Education for Sustainable Development: Assessment of the Current Situation at the Faculty of Engineering of Notre Dame University – Louaize

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Abstract

There is a growing need to incorporate educational sustainable development (ESD) principles into engineering education. This paper identifies engineering competencies within the Faculty of Engineering at Notre Dame University - Louaize and the means to shift towards sustainability. ESD tools are used to carry the analysis, keeping in mind the Faculty of Engineering accreditation system ABET, incorporated as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, Inc., requirements. A survey of the current situation was conducted based on seven key areas: curriculum, research and scholarship, operations, faculty and staff development, outreach and service, student opportunities, administration, mission and planning. The survey revealed some weaknesses that the Faculty of Engineering needs to address for a successful implementation of sustainable practices. ESD is integrated in two selected engineering courses. At the beginning of the course, a questionnaire is used to assess the knowledge, behaviour and attitudes of students. Results show that students currently understand the importance of ESD, but they have a weak knowledge of the relationship between the environment and sustainable future and a bad understanding of sufficient living economy principle. The analysis showed also the need to introduce new courses of sustainability. Nevertheless, the proposed amendment to the curriculum ought to be carried in conjunction with the Faculty of Engineering accreditation system ABET. A wide dissemination of ESD throughout the entire engineering programme will help promoting sustainability. Besides, the infusion of ESD can be implemented within a common engineering course - a mandatory course for all engineering students following ABET amendment procedures.

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Discourse and Communication for Sustainable Education

The Journal of UNESCO Chair on the Interplay of Tradition and Innovation in Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) at Daugavpils University, Latvia

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