm at Matthaei Botanical Gardens, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48104, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Marc A. Rosen
Sustainability 2022, 14(9), 5506; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14095506
Received: 1 January 2022 / Revised: 7 April 2022 / Accepted: 26 April 2022 / Published: 4 May 2022
Higher education institutions are charged with developing civically engaged leaders to address the pressing issues facing the country and the world. While existing literature suggests institutional practices, such as promoting co-curricular involvement, hold promise for fostering key learning outcomes, educational literature suggests the benefits of participation may not be shared by all students. Using structural equation modeling, we examine the role of background characteristics (i.e., race/ethnicity and gender) and co-curricular participation in sustainability-related activities in fostering climate change leadership development and sustainability activism. We find that women reported significantly higher systems thinking, futures thinking, leadership development, and activism. Additionally, our results suggest systems thinking and futures thinking are key learning outcomes related to students’ climate change leadership development and activism. Moreover, we find a small negative relationship between sustainability literacy and leadership development and activism, suggesting there might exist an inflection point at which more knowledge about climate change and sustainability issues makes students less likely to engage in leadership and activism behaviors. We discuss the implications of this work for sustainability education pedagogy in higher education. View Full-Text
Keywords: leadership development; activism; co-curricular involvement leadership development; activism; co-curricular involvement
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MDPI and ACS Style

Henderson, T.S.; Michel, J.O.; Bryan, A.; Canosa, E.; Gamalski, C.; Jones, K.; Moghtader, J. An Exploration of the Relationship between Sustainability-Related Involvement and Learning in Higher Education. Sustainability 2022, 14, 5506. https://doi.org/10.3390/su14095506

AMA Style

Henderson TS, Michel JO, Bryan A, Canosa E, Gamalski C, Jones K, Moghtader J. An Exploration of the Relationship between Sustainability-Related Involvement and Learning in Higher Education. Sustainability. 2022; 14(9):5506. https://doi.org/10.3390/su14095506

Chicago/Turabian Style

Henderson, Trevion S., Jessica O. Michel, Alex Bryan, Emily Canosa, Clara Gamalski, Kelly Jones, and Jeremy Moghtader. 2022. "An Exploration of the Relationship between Sustainability-Related Involvement and Learning in Higher Education" Sustainability 14, no. 9: 5506. https://doi.org/10.3390/su14095506

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