The concepts of sustainability and sustainability competence are controversial, complex, difficult to define and measure, and have varied meanings for different people and practices. Given the complex nature of sustainability, there is limited availability of paradigmatic frameworks to guide educators in assessing sustainability competencies. This paper introduces the Dispositions, Abilities and Behaviours (DAB) framework, which influenced the design of an intervention in 2013-2014 that profiled sustainability competencies among final year undergraduate students in a higher education institution. The results of the mixed methods study indicate that the DAB framework has good potential as a guide to educators or researchers in understanding and profiling sustainability- related abilities, attitudes and actions (areas of performance) of cohorts of students within higher education settings.
Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). (2012). STARS: A program of AASHE: Version 1.2 Technical Manual. Retrieved from http://www.aashe.org/files/documents/STARS/stars_1.2_technical_manual.pdf
Benn, S., &Dunphy, D. (2009). Action research as an approach to integrating sustainability in MBA programs: An exploratory study. Journal of Management Education, 33(3), 276-295.
Central Statistics Office. (2012). Women and men in Ireland. Dublin: Stationary Office.
Copernicus. (1994). The University Charter for sustainable development. Retrieved from http://www.iids.org/educate/declarat/coper.htm
Council of the European Union (2011). The role of education and training in the implementation of the ‘Europe 2020’ Strategy. Conclusions of the Council. Retrieved from http://ec.europa.eu/education/lifelong-learning-policy/policy-framework_en.htm
Creswell, J. W. (2012). Educational research: Planning, conducting, and evaluating quantitative and qualitative research (4th ed.). Boston: Pearson.
Dunlap, R. E., & Van Liere, K. D. (1978). The “new environmental paradigm”: A proposed measuring instrument and preliminary results. Environmental Education, 9, 10-11.
Dunlap, R. E., Van Liere, K. D., Mertig, A. G., & Jones, R. E. (2000). Measurement endorsement of the new ecological paradigm: A revised NEP scale. Journal of Social Issues, 56(3), 425-442.
Escobar, A. (2001). Culture sits in Places: Reflections on globalism and subaltern strategies of localization. Journal of Political Geography, 20(2), 139-174.
FitzGerald, M., Walsh, K., & McCutcheon, H. (2001). An integrative systematic review of indicators for competence for practice and protocol for validation of indicators of competence. Brisbane: The Queensland Nursing Council.
Golafshani, N. (2003). Understanding reliability and validity in qualitative research. The Qualitative Report, 8(4), 597-606.
Gonczi, A. (2002). Teaching and learning of the key competencies. In D. S. Rychen, L. H. Salganik & M. E. McLaughlin (Eds.), Definition and selection of key competencies. Contribution to the second DeSeCo symposium. Retrieved from http://www.deseco.admin.ch/bfs/deseco/en/index/02.parsys.26255.downloadList.54824.DownloadFile.tmp/2003.symposiumvolume.pdf
Greene, J. C., Caracelli, V. J., & Graham, W. F. (1989). Towards a conceptual framework for mixed-method evaluation designs. Journal of Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 11, 255-274.
Hopkinson, P., & James, P., (2010). Practical pedagogy for embedding ESD in science, technology, engineering and mathematics curricula. International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education,11(4), 365-379.
Kates, R. W., Parris, T. M., & Leiserowitz, A. A. (2005). What is sustainable development? Goals, indicators, values and practice. Journal of Environment, Science and Policy for Sustainable Development, 47(3), 8-21.
Kopnina, H. (2013). Evaluating education for sustainable development (ESD): Using ecocentric and anthropocentric attitudes toward the sustainable development (EAATSD) scale. Journal of Environment, Development and Sustainability, 15(3), 607-623.
Levett-Jones, T., Gersbach, J. Arthur, C., & Roche, J. (2011). Implementing a clinical competency assessment model that promotes critical reflection and ensures nursing graduatesí readiness for professional practice. Nurse Education in Practice, 11(1), 64-69.
Makrakis, V., & Kostoulas-Makrakis, N. (2013). A methodology for reorienting university curricula to address sustainability: The RUCAS-Tempus project initiative. In C. Jabbour, S. Caeiro, U. M. Azeiteiro & W. L. Filho (Eds.), Sustainability assessment tools in higher education institutions - mapping trends and good practices around the world (pp. 323-358). London: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-02375-5
Mebratu, D. (1998). Sustainability and sustainable development: Historical and conceptual review. Environmental Impact Assessment Review, 18, 493-520.
Mochizuki, Y., & Fadeeva, Z. (2010). Competences for sustainable development and sustainability: Significance and challenges for ES. International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, 11(4), 391-403.
Pachauri, R. J., & Meyer, L. (2014). Climate change 2014 synthesis report: Summary for policy makers. Retrieved from http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar5/syr/SYR_AR5_SPMcorr1.pdf
Pedersen, P. B. (2007). Ethics, competence, and professional issues in cross-cultural counseling. Retrieved from http://www.sagepub.com/upm-data/1565_Chapter_1.pdf
Shaeffer, S.(2007). Education for sustainable development: A framework for reform. Retrieved from http://www.unescobkk.org/esd
Stevenson, J. (1996). The metamorphosis of the construction of competence. Studies in Continuing Education, 18(1), 24-42.
Talloires Declaration. (2005). Talloires Declaration on the civic roles and social responsibilities of higher education. Retrieved from http://talloiresnetwork.tufts.edu/whatis-the-talloires-network/talloires-declaration/
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO). (1996). Learning - the treasure within. Paris: UNESCO.
United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO). (2006). UNESCO’s role, vision and challenges for the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005-2014). Retrieved from http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0014/001469/146976e.pdf
United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO). (2007). The UN Decade for Education for Sustainable Development 2005-2014. Retrieved from http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0015/001540/154093e.pdf
USA Department of the Interior University. (2013). Career development: Competencies. Retrieved from http://www.doiu.doi.gov/competencies
Watson, R., Stimpson, A., Topping, A., & Porock, D. (2002). Clinical competence in nursing: A systematic review of the literature. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 39(5), 421-431.
Wiek, A. (2010). Sustainability science - what are the core competencies? Retrieved from http://icss2010.net/download/documents/24-JUNE/Sessione-5_Sustainabilityscience-education
World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED). (1987). Our common future: Report of the World Commission on Environment and Development. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Yencken, D., & Wilkinson, D. (2001). Resetting the compass: Australia’s journey towards sustainability. Collingwood, Victoria: Csiro Publishing.
Zwickle, A., Koontz, T. M., Slagle, K. M., & Bruskotter, J. T. (2014). Assessing sustainability knowledge of a student population: Developing a tool to measure knowledge in the environmental, economic and social domains. International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, 15(4), 375-389.