Challenges and tensions in collaborative planning of a student-led course on sustainability education
Student-led courses have been described as a promising approach to improve sustainability education. However, there is a lack of systematic studies about the benefits and challenges of such courses. This qualitative case study examines the challenges and tensions that arose in the planning of a student-led higher education course on sustainability education. The challenges were identified from the student course designers’ conversations and interviews using discourse analysis, focusing on their disagreements during planning. The identified challenges concerned sustainability and sustainability education, the course designers’ roles, and collaborative decision-making. To relate the challenges to wider discourses on these topics, five underlying tensions were recognized. These include the tension between participatory action and critical discussion approaches for sustainability education, and the tension between drive towards unanimity and agreeing to disagree in collaborative educational planning. Finally, it is discussed how, and to what degree, the challenges and tensions can and should be mitigated.
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).