Special Issue "Technology & Engineering Education "

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Education and Approaches".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 November 2019).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Francisco Zamora-Polo
E-Mail Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
Higher Polytechnic School, Department of Engineering Design, University of Seville, 41011 Seville, Spain
Interests: engineering projects; SDGs; sustainability; machine learning; smart cities; product design
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Jesús Sánchez Martín
E-Mail Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
Department of Science and Mathematics Education, Faculty of Education, University of Extremadura, Avda. de Elvas s/n 06006 Badajoz, Spain
Interests: science and technology education; gamification, flipped classroom, and other active learning methods for university education; ethics and sustainability in Higher Education
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Two of the main challenges facing humanity are the care of the environment and the reduction of growing inequality. After the relative success of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) [1], the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) proposed by United Nations constitute an agenda for the period between 2015 and 2030 [2]. Without doubt, education was a leverage factor in the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, and today is a key factor for compliance with the SDGs. Firstly, because some of them are directly related to education, (for example, SDG number 4) and secondly because many of them require technical training for their attainment [3]. Thus, UNESCO has established a set of learning objectives to contribute to the achievement of SDG [4].

Clearly, technology and engineering are closely linked with sustainability and the achievement of SDGs [5]. In fact, some authors have criticized the overly technological nature of the SDGs [6]. It may be interesting to analyze new experiences and methodologies that explore the relationship between engineering, education, and technology and sustainability in order to train professionals and citizens who are more aware of and can contribute to achieving SDGs.

This Special Issue aims to analyze educational experiences in the field of sustainability in engineering and technology education at different educational levels, from primary education to university levels. It is open to formal and informal education initiatives, to the development of courses on sustainability or to the development of competence across the curriculum. Theoretical reflections that address the relationship between engineering and technology education and sustainability are also welcome.

References

  1. Sachs, J. D. From Millennium Development Goals to Sustainable Development Goals. Lancet 2012, 379, 2206–2211, doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(12)60685-0.
  2. General Assembly of United Nations Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Resolution adopted by the General Assembly on 25 September 2015 Available online: http://www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A/RES/70/1&Lang=E (accessed on Nov 7, 2018).
  3. Dlouhá, J.; Pospíšilová, M. Education for Sustainable Development Goals in public debate: The importance of participatory research in reflecting and supporting the consultation process in developing a vision for Czech education. J. Clean. Prod. 2018, 172, 4314–4327, doi:10.1016/J.JCLEPRO.2017.06.145.
  4. UNESCO Education for Sustainable Development Goals. Learning Objectives Available online: http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0024/002474/247444e.pdf (accessed on Nov 7, 2018).
  5. Pérez-Foguet, A.; Lazzarini, B.; Giné, R.; Velo, E.; Boni, A.; Sierra, M.; Zolezzi, G.; Trimingham, R. Promoting sustainable human development in engineering: Assessment of online courses within continuing professional development strategies. J. Clean. Prod. 2018, 172, 4286–4302, doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2017.06.244.
  6. Boni, A.; Lopez-Fogues, A.; Walker, M. Higher education and the post-2015 agenda: a contribution from the human development approach. J. Glob. Ethics 2016, 12, 17–28, doi:10.1080/17449626.2016.1148757.

Dr. Francisco Zamora-Polo
Dr. Jesús Sánchez Martín
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1900 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Engineering Education
  • Technology Education
  • Primary Education
  • Secondary School
  • Higher Education
  • New methodologies in education
  • Sustainable Development Goals
  • Cooperation for Development

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Teaching Down to Earth—Service-Learning Methodology for Science Education and Sustainability at the University Level: A Practical Approach
Sustainability 2020, 12(2), 542; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12020542 - 10 Jan 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1351
Abstract
The Bologna Process and the European Higher Education area require the application of new active methodologies in the classroom that place the student at the center of his or her learning process. In the present work, we analyze the application of a Service-Learning [...] Read more.
The Bologna Process and the European Higher Education area require the application of new active methodologies in the classroom that place the student at the center of his or her learning process. In the present work, we analyze the application of a Service-Learning (SL) methodology in the context of a Final Degree Dissertation (FDD) in the degree in Environmental Sciences at the University of Extremadura (Spain). The project deals with an isolated Kichwa community in Ecuador and involves the development of alternative science education materials for the capacitation of in-service science teachers. This paper evaluates how an FDD carried out according to Service-Learning (SL) principles can help in the acquisition of so-called “soft skills” and how these can be focused in the promotion of the sustainable development goal (SDG) knowledge and achievement. To this end, a qualitative study of the experience and a deep evaluation, followed by a final reflection, were carried out. According to the preliminary results, we can conclude that Higher Education should include SDGs in its teaching praxis and could do this successfully using the SL methodology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Technology & Engineering Education )
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Open AccessArticle
Improvement on Social Representation of Climate Change through a Knowledge-Based MOOC in Spanish
Sustainability 2019, 11(22), 6317; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11226317 - 11 Nov 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1430
Abstract
Climate Change is the most important threat to our society and all species on Earth. Large alterations in the climate are affecting every aspect of our society and in order to limit this impact we must decarbonize the economy before 2050. Although science [...] Read more.
Climate Change is the most important threat to our society and all species on Earth. Large alterations in the climate are affecting every aspect of our society and in order to limit this impact we must decarbonize the economy before 2050. Although science presents solid evidence on the magnitude of the problem and outlines precisely the consequences, people do not act accordingly and do not consider this issue a priority for their survival. The reason behind this paradox might be a non-appropriate Social Representation of Climate Change in society as the Social Representation conditions and forms the response of the society. In this paper, we extend previous investigations of how this Social Representation is formed in order to find ways to improve it through a Massive Online Open Course on the Science of Climate Change. Using a validated questionnaire, we investigated the knowledge dimension of the Social Representation of Climate Change in a group of students of a MOOC on Climate Change. A pre- and posttest revealed general improvements in all the categories that were considered in this study. A detailed analysis showed different degrees of improvement for different groups, providing new insights in the efficiency of knowledge-based online courses. Well designed Massive Online Open Courses, based on scientific evidence, targeted to the general public might improve the Social Representation of Climate Change, which may in turn trigger awareness and an effective mobilization to address this important and urgent topic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Technology & Engineering Education )
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Open AccessArticle
Embedding Sustainability Competences into Engineering Education. The Case of Informatics Engineering and Industrial Engineering Degree Programs at Spanish Universities
Sustainability 2019, 11(20), 5832; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11205832 - 21 Oct 2019
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 782
Abstract
The incorporation of sustainability in universities finds the greatest barriers in the field of teaching. The curricula do not usually cover all dimensions of sustainability as most of the experiences are isolated and they do not reach all students. Within a larger study, [...] Read more.
The incorporation of sustainability in universities finds the greatest barriers in the field of teaching. The curricula do not usually cover all dimensions of sustainability as most of the experiences are isolated and they do not reach all students. Within a larger study, an exploratory investigation has been carried out on how sustainability competences are being integrated into the programs of both Informatics Engineering and Industrial Engineering degrees of 25 Spanish universities. The main findings suggest that existing courses in the domain of the humanities and engineering projects, as well as the final degree project, are very appropriate areas for developing a holistic and reflective approach. Likewise, there is a lack of environmental issues in Informatics Engineering, and ethical issues do not usually appear in Industrial Engineering courses. In general, there is no systematic and strategic integration along the degree programs. However, inspiring practices have been identified to propose lines of action and a curriculum model to embed sustainability into engineering education coherently and effectively. In addition, some reflections on drivers, opportunities, and challenges to achieve it are presented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Technology & Engineering Education )
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Open AccessArticle
Challenges of Online Higher Education in the Face of the Sustainability Objectives of the United Nations: Carbon Footprint, Accessibility and Social Inclusion
Sustainability 2019, 11(20), 5580; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11205580 - 10 Oct 2019
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1115
Abstract
This article analyses three of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) gathered by the 2030 Agenda and adopted by the United Nations, and how online educational models may help to reach these goals. Specifically, the three goals discussed through this article are: (i) Ensure [...] Read more.
This article analyses three of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) gathered by the 2030 Agenda and adopted by the United Nations, and how online educational models may help to reach these goals. Specifically, the three goals discussed through this article are: (i) Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all (Goal 4); (ii) reduce inequality within and among countries (Goal 10); and (iii) take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts (Goal 13). This work delves fundamentally into aspects related to online engineering education, such as the impact of the carbon footprint in online education, the reduction of geographical barriers and the social gap, and the complete online accessibility to the educational environment. Finally, this article presents the case of the International University of La Rioja with its 100% online methodology, and approximately 42,000 students distributed throughout the world. This institution is supported by tools that facilitate engineering training for people with reduced mobility and who are geographically dispersed, reducing the carbon footprint through remote training. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Technology & Engineering Education )
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Open AccessArticle
Computational Thinking and Robotics: A Teaching Experience in Compulsory Secondary Education with Students with High Degree of Apathy and Demotivation
Sustainability 2019, 11(18), 5109; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11185109 - 18 Sep 2019
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1099
Abstract
In present and future society, all individuals must be able to face the problems, risks, advantages and opportunities that will arrive with new paradigms in the labour market, social relations and technology. To reach this goal, a quality and inclusive education together with [...] Read more.
In present and future society, all individuals must be able to face the problems, risks, advantages and opportunities that will arrive with new paradigms in the labour market, social relations and technology. To reach this goal, a quality and inclusive education together with a proper and complete formation in technology (communications, robotics, programming, computational thinking (CT), etc.) must be imparted at all educational levels. Moreover, all individuals should have the same opportunities to develop their skills and knowledge, as stated in Goal 4 of the Sustainable Development Goals, Sustainable Education. Following this trend, in the present work, a practical experience about how to teach CT using robotics is developed, showing the results and evaluation of the lessons on robotics taught to students in their 4th year of compulsory secondary education, and where the students showed a high degree of apathy and demotivation. The teaching unit was based on an action research approach that includes a careful selection of pedagogical techniques and instruments to attract and keep the attention and interest of the students. In addition to the robotics lessons, a previous computational thinking training with Blockly Games was carried out, which contributed to noticeably increase the students motivation and to introduce them to the programming of robots. Moreover, gamification was used to motivate and evaluate the individual knowledge, and the students were required to present the work performed through a final project. The individual needs of the students were fulfilled with a daily monitoring. The results show that the pedagogical techniques, instruments and evaluation were adequate to increase the motivation of the students and to obtain a significant learning, showing how the teaching of CT may attract students that have lost interest and motivation, while providing them with abilities that will be essential for the learning throughout life. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Technology & Engineering Education )
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Open AccessArticle
Teaching for a Better World. Sustainability and Sustainable Development Goals in the Construction of a Change-Maker University
Sustainability 2019, 11(15), 4224; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11154224 - 05 Aug 2019
Cited by 39 | Viewed by 3247
Abstract
Sustainability, as a key concept in the education field, has submitted a relevant change during the last years. Thus, there is a growing debate about its meaning. It has undergone a crucial merging of significances from many fields: Ecology, environmental awareness, but also [...] Read more.
Sustainability, as a key concept in the education field, has submitted a relevant change during the last years. Thus, there is a growing debate about its meaning. It has undergone a crucial merging of significances from many fields: Ecology, environmental awareness, but also from politics, ethics or even spiritual approaches. All these fields have been co-involved in the building of such subject concept. In this sense, this article addresses the different ways of understanding sustainability as a polyhedral concept and how sustainability can be understood under the umbrella of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Furthermore, it is proposed a conceptual framework to teach this UN Program at Higher Education, contributing to the training of undergraduate and postgraduate students from both a professional and a personal point of view. This framework is applied in a case study—in particular, in a course of Primary Teacher Degree called Didactics of Matter and Energy. This article finishes with practical consideration to build a change-maker University. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Technology & Engineering Education )
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Open AccessArticle
Prioritizing Elements of Science Education for Sustainable Development with the MCDA-FDEMATEL Method Using the Flipped E-Learning Scheme
Sustainability 2019, 11(11), 3079; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11113079 - 31 May 2019
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1153
Abstract
Selecting and ordering components for sustainable science education is a critical issue, which is presently obtaining increased attention because of being at an early stage and scarce application in higher education. Though the flipped e-learning scheme is one of the novel information and [...] Read more.
Selecting and ordering components for sustainable science education is a critical issue, which is presently obtaining increased attention because of being at an early stage and scarce application in higher education. Though the flipped e-learning scheme is one of the novel information and communication technologies (ICTs), it can be of great relevance in a long-term learning program for various sustainable science education criteria. This research presents an approach to identify and analyze elements for science education for sustainable development with multi-criteria decision analysis-fuzzy decision-making trial and evaluation laboratory (MCDA-FDEMATEL) method by flipped e-learning system. With the method proposed, the main elements are collected as science-education, sustainable-development, technology-infrastructure and flipped-e-learning elements. The final results’ analyses with sixteen sub-elements are assessed with weighted linear combination (WLC) and sensitivity-analysis (I to VI implementations) in the context of the MCDA-FDEMATEL method. The most important element and sub-element for science education for sustainable development through flipped e-learning teaching are sustainable-development (as an element), VI implementation with 0.540 weight, and environmental contents (as a sub-element) with 0.570 weight. Consequently, this proposed approach could be used in different studies to validate the most important aspects of science education for sustainable development through flipped e-learning teaching elements and sub-elements with equivalent and comparable education settings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Technology & Engineering Education )
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Open AccessArticle
Investigating Students’ Sustainability Awareness and the Curriculum of Technology Education in Pakistan
Sustainability 2019, 11(9), 2651; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11092651 - 09 May 2019
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1686
Abstract
Various fields of manufacturing, management, and business, including technology education, software development, and information communication technology (ICT), have espoused sustainability concepts. Including sustainability concepts in technology, education can help students learn how to implement the dimensions of sustainability (economic, social, and environmental). Lack [...] Read more.
Various fields of manufacturing, management, and business, including technology education, software development, and information communication technology (ICT), have espoused sustainability concepts. Including sustainability concepts in technology, education can help students learn how to implement the dimensions of sustainability (economic, social, and environmental). Lack of awareness and education regarding sustainability among students can impact their competence to incorporate sustainability into technology development. Thus, the development of student competence across the curriculum of technology education for sustainability is crucial. This research aims to explore student competence development in technology education (IT, computer science, and software development) through investigating their awareness of sustainability, and to investigate how much sustainability is infused across the technology education curriculum. The case study for this research is taken from a very populous and developing country—Pakistan. First, an in-depth survey of higher education students is conducted to investigate their awareness level of sustainability. Second, qualitative document analysis is conducted, where the standard curriculum for technology education is taken and analyzed for its provision towards sustainability. A total of 159 students from various public-sector universities of Pakistan reported their awareness towards sustainability. The results show that 71% of them are unaware of the term sustainability in their respective fields, only 17% students know the basic definition of sustainability, and 12% of students have just an idea of how sustainability is related to technology education. It is also observed that the current curriculum of technology education does not sufficiently cover specific subjects or topics that can help students understand the concepts of sustainability. This study highlights the gaps in the offered curriculum for building the desired competence of students in technology education. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Technology & Engineering Education )
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Tangible Technologies for Childhood Education: A Systematic Review
Sustainability 2019, 11(10), 2910; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11102910 - 22 May 2019
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 1943
Abstract
This study reviews published scientific literature on the use of tangible technologies in childhood education, in order to (a) identify the what tangible technologies have been used, (b) recognize the educational purposes and uses these technologies of, and (c) present a synthesis of [...] Read more.
This study reviews published scientific literature on the use of tangible technologies in childhood education, in order to (a) identify the what tangible technologies have been used, (b) recognize the educational purposes and uses these technologies of, and (c) present a synthesis of the available empirical evidence on its educational effectiveness. After systematically searching in WoS, 288 relevant articles were located and analyzed using the Science Mapping Analysis Software Tool from 1968 to 2018. Then, 29 relevant papers of the last five years were included in the review study. For each article, we analyze the purpose of the study, the type of tangible technology used, the research method applied, the sample characteristics and the main results observed. The articles reviewed suggest that the main tangible technology used in childhood education is the tablet and literacy (basic and emergent) is the area most studied with promising results. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Technology & Engineering Education )
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Other

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Open AccessFeature PaperConcept Paper
Mineral Carbonation as an Educational Investigation of Green Chemical Engineering Design
Sustainability 2019, 11(15), 4156; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11154156 - 01 Aug 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1456
Abstract
Engaging students in the experimental design of “green” technology is a challenge in Chemical Engineering undergraduate programs. This concept paper demonstrates an educational methodology to investigate accelerated mineral carbonation, which is a promising technology related to mitigation of climate change by sequestering carbon [...] Read more.
Engaging students in the experimental design of “green” technology is a challenge in Chemical Engineering undergraduate programs. This concept paper demonstrates an educational methodology to investigate accelerated mineral carbonation, which is a promising technology related to mitigation of climate change by sequestering carbon dioxide (CO2) from industrial sources as stable solid carbonates. An experimental investigation is conceived, whereby students test the effect of two process parameters (CO2 pressure and mixing rate) on the extent of carbonation reaction. The carbonation reaction has been performed using a mineral called wollastonite (CaSiO3). The experimental study and laboratory report cover principles of reaction kinetics and mass transfer, while illustrating the steps to develop and investigate a green process technology. The results from the experimental investigation, which is carried out by multiple teams of students, are then pooled and used to guide a subsequent design project. Students would conceive a flowsheet, size equipment, and estimate the energy demand and net CO2 sequestration efficiency of a full-scale implementation of the mineral carbonation technology. This educational investigation aims to help undergraduate students to acquire deeper experiential learning and greater awareness of future green technologies by applying fundamental engineering principles into an engaging experimental and design exercise. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Technology & Engineering Education )
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