Struggling with Sustainability: Academic and Professional Identities as Barriers to Engaging in Education for Sustainability

Peter Jones, Kathrine Galloway

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractResearch

Abstract

This paper describes the current state of education for sustainability in professional social work and legal education,
considering the nature of academic and professional identity.
Despite significant advances in many areas of higher education, some professional domains remain reluctant or
even resistant to incorporating education for sustainability into core curriculum. Social work and law are two areas
where some progress is discernable, but where the pace of change appears glacial, particularly when considered in
the context of the urgency suggested by the worsening environmental crisis. One explanation for this reluctance may
be found in an understanding of the nature of academic and professional identity, and the ways in which such
identities may act as conservative and restrictive barriers to change. In this paper, the authors describe the current
state of education for sustainability in professional social work and legal education. The concepts of academic and
professional identity are then explored and identified as possible sources of resistance to the integration of
sustainability into core curriculum. Academic and professional identities are understood as strongly held yet often
"invisible" belief systems which may have a significant impact on the nature of higher education. Suggestions are
made for ways in which such identity-based resistance may be addressed and overcome
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes
EventThe Tenth International Conference on Environmental, Cultural, Economic & Social Sustainability - Split, Croatia
Duration: 22 Jan 201424 Jan 2014
Conference number: 10th
https://onsustainability.com/about/history/2014-conference

Conference

ConferenceThe Tenth International Conference on Environmental, Cultural, Economic & Social Sustainability
Abbreviated titleICECESS 2014
CountryCroatia
CitySplit
Period22/01/1424/01/14
OtherThe conference will work in a multidisciplinary way across the various fields and perspectives through which we can address the fundamental and related questions of sustainability. This interdisciplinary forum is for scholars, teachers, and practitioners from any professional discipline who share an interest in—and concern for— sustainability in an holistic perspective, where environmental, cultural, economic and social concerns intersect.

Proposals for paper presentations, workshops/interactive sessions, posters/exhibits, or colloquia are invited, addressing sustainability through one of the following themes:
• Environmental Sustainability
• Sustainability in Economic, Social and Cultural Context
• Sustainability Policy and Practice
• Sustainability Education
Internet address

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  • Cite this

    Jones, P., & Galloway, K. (2014). Struggling with Sustainability: Academic and Professional Identities as Barriers to Engaging in Education for Sustainability. Abstract from The Tenth International Conference on Environmental, Cultural, Economic & Social Sustainability, Split, Croatia.