Pedagogy for Living in Harmony with Nature - Sustainability in Higher Education

Qudsia Kalsoom, Sibte Hasan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Citation (Scopus)


Human beings have lived as a part of Nature for millions of years. In these years, humans’ relationship with Nature remained harmonious. Earlier humans believed that the objects of Nature (living and non-living) had souls and feelings. With the agricultural revolution, humans started domesticating animals and plants. However, their relationships with Nature did not change much. The rise of capitalism in the past three centuries has not only changed human relationship with Nature but also with other human beings. Now Nature is ‘other’ to human beings. On one hand, this ‘otherness’ has allowed humans to exploit Nature’s resources and on the other hand, it has replaced human relationships with commodities leading to promoting consumer culture and unsustainable development. Higher education is largely viewed as a key enabler for sustainable development. Over 500 universities across the globe have signed the Talloires Declaration, a ten-point action plan for incorporating environmental literacy and sustainability in research, teaching and operations. Sustainability teaching in higher education may aim at developing students’ capacities as critical beings who do not follow dominant consumer ideology or cultural and environmental practices rather question them. They should be able to look at the issues of sustainability in the larger historical context. To achieve the desired outcomes, the pedagogy may include transdisciplinary learning content (the content related to United Nations Sustainable Development Goals) and the processes of dialogue, collaboration and critical reflection. The underlying assumption for this pedagogy is that unsustainability is a social issue and it may be addressed if students’ capacities are developed as critical beings.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHigher Education for Sustainable Development Goals
EditorsCarolina Machado, João Paulo Davim
Place of PublicationDenmark
PublisherRiver Publishers
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9788770224307
ISBN (Print)9788770224314
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022

Publication series

NameManagement Sciences and Engineering
PublisherRiver Publishers


  • Critical Thinking Dispositions
  • Higher Education
  • Pedagogy of Sustainability
  • Sustainable Development
  • Transformative Learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)
  • General Business,Management and Accounting


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