Addressing the Time Lag Dilemma in Curriculum Renewal Towards Engineering Education for Sustainable Development
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Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to present the case for engineering departments to undertake rapid curriculum renewal (RCR) towards engineering education for sustainable development (EESD), to minimise the department's risk exposure to rapidly shifting industry requirements, government regulations and program accreditation. This paper then outlines a number of elements of RCR. Design/methodology/approach - This paper begins by proposing that Higher Education Institutions face a "time lag dilemma," whereby the usual or "standard" curriculum renewal approach to embed new knowledge and skills within the curriculum may take too long, lagging behind industry, regulatory, and accreditation shifts. This paper then outlines a proposed RCR approach. This paper presents a number of preliminary "elements of RCR" formulated from a literature review of numerous existing but largely ad hoc examples of curriculum renewal within engineering and other discipline areas, together with the authors' experience in trialling the elements. Findings - This paper concludes that a strategically implemented process of curriculum renewal to EESD can help a department address its risk exposure to likely and impending shifts in industry, regulations and accreditation. A number of examples of implementing "elements of RCR" are emerging and this literature can inform a strategic approach to curriculum renewal. Practical implications - The aim of this paper is to highlight the potential risks and opportunities for engineering departments as they consider "how far" and "how fast" to proceed with curriculum renewal for EESD, along with providing an overview of a range of options for implementation. Originality/value - This paper fulfils an identified information/resources need. Keywords Curriculum development, Sustainable development, Education Paper type Viewpoint
International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education
© 2009 Emerald. This is the author-manuscript version of this paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.
Engineering not elsewhere classified
Science, Technology and Engineering Curriculum and Pedagogy