Engaging with sustainability through collaborative and transdisciplinary approaches to education

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dc.contributor.author Byrne, Edmond P.
dc.contributor.author Mullally, Gerard
dc.date.accessioned 2016-04-21T10:45:39Z
dc.date.available 2016-04-21T10:45:39Z
dc.date.issued 2015-06
dc.identifier.citation Byrne, E.P., and Mullally, G (2015) "Engaging with sustainability through collaborative and transdisciplinary approaches to education", EESD15 7th Conference on Engineering Education for Sustainable Development, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, 9-12 June. doi: 10.14288/1.0064725 en
dc.identifier.startpage 029-1 en
dc.identifier.endpage 029-8 en
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10468/2474
dc.identifier.doi 10.14288/1.0064725
dc.description.abstract Sustainability is a normative topic framed by disciplinary perspectives. This can be problematic as the tools that are used and applied to meta-problems and ‘grand challenges’ associated with societal (un)sustainability, and which may result in proposed ‘sustainable solutions’, are framed through the lens of the ‘object world’ disciplinarian. Traditional engineering education and practice has tended to frame problems in narrow techno-economic terms, often neglecting broader social, environmental, ethical and political issues; or what might be termed the social complexities of problems (Bucciarelli, 2008; Mulder et al., 2012). This reductionist approach has sought to close down risk and uncertainty through deterministic modelling and design, resulting in frameworks/models which provide an air of misplaced confidence but which are incapable of accounting for (or recognising) unknowability, and can thus lead to behaviour which ironically, results in increased fragility, rather than promoting increased robustness or resilience. Researchers in the social sciences and humanities are inherently more comfortable and adept with dealing with complexity, uncertainty and unknowability. This paper is posited in this context, whereby chemical engineering and sociology students taking respective disciplinary sustainability/environmental modules were brought together to work on a common assignment dealing with some aspect of sustainability. This paper reflects on this collaborative exercise, including the experiences of the students themselves, alongside some challenges and successes. It concludes that transdisciplinary approaches to learning are not just desirable in addressing wicked and meta-problems when addressing challenges of (un)sustainability, but represent a sine qua non for building the social capacity in confronting these issues. en
dc.description.uri http://eesd15.engineering.ubc.ca/ en
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.publisher University of British Columbia en
dc.relation.ispartof EESD15 – The Seventh International Conference on Engineering Education for Sustainable Development, 9-12 June 2015, Vancouver, Canada
dc.relation.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2429/53757
dc.rights © 2015, Edmond P. Byrne and Gerard Mullally. en
dc.subject Sustainability en
dc.subject Transdisciplinary en
dc.subject Education en
dc.subject Engineering en
dc.title Engaging with sustainability through collaborative and transdisciplinary approaches to education en
dc.type Conference item en
dc.internal.authorcontactother Edmond Byrne, Process & Chemical Engineering, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland. +353-21-490-3000 Email: e.byrne@ucc.ie en
dc.internal.availability Full text available en
dc.date.updated 2015-10-29T13:34:09Z
dc.description.version Accepted Version en
dc.internal.rssid 323069120
dc.description.status Peer reviewed en
dc.internal.copyrightchecked Yes. !!CORA!! Published Version licenced on University of BC repository with CC-BY-NC-ND-2.5. Conference Proceedings published on UBC repository "CIRCLE" https://open.library.ubc.ca/cIRcle/collections/52657/items/1.0064725 http://hdl.handle.net/2429/53757 en
dc.internal.licenseacceptance Yes en
dc.internal.conferencelocation University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada en
dc.internal.IRISemailaddress e.byrne@ucc.ie en

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