Pedagogy of Rethinking: Teaching Students to Transform Conventional Professional Practices to Sustainable Ones

Marharyta Radomska, Oleksandra Khalaim, Malgorzata Rusinska, Larysa Cherniak, Anna Wozna, Mara Zeltina


Sustainable development serves an umbrella concept for the transformation of individual and professional life. Students of higher educational institutions must acquire the skills of sustainable decision making and practicing, which will be applied in their working place. They might face problems in changing the existing professional practices to sustainable ones. The experience of ESD methods application in the universities of Ukraine, Poland, and Latvia was analysed in order to define common challenges and issues encountered by the supervisors of the courses, which included design of a project. The courses with projects were taught to the students of all three education levels with various backgrounds: Mechanical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Transport Technologies, and Management. The central idea of those projects was to transform chosen industrial and managerial practices to ones aligned with the SDGs. A self-assessment of course results, comparative analysis of methods and approaches used yield a list of recommendations and methods that contribute to the rethinking capacity for transformation of any professional field practices towards the principles of sustainability. In particular, it is clear that the project course should be co-created using transformative learning approach and “flipped classroom” to stimulate generation of students’ ideas. Equally important is to adapt SDGs to each professional field not only highlighting their varied applicabilitybut also conceptual equivalence. The important result of project-based learning is also action competence of students, being ready and interested to implement sustainability principles in their work and see them as options for entrepreneurship and business development.  


Action competence; Project-based learning; Principles of Sustainability; Teaching methods; Transformative learning

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DOI: 10.7250/scee.2022.008


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