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Transformative Learning for Sustainability

This research is developed from the philosophical standpoint that transformative learning for sustainability can emerge from interaction in dialogic spaces. The underlying conception of social learning focuses on the relation of learning across different scales of social organization – individual, group, organizational or societal – and builds on prevailing conceptions of social learning in environmental management. The conception of learning as collective scientific inquiry is rooted in John Dewey’s work (1938). Learning is understood as a process of developing an enriched understanding and repertoire of action on problems as a result of open experimentation and judgment. The fact of knowing more and mastering knowledge in a different manner changes our relationship between the world and ourselves. Progress then builds on the evaluation of and passing judgment on a direction of development.

Recently published research focused on how universities engage on sustainability issues by staging transformative learning opportunities. This research has led to the publication as co-editor of a special issue on ‘Changing requisites to universities in the 21st century’ in the Journal Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability in October 2015. The special issue features ten case papers from five continents illustrating the changing relationship of learning, research and practice in such programmes. The issue includes a paper on the Luxembourg Certificate in Sustainable Development and Social Innovation and an introductory overview by Dr König.

A related paper presented at the Conference on Sustainability Science by the International Alliance of Research Universities in October 2014 in Copenhagen was published in a special issue in the Journal Solutions with highlights from this conference (König, A., Dyball, R., Davila, F. (2016). Transforming the World by Transforming the University: Envisioning the University of 2040. Solutions, 7(3), 12-16).


What education for a sustainable Luxembourg in 2030?

In collaboration with the Conseil Supérieur pour un Développement Durable that Dr König is a member of, a scenario approach was developed to explore challenges the Luxembourg school system faces in view of growing complexity and accelerating change along multiple dimensions. For more information on this project please watch the video above (in French) and visit our SCHOOL FUTURES project website.