Education for sustainability: rethinking digital teaching and learning strategy

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dc.contributor.author Monro, Morag
dc.date.accessioned 2021-08-05T12:09:40Z
dc.date.available 2021-08-05T12:09:40Z
dc.date.issued 2021-06-14
dc.identifier.citation Monro, M. (2021) ‘Education for sustainability: rethinking digital teaching and learning strategy’, EESD2021: Proceedings of the 10th Engineering Education for Sustainable Development Conference, 'Building Flourishing Communities', University College Cork, Ireland, 14-16 June. en
dc.identifier.startpage 1 en
dc.identifier.endpage 8 en
dc.identifier.issn 2737-7741
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10468/11673
dc.description.abstract In this paper I argue that National strategy relating to digital learning and teaching in Higher Education (HE) both foregrounds technology as a means to advance a neoliberal policy agenda, and neglects HE’s pivotal role in equipping graduates to deal with global sustainability challenges. I argue for an alternative framing of digital teaching and learning in policy discourse that, rather than being underpinned by neoliberal ideology, aims to prepare graduates to contribute to a more sustainable global society. Neoliberalism, a worldview that puts faith in the supremacy of the free market at the heart of all human activities, has become the prevailing ideology determining the purpose and operation of HE systems worldwide. HE tends to be presented in policy and strategy discourse as being primarily concerned with enhancing economic growth and global competitiveness, and with advancing the wealth and social mobility of the individual. Given the increasing influence of neoliberalism on HE, it is perhaps unsurprising that we see evidence of neoliberalism’s influence in digital teaching and learning strategy. In order to demonstrate this in detail, I will draw on some of the findings of a Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) of 13 UK digital teaching and learning strategies. Across the strategies the need to grow the economy and to upskill citizens accordingly is presented as one of the main drivers for implementing digital learning and teaching in HE. As well as primarily framing digital learning and teaching as a means to advance the neoliberal agenda, the strategies also fail to reference the role that digital technologies might play in supporting pedagogical strategies aimed at developing the attributes that students will need to address sustainability challenges. I will conclude by referring to some examples of good practice in the use of digital technologies to support sustainability education, and by making some recommendations for future policy and strategy directions. en
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.publisher University College Cork en
dc.relation.ispartof EESD2021: Proceedings of the 10th Engineering Education for Sustainable Development Conference
dc.relation.uri https://www.eesd2020.org/
dc.relation.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10468/11459
dc.rights © 2021, the Author(s). This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License en
dc.rights.uri https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/ en
dc.subject Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) en
dc.subject Digital learning and teaching en
dc.subject Engineering education en
dc.subject Sustainability en
dc.title Education for sustainability: rethinking digital teaching and learning strategy en
dc.type Conference item en
dc.internal.authorcontactother Edmond P. Byrne, Engineering, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland. +353-21-490-3000 Email: e.byrne@ucc.ie en
dc.internal.availability Full text available en
dc.description.version Accepted Version en
dc.description.status Peer reviewed en
dc.internal.conferencelocation Cork, Ireland en


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© 2021, the Author(s). This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as © 2021, the Author(s). This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License
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