|Published online: April 3, 2014||$US5.00|
Research that investigates the interior design educator’s attitude toward concepts, principles, and theories of sustainable design has not been done. To provide a basis for the further development of educational strategies for sustainable interior design, researchers examined the attitude of interior design educators—who were also members of the Interior Design Educator Council (IDEC)—and their readiness to teach sustainable design concepts, principles, and theories of sustainable design. A national, internet-based questionnaire was sent to interior design educators who held membership with IDEC. The construct of the questionnaire was a three-part survey: demography, ecology, and sustainability. The ecology section utilized the New Ecological Paradigm (NEP) Scale. The sustainability section was based upon LEED principals of sustainable design practice. The questionnaire was distributed through utilizing SurveyMonkey. Respondents (n=257) were asked to rate each statement, utilizing a Likert-type scale, according to their level of readiness to teach general concepts, principles, and theories of sustainable design. The findings indicate that, as a whole, participants in this investigation have a slightly above average ecological worldview and confidence to teach concepts, principles, and theories of sustainable design. However, there persists a complex link between interior design, the interior design educator, and ecology that has not been bridged. Findings indicate that the link of ecological concerns and quantitative imperatives have only an average consideration among interior design educators. Such an implication brings the interior design educator’s authority to teach sustainability into question, given the educator’s absence of objective qualifications. The fact that interior design educators have a positive ecological worldview absent of the primary industry credential illustrates a disconnect between professional credentialing and interior design educators. Survey results imply that educators, while valuing sustainable design concepts, principles, and theories, do not equally value the primary credentialing set forth by the industry. Accredited programs’ faculty members credentialing expectations should ensure two thirds of all faculty members hold LEED credentials. Such a clear establishment of credentialing expectations will likely enhance class pedagogy by creating opportunities for uniformity in teaching sustainable design concepts, principles, and theories.
|Keywords:||Interior Design, Educator, Sustainable Design, Education|
Associate Professor, Department of Interior Architecture, Samford University, Birmingham, AL, USA
Associate Professor, Graduate Studies, Samford University, Birmingham, AL, USA
Chair and Assistant Professor, Family Studies, Samford University, Birmingham, AL, USA
Assistant Professor, Teacher Education, Samford University, Birmingham, AL, USA