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Title: COVID-19 : the impact of a global crisis on sustainable development teaching
Authors: Leal Filho, Walter
Price, Elizabeth
Wall, Tony
Shiel, Chris
Azeiteiro, Ulisses M.
Mifsud, Mark C.
Brandli, Luciana
Farinha, Carla Sofia
Caeiro, Sandra
Lange Salvia, Amanda
Ruy Vasconcelos, Claudio
Olim de Sousa, Luiza
Pace, Paul J.
Doni, Federica
Veiga Avila, Lucas
Fritzen, Bárbara
LeVasseur, Todd Jared
Keywords: COVID-19 (Disease)
Environmental education
Web-based instruction
Sustainability -- Study and teaching
Sustainable development -- Study and teaching
Issue Date: 2021
Publisher: Springer Netherlands
Citation: Leal Filho, W., Price, E., Wall, T., Shiel, C., Azeiteiro, U. M., Mifsud, M. C.,… LeVasseur, T. J. (2021). COVID-19 : the impact of a global crisis on sustainable development teaching. Environment, Development and Sustainability.
Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a global crisis, one which also influences the ways sustainability is being taught at universities. This paper undertakes an analysis of the extent to which COVID-19 as a whole and the lockdown it triggered in particular, which has led to the suspension of presence-based teaching in universities worldwide and influenced teaching on matters related to sustainable development. By means of a worldwide survey involving higher education institutions across all continents, the study has identified a number of patterns, trends and problems. The results from the study show that the epidemic has significantly affected teaching practices. The lockdowns have led to a surge in the use of on-line communication tools as a partial replacement to normal lessons. In addition, many faculty teaching sustainability in higher education have strong competencies in digital literacy. The sampled higher education educations have—as a whole—adequate infrastructure to continue to teach during the lockdowns. Finally, the majority of the sample revealed that they miss the interactions via direct face-to-face student engagement, which is deemed as necessary for the effective teaching of sustainability content. The implications of this paper are two-fold. Firstly, it describes how sustainability teaching on sustainable development has been affected by the lockdown. Secondly, it describes some of the solutions deployed to overcome the problem. Finally, the paper outlines the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic may serve the purpose of showing how university teaching on sustainability may be improved in the future, taking more advantage of modern information technologies.
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