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Higher education for sustainability: can education affect moral perceptions

Journal article
Authors Simon Felgendreher
Åsa Löfgren
Published in Environmental Education Research
Volume 24
Issue 4
Pages 479-491
ISSN 1350-4622
Publication year 2018
Published at Department of Economics
Pages 479-491
Language en
Keywords Higher education, Education for Sustainable Development, field experiment, social norms, intentions, norms, Education & Educational Research, Environmental Sciences & Ecology, velopment, p100, asson m, 1990, journal of applied social psychology, v20, p1541
Subject categories Economics


A considerable literature looks at universities' approaches to integrating sustainable development into teaching and learning, but less is known about how Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) affects student attitudes, values and norms. To our knowledge, only a few studies have quantified such effects of changes in curricula. This study contributes to this literature by quantifying and measuring the effect of a compulsory sustainability activity on students' ethical and moral perceptions. Our results show that ESD can indeed affect moral perceptions of what constitutes socially appropriate behaviour, but not in a homogenous way. Instead, the effect varies with background characteristics of the students.

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