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Sustainability in higher education: developing a community college course
Fawcett, Ryan Michelle
There is an immediate need for sustainable education at the community college level that can relate human environmental quality with societal conditions, and communicate between the raw research of science and the general public. Proposed and outlined in this thesis is higher educational material for the practical application of sustainability in local communities from a global perspective. Sustainability is an interdisciplinary topic that can be defined as the unspecified long-term maintenance of wellbeing of societies and the natural world and the responsible use of natural resources without compromising future generation's need or wellbeing. Interdisciplinary topics, like sustainability, require interdisciplinary teaching methods involving thematic units. A complete course outline utilizing thematic units based on this premise was developed for a community college course titled Introduction to Sustainability. The outline covers pedagological goals reflecting the course's teaching methods, evaluation and assessment strategies, and the reasoning behind its modular approach. In this course, the interrelationships between humans and their environment will be explored utilizing data from biology, sociology, anthropology, geography, public heath, agriculture, engineering, architecture, civic planning, history, and conservation. Topics of discussion will explore these interrelationships, covering not only some of the problems created by a large, resource-hungry human population but also solutions to these challenges. Introduction to Sustainability is a science-based course and it is expected that students will evaluate information based on testable models, peer-reviewed publications, and data gathering. Creating effective curricula in higher education that declares a new sustainable ethic is just one step to invoke social change and civic engagement. The course outlined in this thesis may serve as a springboard for program-specific curricular development at any instructional or communal institution committed to educating the public.
Liberal Arts and Sciences
Arts and Letters
Master of Arts (M.A.) San Diego State University, 2011
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