Education for sustainability in the built environment: what are students telling us?

Usha Iyer-Raniga, PAULA ARCARI, James PC Wong

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding (ISBN)peer-review

    13 Citations (Scopus)
    52 Downloads (Pure)

    Abstract

    There is no doubt that climatic changes are affecting humans and will continue to do so over this century. As the evidence for climate change caused by humans is mounting, there are attendant pressures on how changes can be made to the way humans live and work. Education for sustainability is an important part of the journey to live and work in a sustainable manner. Curricula changes to incorporate sustainability education in the built environment disciplines is not a new phenomenon. Often, curricula changes are made from the perspective of the discipline and the individual teaching the subject, with very little engagement with students on whether the knowledge is ‘pitched’ at the right level. While most universities undertake their standard course evaluation surveys, the focus of the research reported in this paper is to go beyond the standard evaluation surveys. The research is focused on RMIT students graduating in Construction Management in Melbourne and Singapore. The aim of the study is two fold: to investigate whether students are aware of the importance of sustainability education in their working lives and whether there are any difference in the way students in Melbourne and Singapore view sustainability education. Accordingly, two cohorts of undergraduate students undertook the voluntary survey, one in Melbourne and one in Singapore. Evaluation of the results show that there does not appear to be significant differences in the perceptions, knowledge and understanding of sustainability issues amongst Melbourne and Singapore students of Property, Construction and Project Management at RMIT University. This is logical as the course curricula in the two cohorts of students are similar, but adapted to introduce local knowledge and information. Findings from this study have pedagogical implications for teaching students in the built environment disciplines.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of 26th Annual ARCOM Conference
    EditorsC.O Egbu, E Lou
    Pages1447-1456
    Number of pages10
    Volume2
    Publication statusPublished - 8 Sep 2010
    Event26th Annual ARCOM conference - Leeds, United Kingdom
    Duration: 6 Sep 20108 Sep 2010

    Conference

    Conference26th Annual ARCOM conference
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
    CityLeeds
    Period6/09/108/09/10

    Keywords

    • construction
    • Education
    • Sustainability

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