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Embedding Higher Education into a Real-World Lab: A Process-Oriented Analysis of Six Transdisciplinary Project Courses

Beecroft, Richard ORCID iD icon 1
1 Institut für Technikfolgenabschätzung und Systemanalyse (ITAS), Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT)


Since the early days of the emerging research format of Real-world Labs (RwLs), higher education plays a vital role in them. Examples have been presented on teaching activities in RwLs, but the reasons for and evidence of their inclusion stays limited. To start a systematic discussion on the embedding of higher education in RwLs, this paper presents the case of six Transdisciplinary Project Courses carried out in the RwL “District Future—Urban Lab” in Karlsruhe/Germany. The paper presents the discourses on the role of learning in RwLs and compares it to those on Transition Labs and Urban Living Labs. To offer a new approach to address this aspect, the paper introduces a social practice perspective to map out the interrelations between an RwL and higher education therein. The detailed analysis of the processes is used to identify the potential of the RwL to support learning. It shows that all dimensions of social practice can be identified in the interplay between Real-world Lab and Transdisciplinary Project Courses, even though to a very different degree and in different phases. The text closes with lessons learned for teaching project courses in RwLs and similar labs.

Verlagsausgabe §
DOI: 10.5445/IR/1000086790
Veröffentlicht am 22.10.2018
DOI: 10.3390/su10103798
Zitationen: 14
Web of Science
Zitationen: 11
Zitationen: 12
Cover der Publikation
Zugehörige Institution(en) am KIT Institut für Technikfolgenabschätzung und Systemanalyse (ITAS)
Publikationstyp Zeitschriftenaufsatz
Publikationsjahr 2018
Sprache Englisch
Identifikator ISSN: 2071-1050
KITopen-ID: 1000086790
HGF-Programm 36.02.01 (POF III, LK 01) Sustainability and Environment
Erschienen in Sustainability
Verlag MDPI
Band 10
Heft 10
Seiten Article: 3798
Bemerkung zur Veröffentlichung Special Issue: Pedagogical Innovations for Sustainable Development
Gefördert durch den KIT-Publikationsfonds
Schlagwörter higher education for sustainable development; real-world labs; transition labs; living labs; transformative learning; social learning; transdisciplinarity; learning environment; social practice
Nachgewiesen in Dimensions
Web of Science
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