1st Edition

Engineering Education for Sustainable Development A Capabilities Approach

By Mikateko Mathebula Copyright 2018
    204 Pages
    by Routledge

    204 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book demonstrates how the theoretical concepts of the capabilities approach can be applied in the context of engineering education, and how this could be used to add nuance to our understanding of the contribution higher education can make to human flourishing. In demonstrating the usefulness of the capability approach as a lens through which to evaluate the outputs of engineering education, the author also shows how the capability approach can be informed by, and informs, the concept of ‘sustainable development’ and discusses what pedagogical and curricula implications this may have for education for sustainable development (ESD), particularly in engineering. As such, the book builds on the work of scholars of engineering education, and scholars of university education at the nexus of development and sustainability.

    Engineering employers, educators and students from diverse contexts discuss both the capabilities and functions that are enlarged by engineering education and the impact these can have on pro-poor engineering or public-good professionalism. The book therefore makes an original conceptual and empirical contribution to our thinking about engineering education research.

    The book provides inspiration for both engineering educators and students to orient their technical knowledge and transferable skills towards the public good. It will also be of great interest to students and researchers interested in education for sustainable development more generally and to engineers who are interested in doing work that is aligned with the goals of social justice. The book will also appeal to scholars of the capability approach within higher education.

    Chapter 1: Sustainable human development: the overarching goal

    Chapter 2: A capabilities lens on researching engineering education

    Chapter 3: Becoming a public-good engineer: students’ perspectives

    Chapter 4: Teaching for public-good engineering: lecturers’ perspectives

    Chapter 5: Public-good engineering: employers’ perspectives

    Chapter 6: Advancing sustainable human development through engineering education

    Chapter 7: Being a public-good engineer and doing socially-just engineering


    Mikateko Mathebula holds a PhD in Development Studies and is a Senior Researcher at the Centre for Research on Higher Education and Development (CRHED) at the University of the Free State, South Africa. Her research focuses on higher education’s contribution in reducing inequalities and advancing social justice.

    "Mathebula’s book is extremely timely and important. In the South African context it echoes many of the questions that South African students and proactive educators have been raising in the engineering education space for the past decade. The perspective that this book presents on the pivotal contribution of engineering education for sustainable development is an essential contribution to global discussions about technical autocracy and the need for empathy among engineers. This book is essential for all students and educators engaged in the engineering education system, employers seeking to hire millennial engineers and those looking to use technology for sustainable development." — Wiebke Toussaint, Co-founder Engineers Without Borders (EWB) South Africa, Board member EWB International