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Towards a Biopsychosocial Pedagogy for ESD

Hirst, J.

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John Hirst
Associate Professor


There is an evident “theory-practice gap” between uncritical assumptions that business schools can provide “business solutions to sustainability challenges” (AACSB, 2013) and critical theorists’ views that any such ‘solutions’ are likely to be symptomatic at best and a ‘smokescreen’ at worst. While proponents of ESD seek to position it as radical paradigm-breaking project, its co-option by vested interests renders it “virtually useless” (Fleming & Jones, 2013). This paper examines relevant literature and secondary sources (UNPRME progress reports) to verify this claim. It also theorises this problem in terms of an opposition between values & cognitions, which thwart the transformational learning necessary for transition to a sustainability paradigm. Finally, it recommends pedagogical approaches that can endow ESD with a new sense of purpose by changing the way learners’ think through developing “goods internal to practices” (MacIntyre, 2007) and responding to the challenges posed by McGilchrist’s (2009) divided brain theory.


Hirst, J. (2014). Towards a Biopsychosocial Pedagogy for ESD.

Conference Name 28th Annual British Academy of Management Conference BAM2014
Conference Location Belfast, Northern Ireland
Start Date Sep 9, 2014
End Date Sep 11, 2014
Publication Date 2014
Deposit Date Sep 12, 2016
Publicly Available Date Aug 4, 2022
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