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
- Moore, T.,Holdsworth, S. (2019). The Built Environment and Energy Efficiency in Australia: Current State of Play and Where to Next In: Energy Performance in the Australian Built Environment, Springer, Singapore
- Sandri, O.,Holdsworth, S.,Thomas, I. (2018). Vignette question design for the assessment of graduate sustainability learning outcomes In: Environmental Education Research, 24, 406 - 426
- Holdsworth, S.,Turner, M.,Scott-Young, C. (2018). (In Press) ...Not drowning, waving. Resilience and university: a student perspective. In: Studies in Higher Education, , 1 - 17
- Wong, P.,Holdsworth, S.,Crameri, L.,Lindsay, A. (2018). (In Press) Does carbon accounting have an impact on decision-making in building design? In: International Journal of Construction Management, , 1 - 14
- Sandri, O.,Holdsworth, S.,Thomas, I. (2018). Assessing graduate sustainability capability post-degree completion: Why is it important and what are the challenges? In: International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, 19, 2 - 14
- Scott-Young, C.,Turner, M.,Holdsworth, S. (2018). Fit for work? Comparative mental health of built environment undergraduates In: Proceedings of the 34th Annual ARCOM Conference 2018, Belfast, Northern Ireland, 3-5 September 2018
- Turner, M.,Holdsworth, S.,Scott-Young, C. (2017). Resilience at university: the development and testing of a new measure In: Higher Education Research and Development, 36, 386 - 400
- Gilbert, G.,Holdsworth, S.,Kyle, L. (2017). A literature review and development of a theoretical model for understanding commitment experienced by volunteers over the life of a project In: VOLUNTAS: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations, 28, 1 - 25
- Turner, M.,Scott-Young, C.,Holdsworth, S. (2017). Promoting wellbeing at university: the role of resilience for students of the built environment In: Construction Management and Economics, 35, 707 - 718
- Turner, M.,Holdsworth, S.,Scott-Young, C.,Johnson, A. (2017). Profiling resilience among construction management students: an international comparison In: Proceedings of the 33rd Association of Researchers in Construction Management Annual Conference (ARCOM 2017), Cambridge, United Kingdom, 4-6 September 2017
- Evidence-based recommendations for policy change to support public safety and community welfare. Funded by: Energy Pipelines CRC from (2017 to 2019)
- 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)
1 PhD Current Supervisions