Understanding economic and management sciences teachers’ conceptions of sustainable development

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 8
  • SDG 4
  • Abstract:

    Sustainable development has become a key part of the global educational discourse. Education for sustainable development (ESD) specifically is pronounced as an imperative for different curricula and regarded as being critical for teacher education. This article is based on research that was conducted on economic and management sciences (EMS) teachers within a South African school context and their conceptualisation of sustainable development. A case study design was applied within an interpretivist paradigm. The purpose of the study was not to generalise the findings, but rather to acquire in-depth understanding and insight. The findings revealed that the EMS teachers’ dominant conception is likened to notions of unrivalled economic growth with limited reference to the interrelatedness of the economy, society and the biophysical world or to the incorporation of “green” issues. This article concludes that it is crucial to incorporate ESD into business curricula at school level since sustainable development has become progressively important to nation states, the business sector, the higher education sector and diverse discourses and curricula. The need for a more integrated approach to ESD in the EMS discourse is recommended.