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SP 2020 | 31(3) | 49-66

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A successive change in the curriculum for sustainable public administration


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Sustainable development is considered to be one of the most important issues for the future, which is also mirrored in the growing interest in sustainable development in higher education. The change project reported in this article is an example of the efforts made to incorporate sustainability in higher education. The aim of the change project is twofold: the first one is to revise the syllabuses, reference literature, materials, and examinations for courses in Public Administration, so that every course in some way addresses sustainable development. By making sustainable development an integral part of all teaching, the change project highlights how different aspects of sustainability issues are relevant in different contexts. There are three reasons why sustainable development should be explicitly present in all teaching: education for sustainability is important to the university; sustainability is relevant especially for students in Public Administration; and to get all students engaged, education for sustainability requires a pedagogical framework. The second aim of the change project is to lay out the underlying pedagogical framework, which is based on principles found in pedagogical, psychological, and organizational theories. In this successive, integrative approach, the repeated occurrence of sustainability themes in many courses is considered to be a better option than having a single thematic course. In the first phase of the project, during the academic year 2019-2020, three courses were revised to include aspects of sustainability in relation to concepts central to the course.





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