Pedagogical Approach To Integrate Sustainable Development Into Engineering Curriculum

Pedagogical Approach To Integrate Sustainable Development Into Engineering Curriculum

S. CHEAH, K. YANG, D. SALE (2012).  Pedagogical Approach To Integrate Sustainable Development Into Engineering Curriculum. 15.

The Diploma in Chemical Engineering (DCHE) course of Singapore Polytechnic (SP) adopted the CDIO framework as the basis for its curriculum since 2007. Over the last several years, under the guidance of the DCHE Course Management Team (CMT) specific CDIO skills have been introduced in various core modules in the 3-year diploma program. A range of Interpersonal Skills, such as teamwork and communication, and Personal & Professional Skills are now established curriculum components.

This paper focuses on the integration of sustainable development into the chemical engineering curriculum for a core module entitled Chemical Reaction Engineering, taught to Year 2 students. It firstly presents an overview of sustainable development, and summarizescurrent approaches to sustainable development in the chemical engineering curriculum, including pedagogies and tools more specific to chemical engineering.

Secondly, we present our experience in designing learning tasks to facilitate student understanding of sustainable development, and how we have subsequently revised the type of tasks based on student feedback (via survey questionnaire and focused group discussion) of their learning experiences.

The paper concludes with our present frame on how to enhance the student experience of learning about sustainable development, both in this particular module and the diploma in general. For example, the integration so far has focused mainly on two of the three “triple bottom lines” of techno-centric concerns and eco-centric concerns. We will share a new initiative that attempts to engage students in all aspects, with special emphasis on the “missing link” of socio-centric concerns. 

(NOTE: Singapore Polytechnic uses the word "course" to describe its education "programs". A "course" in the Diploma in Chemical Engineering consists of many subjects that are termed "modules"; which in the universities contexts are often called “courses”.)


Authors (New): 
Katerina Yun Ee YANG
Dennis SALE
Singapore Polytechnic, Singapore
Sustainable development
Chemical Engineering
Curriculum integration
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