Developing Key Competencies for Sustainable Development in Higher Education
International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, Vol. 8, No. 4, pp. 416–430
15 Pages Posted: 5 Jan 2012
Date Written: June 1, 2007
Purpose – To date, little attention has been given to the circumstances in which developing key competencies for sustainable development may take place. Within higher education, the possibilities both of formal and informal learning and their relationship to competence development should be considered.
Design/methodology/approach – Based on focus groups an explorative, qualitative study was designed, using different groups from formal and informal learning settings.
Findings – The development of key competencies is based both on cognitive and non-cognitive dispositions and asks for multiple contexts. Through combining formal and informal learning settings within higher education – as part of a new learning culture – a variety of contexts can be given and competence development can be enhanced.
Research limitations – While aspects of both formal and informal learning settings could be identified, the interdependencies between them remain elusive.
Practical implications (if applicable) – Based on the findings, some main aspects can be pointed out that may be crucial for competence development in higher education settings.
Originality/value – The paper analyses the implications of new ways for both formal and informal learning settings for developing key competencies within higher education. Particular attention is given to interdisciplinarity and students’ self-responsibility.
Keywords: Higher Education for Sustainable Development, Competence Development, Key Competencies, Learning Culture, Formal and Informal Settings, Interdisciplinarity, Self-Responsibility
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