Developing sustainability curriculum using the PBL method in a Chinese context

  • Du, Xiangyun (Project Participant)
  • Liu, Jingling (Project Manager)
  • Su, Liya (Project Participant)

    Project Details


    Sustainability is receiving increasing amounts of attention in higher education in terms of how to integrate it into university curricula. Sustainability is closely related to complexity, innovation, and interdisciplinarity; therefore, it requires alternative approaches rather than traditional, lecture-based pedagogy. This project is an educational initiative and research project based on collaboration between Beijing Normal University, China and Aalborg University, Denmark: developing a sustainability curriculum using the methodology of Problem and Project Based Learning (PBL) in a Chinese context. A theoretical framework is established to understand and analyze the culture’s change toward a sustainability curriculum that employs PBL methodology. Empirical data generation is based on multiple collection methods such as survey of students’ feedbacks, interviews with students, and analysis of students’ project reports and reflection essays. Initial findings of the project suggest that a sustainability curriculum as proposed in this research can attract students’ interests in not only mastering relevant knowledge, but also in developing necessary skills and competences. PBL as a teaching and learning method can successfully facilitate participative learning, critical reflection, systemic thinking, creativity, and cultural awareness, which are the core values of sustainability. However, implementing a new curriculum with new teaching and learning methods is more complex than expected. Many issues are impacting the implementation process and therefore remain challenges to further development; for example, how to change the existing grading system, how to provide both teaching staff and students’ with prior knowledge about the new PBL methods, how to gain institutional support, and how to change the broad societal and cultural values.
    Effective start/end date01/09/2008 → …


    Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.