“Whenever society faces large problems, there is a tendency to think that either their roots or their solutions lie at least partly in the educational system.”Andrew Brennan, 2008 “What if higher education [were] to take a leadership role, as it has in the space race and the war on cancer, in providing the knowledge to achieve a just and sustainable society? Second Nature. Education for Sustainability,2008
2012Sustainability - core public valuein society and in Higher Ed
Purposeof Educating for Sustainability: To cultivate engaged, informed citizens capable of leading good lives and contributing to betterment of society and all life
Undergirding Values of Sustainability 1. Obligations to future generations 2. Duty to increase/ protect human well-being 3. Duty to reduce global environmental harm/ transnational injustice 4. Stewardship of nature
Sustainability in Education:UNCA Rationale Keep pace with contemporary environmental discourse Prepare students for eco-focused future Implement Goals of UNC Tomorrow Respond to student interest/demand Uphold UNCA’smission - interdisciplinarity/engagement UNCA Strategic Plan
Sites of Sustainability Education:Why Core Curriculum? Every student across curriculum UNCA Integrative Liberal Studies (ILS) Model (supports new course design) UNCA Interdisciplinary Humanities Program (team-designed/ team taught)
Sustainability: (df) Pluralist Definition UNCA FOCUS ON INTERDISCIPLINARITY Capacity to endure and flourish: Sciences: empirical /material Social Sciences: choice architecture/ policy Humanities: values /culture
Challenges addressed in curriculum 1. Inadequate Knowledge/ Concepts Scientific uncertainty Lack of e-literacy Cradle-to-Grave design Risk Analysis v. Risk perception Public Goods
Challenges addressed in curriculum 2Inadequate Policies/ Mechanisms Collective action problem (diffuse responsibility) Perverse incentives Lack of human agency
Challenges addressed in curriculum 13. Un-sustainable Values High social discount rate Nature/culture split Consumerism/Greed/Materi alism
“Sustainability Norms”(as taught in ILS) Conservation /Limits to Growth New concepts of human flourishing New concepts of rational choice (satisficing) Cosmopolitanism: global citizenshiptransnational solidarity Biophilia Global Justice / Human Rights
How we do it: General Education at UNCA1. Senior Capstone Colloquia LS 479: Cultivating Global Citizenship2. Undergraduate Research
LS 479 Course Learning Outcomes LS 479 Outcome 1: Students analyze and interpret primary texts in Eastern and Western ethics in terms of the structure of arguments, the historical context of the works, and the students’ own values. LS 479 Outcome 2: Students can explain the concept of sustainability-including its economic, social and environmental aspects and can evaluate sustainability initiatives using contemporary ethical theory and ideas. LS 479 Outcome 3: Students can explain, in scholarly written form, how cultural contexts have produced humanity’s most significant global challenges, and how these contexts must also inform ethically-motivated responses. LS 479 Outcome 4: Students can produce a written assignment or class project on engaged global citizenship that links to their accumulated undergraduate learning and demonstrates understanding of diverse, contemporary ‘knowledges’ and cultures.
Sustainability at UNCA: Structural Advantages custom-published “Asheville Readers” (Copley) regional emphasis on outdoor recreation Small campus (@ 3600 students) Culture of Team-designed courses “Common Lecture” format Integrative liberal Studies Program (ILS) Undergraduate Research
Sustainability in Core Programs:Shared Concepts “cradle-to-cradle” biodiversity anthropogenic change collective action problems “tragedy of the commons” non-renewability “maldevelopment”
Sustainability: Auxiliary LearningOutcomes Understanding Intersections (race / class / ethnicity) Understanding human agency / choice architecture Analyzing technology Familairity with global studies/ multi-cultural studies Cross-disciplinary cooperation
Sustainability: Sample textsSinger, Peter, “Animal Liberation” Kuhn, Thomas, “Scientists and their Worldviews.”Tom Regan, The Case for Animal Rights Leopold, Aldo, “Thinking Like a Mountain.”AmartyaSen, Development as Freedom Leopold, The Land EthicArne Naess, “The Deep Ecological Movement: Some Lester Brown, “The Economy and the Earth” Philosophical Aspects” Lovins, Amory, “Technology is the Answer (But WhatBerry, Wendell, “Manifesto: Mad Farmer Liberation Was the Question?)” Front.” McDonough and Braungart, Cradle to CradleBryan Norton, “Environmental Ethics and Weak Anthropocentrism” Paul Taylor, “The Ethics of Respect for Nature”Deen, Islamic Environmental Ethics Peter Singer, One WorldDillard, Annie. From: “Pilgrim at Tinker Creek.” Sallie McFague, “The World as God’s Body”Dobel, Patrick, “The Judeo-Christian Stewardship Vandana Shiva, “Development, Ecology, and Women” Attitude to Nature.” Wilson, Edward O, “Storm Over the Amazon”Dykeman, Wilma, “Who Killed the South French Broad?” Wilson, Edward O, The Diversity of LifeGordis, Robert, Judaism and the EnvironmentHardin, Garret, “The Tragedy of the Commons.”Keown, Buddhist Environmental Ethics
Sustainability Education:general working areas Apocolyptic tone No “value-free” ideals Neglect of “urban environment” Starting late More faith-based content Book prices
Sustainability Impacts (UNCA) Increased numbers of undergraduate research projects related to sustainability Measurable increase in the number and scope of courses incorporating Sustainability Further integration of environment content in humanities disciplines
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