Civic Engagement and Sustainability Education
Initial curator: Kim Coleman, Vermont Campus Compact
The term “sustainability education” refers to a teaching approach that uses innovative pedagogy, such as service-learning and project-based learning, to encourage students to think critically and take action towards a sustainable future. Sustainability education is receiving increasing attention on college campuses, e.g. the University of Vermont now has a sustainability general education requirement for all of its undergraduate students. Educators and administrators interested in integrating sustainability into their courses and departments may consider civic engagement as a mechanism for creating meaningful experiences at the intersection of sustainability and their respective disciplines. For example, a service-learning project focused on creating public information about recycling for a non-English speaking audience may help students better understand the intersection of sustainability and teaching English as a second language. This Knowledge Hub focuses on providing resources that focus on sustainability education and civic engagement, including empirical articles, case studies, books, organizations, and exemplars. Additionally, these resources may be of use to those interested in integrating civic engagement components into existing sustainability initiatives as a dimension of a Campus Civic Action Plan.
If you know of resources that you would like to contribute to this knowledge hub, please contact Maggie Grove at firstname.lastname@example.org
A) Sustainability Education in Higher Education
This section contains books and articles that discuss the integration of sustainability concepts into courses and curricula at the level higher education.
- Blewitt, J., & Cullingford, C. (2013). The sustainability curriculum: the challenge for higher education. Earthscan.
- Jones, P., Selby, D., & Sterling, S. R. (2010). Sustainability education: Perspectives and practice across higher education. Earthscan.
- Moore, J. (2005). Seven recommendations for creating sustainability education at the university level: A guide for change agents. International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, 6(4), 326-339.
- Rusinko, C. A. (2010). Integrating sustainability in higher education: a generic matrix. International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, 11(3), 250-259.
- Shephard, K. (2008). Higher education for sustainability: seeking affective learning outcomes. International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, 9(1), 87-98.
B) Selected Case Studies
This section contains case studies from a range of disciplines to give examples of how faculty have integrated sustainability concepts into their courses.
- Bridges, C. M., & Wilhelm, W. B. (2008). Going beyond green: The “why and how” of integrating sustainability into the marketing curriculum. Journal of Marketing Education, 30(1), 33-46.
- Coops, N. C., Marcus, J., Construt, I., Frank, E., Kellett, R., Mazzi, E., … & Schultz, A. (2015). How an entry-level, interdisciplinary sustainability course revealed the benefits and challenges of a university-wide initiative for sustainability education. International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, 16(5), 729-747.
- Costa, S., & Scoble, M. (2006). An interdisciplinary approach to integrating sustainability into mining engineering education and research. Journal of Cleaner Production, 14(3), 366-373.
- Pesonen, H. L. (2003). Challenges of integrating environmental sustainability issues into business school curriculum: A case study from the University of Jyväskylä, Finland. Journal of Management Education, 27(2), 158-171.
- Wiese, N. M., & Sherman, D. J. (2011). Integrating marketing and environmental studies through an interdisciplinary, experiential, service-learning approach. Journal of Marketing Education, 33(1), 41-56.
C) Service-Learning and Sustainability Education
This section contains works that deal specifically with service-learning as a tool to teach sustainability concepts.
- Brundiers, K., Wiek, A., & Redman, C. L. (2010). Real-world learning opportunities in sustainability: from classroom into the real world. International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, 11(4), 308-324.
- O’Brien, W., & Sarkis, J. (2014). The potential of community-based sustainability projects for deep learning initiatives. Journal of Cleaner Production, 62, 48-61.
- Sipos, Y., Battisti, B., & Grimm, K. (2008). Achieving transformative sustainability learning: engaging head, hands and heart. International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, 9(1), 68-86.
- Sipos, Y. (2009). Non-traditional pedagogies in advanced education: engaging head, hands & heart for environmental and educational benefit. In Addressing Global Environmental Security Through Innovative Educational Curricula (pp. 155-164). Springer Netherlands.
- Wiek, A., Xiong, A., Brundiers, K., & Van Der Leeuw, S. (2014). Integrating problem-and project-based learning into sustainability programs: A case study on the School of Sustainability at Arizona State University. International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, 15(4), 431-449.
- Science Education Resource Center
Contains resources for educators interested in teaching science concepts, including sustainability science.
- Maine Campus Compact Campuses for Environmental Stewardship
Contains information about a grant program that supports faculty who use service-learning to integrate sustainability into their courses.
- Interdisciplinary Teaching about Earth for a Sustainable Future
Contains resources for educators interested in teaching earth science concepts, e.g. climate change.
A) Institution-wide Exemplars
- Green Mountain College Capstone Projects
A environmentally-focused college-wide project-based capstone requirement
- Community-based Learning at Unity College
Example community-based learning for sustainability at the institutional level.
B) Programmatic Exemplars
- The University of Vermont Sustainability Fellow Program
A training program for faculty from any discipline to work on integrating sustainability concepts into courses.
- Portland State University Student Sustainability Center
A range of sustainability programming for students.
- University of Oregon Environmental Leadership Program
A program that uses service-learning projects to teach students about leadership in the sustainability field.
C) Exemplary Scholars
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