Students’ innovation in education for sustainable development - a longitudinal study on interdisciplinary vs. monodisciplinary learning

  • Innovative ideas are essential to sustainable development. Students’ innovative potential in higher education for sustainable development (HESD) has so far been neglected. Innovation is often associated with an interdisciplinary approach. However, the results of research on diversity and its role in innovation are inconsistent. The present study takes a longitudinal approach to investigating student teams in project-based learning courses in HESD in Germany. This study examines how innovation develops in interdisciplinary student teams in contrast to monodisciplinary student teams. The results of the latent change approach from a sample of 69 student teams indicate significant changes in students’ innovation over time. Monodisciplinary student teams outperform interdisciplinary student teams in idea promotion (convincing potential allies) at the beginning, whereas interdisciplinary student teams outperform monodisciplinary student teams in idea generation (production of novel and useful ideas) in the midterm. There is no difference in the long term. The results indicate that interdisciplinary student teams have an advantage in the generation of novel ideas but need time to leverage their access to different discipline-based knowledge. We discuss practical implications for the design of interdisciplinary learning with strategies to support students in the formation phase in project-based learning in HESD.

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Author:Mirjam BraßlerORCiDGND, Martin SchultzeORCiDGND
Parent Title (English):Sustainability
Place of publication:Basel
Document Type:Article
Date of Publication (online):2021/01/27
Date of first Publication:2021/01/27
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2021/01/28
Tag:higher education for sustainable development; interdisciplinarity; interdisciplinary learning; project-based learning; student innovation
Issue:Article 1322
Page Number:17
Institutes:Psychologie und Sportwissenschaften / Psychologie
Dewey Decimal Classification:3 Sozialwissenschaften / 37 Bildung und Erziehung / 370 Bildung und Erziehung
Open-Access-Publikationsfonds:Psychologie und Sportwissenschaften
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung 4.0