Working Papers

Working Papers in Higher Education for Sustainable Development Series

Working Papers in Higher Education for Sustainable Development is a series dedicated to publishing recent insights and discussions from ongoing research projects in the field of Higher Education for Sustainable Development. One major goal is to make detailed case descriptions, notes on methods, research designs, and related information available in a transparent fashion; such information usually exceeds the scope of journal articles. Fellow researchers, scholars, and practitioners are invited to comment, discuss, and contribute their thoughts and experiences. This working papers series is published by the Joint Center for Global Sustainability and Cultural Transformation (CGSC), a transatlantic academic collaboration between Leuphana University of Lüneburg and Arizona State University

# Issue 1

Comparative Analysis of Sustainability Curricula Implementation Processes in Higher Education Institutions: A Variable-based Analytical Scheme


Sustainable development depends on the broad implementation of sustainability curricula across higher education institutions. While this belief is widely shared, little empirical evidence and generalizable results have been generated of such implementation processes and specific driving and hindering factors. This paper provides a scheme for analyzing these processes. The scheme can be used to analyze a single case or a few case studies, but its primary appeal lies in enabling comparisons and meta-analyses of a large number of case studies. Its application will deepen the understanding of sustainability curricula implementation processes in higher education institutions.

# Issue 2

Competence Development in Teacher Education for Sustainable Development at Leuphana University and Arizona State University


Meeting the global ambition to implement education for sustainability at levels largely depends on competent and motivated teachers. Accordingly, teacher education for sustainable development (TESD) aims to equip future educators with specific content knowledge, the ability to implement adequate teaching and learning scenarios and increase their motivation to do so. Whereas previous literature has dealt extensively with concepts and empirical work around learning objectives, the TESD case study of the Educating Future Change Agents (EFCA) project links learning outcomes or WHAT student teachers learn to the learning processes or HOW they learn. To inform the empirical research of the case study, this working paper provides a detailed case description of individual TESD courses at Leuphana University of Lüneburg (Germany) and Arizona State University (USA). By describing contextual conditions, the teaching and learning environment as well as applied teaching formats and student cohorts we aim to increase the transparence of our research and help to better understand related empirical results.

# Issue 3

Competence Across Curricula: A Comparison of Three Graduate Sustainability Programs


As fulcrums for knowledge generation, higher education institutions take a key role in sustainable transformation. Part of their responsibility is the education of future change agents. These leaders will need competencies associated with effective complex problem solving, but evidence-based insights on how to develop and implement powerful competence-oriented curricula is still lacking. This comparative case study examines the curricula of three existing graduate sustainability programs. These programs, the Leuphana Master of Sustainability Science, the Arizona State University Sustainability M.A./M.S., and the Global Sustainability Science Master show three approaches to sustainability education embedded in local contexts. To inform the data-driven insights from this research, this working paper provides a detailed description of the education histories and contexts of each case, as well as an overview of the overall research design. This contextual information both enriches the thick data of each case and increases transparency of the research for better understanding of related findings

# Issue 4

Developing Key Competencies in Sustainability Through Project-based Sustainability Courses - Material from a Comparative Study


Project-based sustainability courses claim to equip students with key competencies in sustainability.  As part of the Educating Future Change Agents (EFCA) project, one case study investigated three project-based sustainability courses at four universities regarding the link between learning outcomes, i.e. what students learn in such courses, and processes, i.e. how they learn, as well as the enabling or hindering learning environment. This working paper provides detailed case descriptions of the three project-based sustainability courses at Leuphana University of Lüneburg (Germany), Arizona State University (USA), the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (Switzerland), and the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (Spain). It captures contextual conditions, learning environment, teaching and learning formats, and student cohorts of the courses to increase transparency of the research and provide context for the empirical results.