Our tidbits this week considers how to effectively teach sustainability in the classroom and whether mobile apps can help.
Teaching the premises of sustainable development in the classroom
The systemic complexity of sustainable development imposes a major cognitive challenge to students’ learning. Faculty can explore new approaches in the classroom to teach the topic successfully, including the use of technology. The authors conducted an experiment to compare the effectiveness of a simulation vis-à-vis a case-based method to teach sustainable development.
The authors found that both pedagogical methods are effective for teaching this concept, although the results support the idea that simulations are slightly more effective than case studies, particularly to teach its multidimensional and inter-temporal nature. Therefore, the findings suggest the use of both simulations and case studies as pedagogical tools to convey the main ideas associated with sustainable development.
Andrea M. Prado, Ronald Arce, Luis E. Lopez, Jaime García and Andy A. Pearson. 2020. Simulations Versus Case Studies: Effectively Teaching the Premises of Sustainable Development in the Classroom.
Journal of Business Ethics, 161(2), 303–327.
How sustainability centres integrate sustainability within business schools
For nearly as long as the topic of sustainable business has been taught and researched in business schools, proponents have warned about barriers to genuine integration in business school practices.
This article examines how academic sustainability centres try to overcome barriers to integration by achieving technical, cultural and political fit with their environment (Ansari et al., Academy of Management Review 35(1):67–92, 2010). Based on survey and interview data, the authors theorise that technical, cultural and political fit are intricately related, and that these interrelations involve legitimacy, resources and collaboration effects.
The findings about sustainability centres offer novel insights on integrating sustainable business education given the interrelated nature of different types of fit and misfit. The authors further contribute to the literature on fit by highlighting that incompatibility between strategies to achieve different types of fit may act as a source of dynamism.