Mirroring, Gestaltswitching and transformative social learning: Stepping stones for developing sustainability competence

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Purpose ‐ The purpose of this paper is to identify components and educational design principles for strengthening sustainability competence in and through higher education. Design/methodology/approach ‐ This is a conceptual paper that uses an exemplary autobiographical empirical case study in order to illustrate and support a line of reasoning. Findings ‐ A number of "Gestalts" of mind-sets of sustainability competence and key elements of the learning processes needed for developing such competence have been identified. Originality/value ‐ This is one of the first papers to consider sustainability competence from a transformative social learning perspective. The value of the paper lies in its potential to help teachers of university courses in re-designing their educational processes with sustainability competence in mind.

Keywords: Competences; Gestalt psychology; Higher education; Learning; Social dynamics

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/14676371011077595

Publication date: September 21, 2010

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