Authors: Sholpan Davletova
Addresses: Almaty Management University (ALMA University), 227 Rozybakiev Str., 050060 Almaty, Kazakhstan
Abstract: Sustainability teaching is challenging due to problems of the economic development, as well as of overcoming a post-communist mentality in countries with economies in transition. This is particularly relevant for higher education institutions that produce professionals, who will shape the future of a society. In this study, a sustainability survey was conducted as the first attempt to assess students' environmental knowledge, consciousness and activity at ALMA University in Kazakhstan. Students were aware of environmental problems of the country and of the world. However, they showed a passive attitude towards possible solutions for the environmental challenges and for changing their consumption patterns. This could be associated with a lack of participatory, decision making and leadership skills and with socio-economic conditions in Kazakhstan. To strengthen education for sustainable development, interdisciplinary sustainability teaching that incorporates active participation and leadership skills, critical thinking and systems thinking, should be a priority in higher education.
Keywords: higher education; Kazakhstan; sustainability survey; sustainability teaching; education for sustainable development; ESD; sustainable economy; environmental consciousness; environmental activity; environmental knowledge; consumption patterns; participatory decision making; socio-economic conditions; interdisciplinary teaching; active participation; leadership skills; critical thinking; systems thinking.
International Journal of Continuing Engineering Education and Life-Long Learning, 2016 Vol.26 No.3, pp.345 - 356
Received: 10 Dec 2014
Accepted: 16 Dec 2015
Published online: 01 Aug 2016 *