Students’ experience of sustainability: health as a lever for action

Details

Serval ID
serval:BIB_07423EECD960
Type
Article: article from journal or magazin.
Collection
Publications
Institution
Title
Students’ experience of sustainability: health as a lever for action
Journal
International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education
Author(s)
Schweizer Angélick, Miserez  Sébastien, Del Rio Carral Maria, Santiago-Delefosse Marie
ISSN
1467-6370
Publication state
Published
Issued date
2018
Peer-reviewed
Oui
Language
english
Abstract
Purpose: This study aimed to deepen our understanding of higher education students’ perceptions about sustainability issues by focusing on their motivations to adopt (or not to adopt) sustainable practices in their lives. It mobilized the notion of “health” and the potential impacts of climate change on health.
Methodology: A qualitative and participatory action approach, involving students acting as researchers, was implemented. All psychology students (bachelor’s degree) were trained to conduct semi-directive interviews with students from other faculties on the issues of sustainability and health. In total, 203 interviews were completed within two academic years. We performed a lexicographic analysis followed by a thematic analysis.
Findings: Analyses showed that the concept of sustainability was unclear for most student interviewees (SI) and that only a few of them were able to spontaneously connect it with health. Only after being guided throughout the interview did these SI, mainly geoscience students, became progressively aware of the direct links between sustainability and health issues, such as personal health. The perceived risks of non-sustainable practices were higher when they directly affected the body itself and this encouraged adoption of more sustainable practices.
Social implications: This research enables us to identify specific interventions in order to decrease the gap between awareness of sustainability and sustainable practices. These interventions may be more effective if they aim to sensitize students to the direct impacts of non-sustainable practices on their personal health. This can be made possible by using creative learning activities that involve active participation of students.

Create date
18/10/2017 14:42
Last modification date
21/08/2019 6:14
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