Corroding the Curriculum: Sustainability versus Education

Austin Williams | February 2010 (Academic Questions, Springer Link)

This essay explores the ubiquity of the sustainability agenda in higher education in the United Kingdom (with some parallel examples from the United States) with a view to pointing out its corrosive influence on educational ambition. In so doing, I suggest that the prevalence of sustainability within education has only been possible because academia has lowered its own critical faculties and allowed academic institutions to be colonized by social policy objectives to the detriment of knowledge for its own sake. Fundamentally, I want to explore the effects of today’s doctrinaire approach to education, which, as far as I am concerned, has resulted in the degradation of students’ expectations, the abrogation of responsibility by those in erstwhile academic authority, and the failure—or refusal—of the academy to defend education in its own terms. Read on… 

‘Corroding the Curriculum’ is reprinted from Academic Questions, Springer Link, February 2010; DOI 10.1007/s12129-009-9146-2.

NOTE: This article is reproduced here with the kind permission of Academic Questions, Springer Link. Open Access: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution. Noncommercial License which permits any noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited.

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Author: austinwilliams

Austin Williams is the director of the Future Cities Project and author of a number of books on the environment and on China. The latest are "China's Urban Revolution" (Bloomsbury) and "New Chinese Architecture: Twenty Women Building the Future" (Thames and Hudson).

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