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HOW CAN FORMAL ADMINISTRATIVE STRUCTURES ENHANCE SUSTAINABILITY IN LIBERAL ARTS COLLEGES?: A CASE STUDY OF COLORADO COLLEGE

by Haslett, Fiona Sinclair

Abstract

The “institutional inertia” for Education for Sustainability (EfS) in liberal arts institutions is often attributed to faculty perceptions that EfS is not relevant within their area of expertise. However, sustainability is most effectively integrated into an institution when the formal administrative structures align to prioritize a whole system approach. After conducting 40 interviews with professors across all divisions, we developed an understanding of academics’ attitudes, values, and experiences to identify areas where EfS can be more effectively woven into informal campus activities and curricula. In addition, the formal administrative structures of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) can promote incongruences between faculty beliefs and campus practices. Findings from this qualitative study are divided into three hypotheses that a liberal arts education should: (1) transition away from teaching within disciplines and establish curricula structured around the process of learning, the development of skills, and the acquisition of knowledge through transdisciplinary topics, (2) create a context for student learning that engages the affective domain and fosters opportunities to develop individual values, attitudes and passions, (3) prioritize a process of learning that includes active participation and an inquiry-based approach to develop students as leaders and agents of change.  

Note

The author has given permission for this work to be deposited in the Digital Archive of Colorado College.

Colorado College Honor Code upheld.

Includes bibliographical references.

Administrative Notes

The author has given permission for this work to be deposited in the Digital Archive of Colorado College.

Colorado College Honor Code upheld.

Copyright
Copyright restrictions apply.
Publisher
Colorado College
PID
coccc:11188
Digital Origin
born digital
Extent
63 pages : illustrations
Thesis
Senior Thesis -- Colorado College
Thesis Advisor
Whitten, Barbara Drossman, Howard
Department/Program
Environmental Program
Degree Name
Bachelor of Arts
Degree Type
bachelor
Degree Grantor
Colorado College
Date Issued
2015-05