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Assessment of Competency-based Sustainability Learning to Foster Systems Thinking and Critical Thinking. Geoffrey Habron and Lissy Goralnik Department of Fisheries and Wildlife Sustainability Specialization Program Michigan State University.

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Geoffrey habron and lissy goralnik department of fisheries and wildlife

Assessment of Competency-based Sustainability Learning to Foster Systems Thinking and Critical Thinking

Geoffrey Habron and LissyGoralnik

Department of Fisheries and Wildlife

Sustainability Specialization Program

Michigan State University

Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) 2011. Pittsburgh Oct. 9-12. Oct. 11, 2011 presentation.


Course logistics and structure
Course Logistics and Structure Foster Systems Thinking and Critical Thinking

  • ACR 187 Introduction to Sustainability


Competencies
Competencies Foster Systems Thinking and Critical Thinking

  • Personal Development/Awareness

  • Critical Thinking

  • Civic Engagement

  • Systems Thinking

  • Social Equity/Justice

  • Economic Vitality

  • Ecological Integrity

  • Aesthetic Understanding

  • http://sustainabilityspecialization.msu.edu/competencies.pdf


Course assignments
Course Assignments Foster Systems Thinking and Critical Thinking


Ch 3 cultural and contested understandings of science and sustainability
Ch. 3 Cultural and Contested Understandings of Science and Sustainability

  • Your Task

  • Read the following link that adds an update to Blewitt's Ch. 3 discussion of Bjorn Lomborg. http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/aug/30/bjorn-lomborg-climate-change-u-turn

  • Your task is to find another contemporary (2010) reference (newspaper article, blog, television show, website, podcast, radio broadcast, etc) that discusses the kinds of science and risk around climate change discussed in the book and in The Guardian article. You should properly cite your source. In that article identify:


Geoffrey habron and lissy goralnik department of fisheries and wildlife

  • a) evidence of critical thinking in the Sustainabilityarticle. Score your reference using the American Associaton of Colleges and Universities Critical Thinking Rubric (1-weak, 2, 3, or 4 - strong) on each of the 5 categories. Explain your rationale.

  • b) multiple competing and divergent perspectives of sustainability (either within the article or between the article and something from Ch. 3).

  • c) biases and assumptions of the science


Rubrics
Rubrics Sustainability

  • Meet expectations = 2 points


Student example
Student example Sustainability

  • In the article Coping with Climate Change by AshfakBokhari from dawn.com, four nations being hit with climate change problems in today’s society are discussed. In looking at this article from a critical thinking standpoint, it does a fairly good job. In explaining the issue, a rating of 3 would be fitting. The stating of problems in Pakistan, Australia, Sri Lanka, and the Philippines are well covered, with some background information being provided so the issue at hand can be understood. Numerical values were given to describe the area of land being discussed. Uncommon terminology, like La Nina was elaborated upon.


Final project portfolio guidelines
Final Project/Portfolio Guidelines Sustainability

  • Utilize an integration of sustainability competencies to assist in improving the sustainability outcomes of the Surplus and Recycling Center. Provide portfolio evidence for the following overarching competencies:

    • 4.6 Develop, describe and bound a system that effectively captures the ecological, economic and social elements and the relationships between them.

    • 4.7 Based on 4.5-4.6, diagnose a problem, create an intervention/alternative system to address the problem; or, delineate alternative initial conditions that could lead toward a more sustainable state.


Geoffrey habron and lissy goralnik department of fisheries and wildlife

  • Your project must include evidence that addresses at least one specific competency from each of the 8 competency areas (personal development, critical thinking, civic engagement, systems thinking, social equity, ecological integrity, economic vitality and aesthetic understanding)

  • Final presentation to the Surplus and Recycling Center (and other relevant folks). This is your final exam.


Spring 2011 results
Spring 2011 Results one specific competency from each of the 8 competency areas (personal development, critical thinking, civic engagement, systems thinking, social equity, ecological integrity, economic vitality and aesthetic understanding)

  • 902 individual competency assessments

  • Scores

    • 0 (failed expectation),

    • 1 (approached expectation),

    • 2 (met expectation)

    • 3 (exceeded expectation).


Assignments mean scores
Assignments Mean Scores one specific competency from each of the 8 competency areas (personal development, critical thinking, civic engagement, systems thinking, social equity, ecological integrity, economic vitality and aesthetic understanding)


Grade vs competency
Grade one specific competency from each of the 8 competency areas (personal development, critical thinking, civic engagement, systems thinking, social equity, ecological integrity, economic vitality and aesthetic understanding)vs Competency


Student evaluations
Student Evaluations one specific competency from each of the 8 competency areas (personal development, critical thinking, civic engagement, systems thinking, social equity, ecological integrity, economic vitality and aesthetic understanding)

  • (1 = high)

  • (5 = low)


Geoffrey habron and lissy goralnik department of fisheries and wildlife

“…the difference is that these classes seek to shove information down your throat while ACR 187 seeks to change the way you think and perceive the world. In order to move on from the problems that plague us now, we must be willing to think outside the box. “ (ACR 187 Introduction to Sustainability student)


Rubric
Rubric information down your throat while ACR 187 seeks to change the way you think and perceive the world. In order to move on from the problems that plague us now, we must be willing to think outside the box. “ (ACR 187 Introduction to Sustainability student)