Document Type

Conference Paper

Rights

This item is available under a Creative Commons License for non-commercial use only

Disciplines

2. ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY

Publication Details

Engineering Education for Sustainable Development Conference, Brugge, Belgium, September.

Abstract

Huckle (2004) has argued that critical realism (CR) can provide a philosophical framework for higher education for sustainability. This paper reflects on the process of researching EESD in the Irish context and the usefulness of our approach which used mixed methods and drew on CR as its guiding philosophy. We will argue that aspects of the CR approach: its emphasis on a depth ontology, the search for causal mechanisms, its model of agency/structure relations and its emphasis on the combination of extensive and intensive methods provide tools for exploring EESD as a system. CR requires us to focus on “deeper things” in the examination of the integration of SD in engineering education. This leads to an argument for the requirement for deeper change to facilitate the development of a social model of engineering education which more fully embraces all dimensions of SD.

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