Humanities and Social Sciences in Relation to Sustainable Development Goals and STEM Education

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This article explores the question: How can the humanities and social sciences become key elements for the implementation of quality STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education, providing students with the competencies required for a sustainable development agenda? To answer this question, the article seeks to (1) understand the elements that are common in STEM education, Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), and Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences, (2) analyze these relationships in higher education, and (3) evaluate how to integrate them in a classroom. The article presents the experience of a course that explicitly seeks to integrate humanities and social sciences in a STEM-oriented institution of higher education. This discussion will be complemented by the analysis of survey data from two semesters, taken at the beginning and at the end of a course. This will help to discuss how the students shaped their perceptions about these topics and to what extent these perceptions were or were not changed by the course. Finally, the article proposes that the specific analysis of sustainable development goals (SDGs) and their targets are educational tools to help achieve interdisciplinarity in the classroom, but only if we help the students to see the relationship of these SDGs to their own lives and with their own careers.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3279
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2022


  • Education for sustainable development
  • HASS
  • Higher education
  • Interdisciplinarity
  • STEM
  • STI
  • Sustainable development


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