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Advancing sustainability in higher education: issues and opportunities for research

By J. Fien


This article explores issues related to the choice of goals and approaches for advancing sustainability in higher education through research. The paper argues that diverse nature of the questions, issues and problems facing advocates of sustainability in higher education requires a willingness to adopt an eclectic approach to the choice of research methodologies or paradigms. The views of reality and knowledge embedded in alternative research paradigms-empirical-analytical, interpretive, critical, and poststructural paradigms-are summarised briefly. The relevance of the four paradigms is illustrated by taking two issues of sustainability in higher education and exploring how they would be addressed by each one. The two issues are: campus catering services and integrating the principles of the Earth Charter into an engineering degree program. The paper concludes by reviewing the debate over whether this eclectic position is consistent with the goals of advancing sustainability in higher education

Publisher: Palgrave MacMillan
Year: 2002
DOI identifier: 10.1016/S0952-8733(02)00005-3
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