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Transboundary Learning through Perspective Shift: Introducing a Theoretical Model of Perspective Shift as a Key Competence in Engineering Education for Sustainable Development
Chalmers tekniska högskola. (Engineering education research)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9667-2044
Chalmers tekniska högskola.
2012 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation only (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In the Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) literature, perspective shiftis frequently mentioned as a key competence in ESD (see for example UNECE 2011, Wals 2010, Wals & Blaze Corcoran 2006, Svanström et al 2008, Tilbury 2011). ESD scholars point out the importance of designing teaching and learning activities which can help draw students’ attention to, and facilitate their understanding of, different perspectives. There is however a lack of concrete descriptions on how this ability to shift perspectives can be understood; this makes designing specific educational activities a difficult task.

In this paper, we provide a model of perspective shift as a competence in Engineering ESD (EESD) and discuss how this competence can facilitate transboundary learning (TBL) and understanding. Our model is based on two separate studies in the context of Engineering Education. The first study is carried out within an undergraduate engineering course on sustainable development in which the course leaders actively try to incorporate as many different perspectives as possible. This study is based on in-depth interviews with course participants, video-recordings of group discussions in role play situations, student assignments, and personal observations. In the second study, doctoral students’ concept maps of their conceptualization of “Sustainability” are analyzed. The findings from both studies are combined to create a rich description of perspective shift in EESD.

We identify three levels of TBL which can be facilitated by practicing different kinds of perspective shift: 1. crossing thematic boundaries such as intercultural, interdisciplinary, intergenerational, or interspatial boundaries; different scales and foci; or different ways of thinking; 2. crossing interpersonal boundaries; and 3. crossing boundaries of personal knowledge and experience horizons.

It is our hope that this work can facilitate discussions about, and practical improvement of, teaching and learning activities for perspective shift, and thus transboundary learning, in both Engineering Education and in other settings.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012.
Keywords [en]
engineering education, sustainability, perspective shift, competence
National Category
Didactics
Research subject
didactics of natural science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-158228OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-158228DiVA, id: diva2:1305433
Conference
Transboundary learning beyond disciplines. Sustainable development (SD) opening up research dialogue, October 9-11 in Umeå, Sweden, 2012
Available from: 2019-04-16 Created: 2019-04-16 Last updated: 2019-04-24Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
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  • nn-NB
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  • Other locale
More languages
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