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Simulations Versus Case Studies: Effectively Teaching the Premises of Sustainable Development in the Classroom

  • Andrea M. PradoEmail author
  • Ronald Arce
  • Luis E. Lopez
  • Jaime García
  • Andy A. Pearson
Original Paper
  • 20 Downloads

Abstract

The systemic complexity of sustainable development imposes a major cognitive challenge to students’ learning. Faculty can explore new approaches in the classroom to teach the topic successfully, including the use of technology. We conducted an experiment to compare the effectiveness of a simulation vis-à-vis a case-based method to teach sustainable development. We found that both pedagogical methods are effective for teaching this concept, although our results support the idea that simulations are slightly more effective than case studies, particularly to teach its multidimensional and inter-temporal nature. Therefore, our findings suggest the use of both simulations and case studies as pedagogical tools to convey the main ideas associated with sustainable development.

Keywords

Sustainable development Sustainability Teaching Simulation Case studies Technology Business students Pedagogical tools Social progress 

Notes

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

Luis E. Lopez owns stock in Processim Labs, the company that developed the algorithm for the simulation. Luis E. Lopez participated in this research project due to his expertise in the development of simulations and their use as pedagogical tools. Andrea M. Prado, Ronald Arce, Jaime García and Andy A. Pearson declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrea M. Prado
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ronald Arce
    • 2
  • Luis E. Lopez
    • 1
  • Jaime García
    • 3
  • Andy A. Pearson
    • 1
  1. 1.INCAE Business SchoolAlajuelaCosta Rica
  2. 2.Latin American Center for Competitiveness and Sustainable DevelopmentINCAE Business SchoolAlajuelaCosta Rica
  3. 3.Social Progress ImperativeINCAE Business SchoolAlajuelaCosta Rica

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