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Christine Wamsler. Photo

Christine Wamsler

Professor, Docent, appointed Excellent Teaching Practitioner (ETP)

Christine Wamsler. Photo

Education for sustainability : Fostering a more conscious society and transformation towards sustainability


  • Christine Wamsler

Summary, in English

Purpose: Current approaches to sustainability science and education focus on (assessing and addressing) the external world of ecosystems, wider socio-economic structures, technology and governance dynamics. A major shortcoming of such approaches is the neglect of inner dimensions and capacities (which constrains education for sustainability as an end), and a limited capacity to facilitate reflection on the cognitive and socio-emotional processes underpinning people’s learning, everyday life choices and decision-taking (which constrains education for sustainability as a means). More integral approaches and pedagogies are urgently needed. The purpose of this paper is to advance related knowledge. Design/methodology/approach: This paper provides a reflexive case study of the development of an innovative course on “Sustainability and Inner Transformation” and associated interventions in the form of a practice lab and weekly councils. Findings: The paper elaborates on the connections between sustainability and inner transformation in education, offers insights into the process of adapting contemplative interventions to sustainability education and concludes with some reflections on challenges, lessons learnt and future work needed to support more integral approaches. The findings show that inner dimensions and transformation can be a vehicle for critical, improved education for sustainability and how this can be achieved in practice. Originality/value: It is only recently that the concept of the inner or personal (sphere of) transformation has received growing attention in sustainability science and education. Despite this interest, such new conceptualizations and heuristics have, to date, not been systematically connected to education for sustainability (neither as an end nor means). The paper presents a critical, reflexive case, which advances related knowledge. It sets a precedent, which other universities/training institutions could follow or learn from.


  • LUCSUS (Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies)

Publishing year







International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education





Document type

Journal article


Emerald Group Publishing Limited


  • Educational Sciences


  • Beliefs
  • Contemplative education
  • Curriculum development
  • Inner transformation
  • Inside-out sustainability
  • Interiority
  • Personal transformation
  • Sustainability education
  • Sustainability transformation
  • Values
  • Worldviews




  • ISSN: 1467-6370