An Urgent Need for Policy Change: Reform in Curriculum and Practice Through Values-Based Pedagogies and Cooperative Learning in the Curriculum in Malaysia, Japan and Thailand

  • Suma Parahakaran
Conference paper


The definition for sustainable development is still complex and multifaceted and varies to certain degrees in plural societies such as in the Asian regions. Issues such as lack of basic necessities such as nutrition, rise of poverty and problems related to carbon emissions have doubled, and these issues, although reflected in the curriculum, do not provide exercises or experiential learning for students as it remains theoretical. There are more alarming reports predicted for the future, but such important issues are not discussed in the curriculum in secondary schools. These existing issues will not be solved unless there is a policy change specifically to eradicate social issues. Students need more direct, experiential lessons and problem-solving examples to understand more about sustainability issues occurring in society. However, these experiences do not become a reality because the curriculum does not integrate much opportunities for this kind of learning to occur.

The alternative chosen for solving problems related to sustainable education is to include community engagement, but such funded projects by NGOs and external agencies have been short-lived and do not last long for lifelong learning which calls for changes in the government policies where the curriculum is concerned.

This review addresses three important changes that have to be made in the curriculum and provides a compelling case for policy change for an integrated curriculum which is multidisciplinary and ensures a holistic perspective for solving social issues.


Teaching Pedagogy Integrate Curriculum High Student Achievement Affective Learning Sustainable Education 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Japan 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Wawasan Open UniversityPenangMalaysia

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