Ethics and Higher Education for Sustainable Development: Opportunities for Teaching and Research

Abstract Ethics are central to higher education for sustainable development (HESD) curriculum, policy, and pedagogy. Ethical frameworks in HESD deserve more attention from scholars because there is a gap in the literature. This paper addresses the issue of ethics in HESD with special attention to the ethical implications of sustainability, moral obligation of equipping students with the tools to work towards eco-citizenship, and the related possibilities of averting the ecological crisis. I employ a theoretical approach to explore ethics and sustainability education. Recognizing that HESD is an inherently interdisciplinary topic, this paper draws from philosophical, scientific and political perspectives to illustrate the complexity of ethics in sustainability. I argue that HESD requires an ecological reorientation in the thinking about curriculum and pedagogy to enable students to recognize the interconnections that exist between human health and environmental integrity. This work offers a perspective from curriculum theory surrounding ethics and HESD. Key Words: Ethics; higher education for sustainable development; curriculum theory; morals in sustainability education; ecological reorientation