Dealing with the multidimensionality of sustainability through the use of multiple perspectives – a theoretical framework
Journal article, 2016

The concept of perspectives is important in discussions about the multidimensionality of sustainability problems and the need to consider many different aspects when dealing with them. This paper aims to facilitate discussions among both educators and researchers about didactical approaches to developing students’ abilities to deal with the multidimensionality of sustainability challenges through the use of multiple perspectives. For this purpose, a theoretical framework was developed that describes perspectives in terms of a set of general characteristics, as well as a number of ways in which students can develop and reflect on perspectives. Development of the framework was supported by a qualitative content analysis of transcripts from interviews with undergraduate engineering students in Sweden.

holistic thinking

normative competence

education for sustainable development

engineering education


systems thinking


Johanna Lönngren

Chalmers, Applied Information Technology (Chalmers), Engineering Education Research - EER (Chalmers)

Magdalena Svanström

Chemical Environmental Science

Åke Ingerman

University of Gothenburg

John Holmberg

Chalmers, Energy and Environment, Physical Resource Theory

European Journal of Engineering Education

0304-3797 (ISSN) 1469-5898 (eISSN)

Vol. 41 3 342-352

Subject Categories



Driving Forces

Sustainable development



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