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Transformational Learning Approach to Embedding Un Sustainable Development Goal 1: No Poverty, In Business Curricula

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Purpose This paper explores transformational learning (TL) via critical reflection in a novel Master's course titled 'Poverty Alleviation and Profitability'. This course, run at a leading university in Australia, explores how for-profit businesses can alleviate poverty (United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 1) and obtain profits, simultaneously. A TL approach was adopted to challenge students' worldviews, including their existing assumptions about poverty and profits, and then shifting these assumptions with the aim of changing their behaviour. Design/Methodology/Approach Critical reflections of students were evaluated to examine student engagement with TL. As part of their assessments, a cohort of students (50) was required to complete two reflections, one in the middle of the course and one at the end of the course. Findings An analysis of these reflections suggests that students recognised the importance of questioning their existing beliefs and values or "frames of reference". Furthermore, there was some evidence that they engaged in TL, as the questioning of these assumptions led to changes in attitudes and behavioural intentions in career choices based on the argument that opportunities exist in alleviating poverty through business strategies.

Document Type: Miscellaneous

Publication date: December 1, 2018

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