Explicit Integration of Sustainability into Curriculum: A Case Study Involving Introductory Economics

By Madhavi Venkatesan.

Published by The International Journal of Sustainability Education

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Using grant-funded resources, this case study explicitly engaged students in a “Principles of Macroeconomics” course with respect to the impact of sustainability-based values on economic indicators and standard of living parameters, while opening discussion of the implicit nature of consumption-based values in the economic assessment of growth. Student assimilation and reaction to the curriculum was documented over the period of the course. Students provided responses to weekly questionnaires, which tracked their changing perceptions, values, and behaviors. Weekly class discussions and individual student assessment of the awareness fostered by reviewing the two divergent value structures also contributed to qualitative results, which strongly indicated behavior modification coincident with the increasing contextual awareness of the impact of sustainability relative to the less holistic expenditure-led framework currently in use. The replicable case study advances the inclusion of sustainability values as a tool to foster understanding of the economic environment and through comparative evaluation, and to promote the evolution of individual values and behavior to potentially yield far-reaching changes in economic outcomes.

Keywords: Sustainability, Higher Education, Economics

International Journal of Sustainability Education, Volume 11, Issue 1, pp.1-10. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 403.945KB).

Dr. Madhavi Venkatesan

Faculty, Department of Economics, Bridgewater State University, Bridgewater, Massachusetts, USA