Encyclopedia of Sustainability in Higher Education

2019 Edition
| Editors: Walter Leal Filho

Innovative Approaches to Teaching Sustainable Development

  • Alastair M. SmithEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-11352-0_18


The formal teaching of sustainable development is arguably innovative within itself. However, innovation in the teaching of sustainable development can be interpreted to imply nonmainstream, though not necessarily new, teaching practices, embedded in pedagogies identified as promoting more effective learning experiences.


Education for sustainable development (ESD) is a fundamentally innovative educational field. As in many other areas, it naturally draws on long-standing progressive educational traditions and mirrors innovative education elsewhere. However, it now displays widely agreed characteristics that go beyond subject content to incorporate new agglomerations of education philosophy and praxis; ESD therefore exemplifies many individual pedagogical practices that while not strictly “new,” justify classification as innovative in that they remain marginal in formal university education.

Identifying innovations in the field of ESD can be challenging, as...

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Global Sustainable Development, School of Cross-Faculty StudiesUniversity of WarwickCoventryUK

Section editors and affiliations

  • Luciana Brandli
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Passo FundoPasso FundoBrazil