Encyclopedia of Sustainability in Higher Education

2019 Edition
| Editors: Walter Leal Filho

Attitude Change to Sustainable Development

  • Qudsia KalsoomEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-11352-0_160



Attitude change towards sustainable development (SD) may be defined as a change in one’s feelings towards the issues related to environment, society, or economy. It is about developing a concern and feeling for the planet earth and life on it (humans and other living creatures). In other words, a change in attitude towards SD refers to feeling bad for environmental destruction, climate change, oppression, and socioeconomic injustice. It also involves a strong feeling of undertaking pro-sustainability actions at individual or collective levels.


Attitudes towards sustainable development (SD) may be described as enduring feelings towards the issues related to environment, society, or economy. SD or sustainability refers to two ideals, i.e., sustaining and developing. Nature (earth, biodiversity,...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Adomßent M, Barth M, Fischer D, Richter S, Rieckmann M (2014) Learning tochange universities from within: a service-learning perspective on promotingsustainable consumption in higher education. J Clean Prod 62:72–81Google Scholar
  2. Biasutti M, Frate S (2017) A validity and reliability study of the attitudes toward sustainable development scale. Environ Educ Res 23(2):214–230CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Brundiers K, Wiek A, Redman CL (2010) Real-world learning opportunities in sustainability: from classroom into the real world. Int J Sustain High Educ 11(4):308–324CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Eagly AH, Chaiken S (1993) The psychology of attitudes. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich College Publishers, OrlandoGoogle Scholar
  5. Kalsoom Q, Khanam A (2017) Inquiry into sustainability issues by preservice teachers: a pedagogy to enhance sustainability consciousness. J Clean Prod 164:1301–1311CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Kalsoom Q, Khanam A, Quraishi U (2017) Sustainability consciousness of pre-service teachers in Pakistan. Int J Sustain High Educ 18(7):1090–1107CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Kelman HC (1958) Compliance, identification, and internalization three processes of attitude change. J Confl Resolut 2(1):51–60CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Kollmuss A, Agyeman J (2002) Mind the gap: why do people act environmentally and what are the barriers to pro-environmental behavior? Environ Educ Res 8(3):239–260CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Lasen M, Tomas L, Hill A (2015) Potential of service-learning to promote sustainability competencies in pre-service teachers: a case study. Teach Educ 26(4):341–365CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Leal Filho W (2010) Teaching sustainable development at university level: current trends and future needs. J Balt Sci Educ 9(4):273–284Google Scholar
  11. Leiserowitz AA, Kates RW, Parris TM (2006) Sustainability values, attitudes, and behaviors: a review of multinational and global trends. Annual Review Environment Resources 31:413–444CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Milfont TL, Sibley CG (2012) The big five personality traits and environmental engagement: associations a the individual and societal level. J Environ Psychol 32:187–195CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Michalos AC, Creech H, Swayze N, Kahlke PM, Buckler C, Rempel K (2012) Measuring knowledge, attitudes and behaviours concerning sustainable development among tenth grade students in Manitoba. Soc Indic Res 106(2):213–238CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Michalos AC, Kahlke PM, Rempel K, Lounatvuori A, MacDiarmid A, Creech H, Buckler C (2015) Progress in measuring knowledge, attitudes and behaviours concerning sustainable development among tenth grade students in Manitoba. Soc Indic Res 123(2):303–336CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Orr DW (1994) Earth in mind: on education, environment, and the human prospect. Island Press, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  16. Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) (2009) Green at fifteen: how 15-year-olds perform in environmental science and geoscience in PISA 2006. OECD, ParisGoogle Scholar
  17. Pajares MF (1992) Teachers’ beliefs and educational research: cleaning up a messy construct. Rev Educ Res 62(3):307–332CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Petty RE, Cacioppo JT (1981) Attitudes and persuasion, vol 250. William C. Brown, Dubuque, pp 81–92Google Scholar
  19. Pisano I, Lubell M (2017) Environmental behavior in cross-national perspective: A multilevel analysis of 30 countries. Environ and Behav 49(1):31–58CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Pretorius R, Lombard A, Khotoo A (2016) Adding value to education for sustainability in Africa with inquiry-based approaches in open and distance learning. Int J Sustain High Educ 17(2):167–187CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Schumacher, E.F. (1997) ‘This I believe’ and other essays. Green Books,.Dartington (essay first published in 1974)Google Scholar
  22. Tabacbnick BR, Zeichner KM (1984) The impact of the student teaching experience on the development of teacher perspectives. J Teach Educ 35(6):28–36CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Torbjörnsson T, Molin L, Karlberg M (2011) Measuring attitudes towards three values that underlie sustainable development. Utbildning & Demokrati 20(1) 97–121. Accessed from: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Tomas_Torbjoernsson/publication/280113843_Measuring_attitudes_towards_three_values_that_underlie_sustainable_development/links/55aa970c08ae481aa7fbc634.pdf. 23 May 2018
  24. UNESCO (2006) United nations decade of education for sustainable Development2005–2014, UNESCO: international implementation scheme. UNESCO, ParisGoogle Scholar
  25. Wiek A, Xiong A, Brundiers K, van der Leeuw S (2014) Integrating problem-and project-based learning into sustainability programs: a case study on the School of Sustainability at Arizona State University. Int J Sustain High Educ 15(4):431–449CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of EducationBeaconhouse National UniversityLahorePakistan

Section editors and affiliations

  • Evangelos Manolas
    • 1
  1. 1.Democritus University of ThraceThraceGreece