Sarah Holdsworth is a lecturer within the School of Global Property Construction and Project Management at RMIT University.
Sarah’s current research focuses on notions of sustainability in relation to curriculum development, graduate attributes, professional education in the built environment, undergraduate assessment. Sarah‘s current research includes projects on the development of learning activities and materials to foster urgent skills for an environmentally constrained future, and devising drivers for the diffusion of sustainability studies in higher education programs.
Practices and discourses of sustainability
The role and function of higher education including learner-centred approaches
Higher education learning, teaching and curriculum
Diverse learners and learning environments
Sustainability education (pedagogy, L&T and curricula), capabilities and capacity building
The drivers and barriers for/to curriculum change
Organisational learning and cultural change processes help to /or are required to embed sustainability into the curriculum of a universities
Suitable change framework for sustainability education that can be applied by universities and professional organisations.
Research grants and projects
2010–2011 Development of sustainability education modules for the Australia Graduate Certificate in Professional Development, training packages and work place education, funded by Swinburne University.
2010 Project: 5 star Sustainability Tertiary Education, for Sustainability Victoria, to develop a rating system to assess sustainability in tertiary institutions, funded by Sustainability Victoria.
2005 Beyond leather Patches: project to work with the staff of two schools at RMIT to revise their teaching to include Education for Sustainability, funded by the Victorian Department of Sustainability and Environment.
Sarah’s professional roles have involved change projects in relation to tertiary learning and teaching, academic development in higher education, and theorisations of academic identity and subjectivity. Sarah received her doctoral degree in 2012; which evaluated the ability of academic development programs to provide educators with the capabilities to deliver sustainability education. A theoretical framework from the related literature was developed, and used to critically evaluate three international case studies of known best practice. On the basis of the analysis of local land international experiences and the case studies key features of academic development were identified to guide universities in curriculum change.
Sarah’s experience has provided her with an understanding of a wide range of environmental tools and their application in companies and other organizations, the community consultation process, and the workings of both the private and public sector in relation to environmental issues. Her interests lie in the development of long term strategies based on substantial changes to social and technological paradigms to develop pathways towards sustainability. Sarah's main research focus is the identification of key mechanisms required to turn sustainability innovations into embedded practice in a university context.
MEnv Sci Monash, PhD RMIT
BEd(Sec) Environmental Science Melb
Nominated for RMIT L&T award 2003, 2004, 2011
- Hegarty, K.,Holdsworth, S. (2016). Towards a scholarship of curriculum change: From isolated innovation to transformation In: Routledge Handbook of Higher Education for Sustainable Development, Routledge, London, England
- Holdsworth, S.,Hegarty, K. (2016). From praxis to delivery: a Higher Education Learning Design Framework (HELD)* In: Journal of Cleaner Production, 122, 176 - 185
- Turner, M.,Holdsworth, S.,Scott-Young, C. (2016). Resilience at university: the development and testing of a new measure In: Higher Education Research and Development, , 1 - 15
- Turner, M.,Scott-Young, C.,Holdsworth, S. (2016). Bouncing back to move forward: resilience of students in the built environment In: Proceedings 32nd Annual ARCOM Conference, Manchester, United Kingdom, 5-7 September 2016
- Wong, P.,Lindsay, A.,Crameri, L.,Holdsworth, S. (2015). Can energy efficiency rating and carbon accounting foster greener building design decision? An empirical study In: Building and Environment, 87, 255 - 264
- Hegarty, K.,Holdsworth, S. (2015). Weaving complexity and accountability: approaches to higher education learning design (HELD) in the built environment In: Environment, Development and Sustainability: a multidisciplinary approach to the theory and practice of sustainable development, 17, 239 - 258
- Holdsworth, S.,Thomas, I. (2015). A sustainability education academic development framework (SEAD) In: Environmental Education Research, , 1 - 25
- Turner, M.,Scott-Young, C.,Holdsworth, S. (2015). Navigating the chasm from student to professional: The role of resilience In: Proceedings of the 2015 Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors annual conference (COBRA 2015), Sydney, Australia, 8-10 July 2015
- Holdsworth, S.,Thomas, I. (2015). Framework for introducing education for sustainable development into university curriculum In: Journal of Education for Sustainable Development, 9, 137 - 159
- Holdsworth, S.,Hegarty, K. (2015). Towards a praxis of sustainability education in universities In: International Journal of Innovation and Sustainable Development, 9, 205 - 226
- Producing sustainability professionals: Assessing graduate attributes in sustainability. Funded by: Office for Learning and Teaching Grant 2015 from (2015 to 2017)
- Graduate capabilities to contribute to a more sustainable future - An emerging field of research in education for sustainability. Funded by: Australian Technology Network of Universities (ATN) German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) Grant pre-2014 from (2012 to 2013)