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Greening Curriculum

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  1. Greening Curriculum

  2. Overview • Delta College is committed to sustainability, including developing green curriculum • How do we define sustainability, and how can we infuse our courses with sustainability elements? • This session explores strategies that faculty members can use to make their courses more green • We will share practical examples and consider future steps

  3. Defining Sustainability • How would you define sustainability? • What are some elements of sustainability as related to teaching/education? • What role should we as educators play to make students aware of sustainability issues?

  4. Sustainability • Sustainability is to value and protect the environment and natural resources through collective learning and action • Sustainability involves ethical choices and social justice, and implies responsible and involved citizens

  5. Role of Educators • Help foster an awareness of sustainability issues - globally and at the local level • Students need to understand the relevance of environmental issues such as pollution and depletion of natural resources • They need to realize that responsible choices should be made to protect and preserve the environment and the ecosystem of which they are a part

  6. Role of Educators • We need to educate students about environmental issues and challenges facing society today, • encourage them to engage in critical thinking skills, • and inspire them to take action to help change the world for the better, both collectively and individually

  7. Infusing courses with sustainability elements • How do we infuse courses with sustainability elements? • What are some sustainability elements that can be included? • How should we do it?

  8. Infusing sustainability • Sustainability crosses over all disciplines and is not limited to courses in biology, natural resources, geology or career technical education • Sustainability elements or themes could be infused in any general education course • This could be done in several ways and does not necessarily involve formal curriculum revision

  9. Infusing sustainability • Infuse course content • Create assignments • Use resources • Involve students in projects, community activities or field trips • Develop learning communities • Collaborate creatively with faculty and staff in other areas • Develop student learning outcomes and assessments

  10. Infuse course content • Highlight, specify or expand course content that relates to sustainability • American Government: environmental policies and legislation, interest groups • Philosophy:environmental ethics • Sociology: sustainability and social justice • Economics: economics of creating green jobs

  11. Infuse course content • History:historical development of the environmental movement in the US • Speech or communication studies: debates about environmental issues • Literature: reading related to sustainability • Writing course: writing assignments about environmental topics

  12. Create assignments • Research topics: climate change, deforestation, overfishing, pollution and overpopulation, scarce water resources in California and the protection of the Lower Calaveras River • Write reports, give classroom presentations, or find local environmental issues, groups, and action opportunities

  13. Use resources • Instructors could show DVDs or require reading or internet research related to sustainability issues • The library has a collection of sustainability resources from which faculty and students can draw

  14. Involve students in projects • There are many opportunities for faculty and students to get involved in sustainability projects and activities • Examples include activities around Earth Day or Arbor Day, creating a 350 event, developing a film series, participating in a campus or river cleanup or a National Parks day

  15. Involve students in projects • More examples include • organizing gardening and composting workshops • promoting recycling • collecting and distributing used books or clothes • participating in a wellness fair • presenting a debate, a water or sustainability forum • and organizing a recycling fashion show or art exhibition

  16. Develop learning communities • Faculty could establish learning communities around a common theme of sustainability • They could work on joint assignments, use similar resources or participate in joint projects • Examples include geology and geography, biology and English, or philosophy and religious studies, as well as sociology and anthropology

  17. Collaborate with others • Faculty in career and technical education areas are interested to work with general education faculty on sustainability issues • Areas of collaboration could include business, economics and alternative energy • Green job creation and business plans could go hand-in-hand with career counseling of students

  18. Collaborate with others • Librarians could help provide resources on green careers • Many different people could collaborate on a green job fair on campus • Clubs could also work together on joint activities

  19. Develop student learning outcomes • One of our institutional learning outcomes is environmental responsibility: • Understand how to use resources responsibly • Understand why human population growth is an important environmental issue • Understand how natural processes and human activities contribute to climate change

  20. Develop student learning outcomes • Faculty members need to develop student learning outcomes and assessment that demonstrate students’ awareness of and involvement in environmental protection

  21. Develop student learning outcomes • Examples of sustainability student learning outcomes are: • The student is able to: • correctly define sustainability • describe an environmental problem in.. • give concrete examples of the environment being harmed in… • explain what actions could be taken to protect the environment in ….

  22. Develop student learning outcomes • present competing arguments about a controversial environmental issue • explain what actions could be taken to restore valuable resources in… • explain what actions could be taken to promote recycling/reduce pollution • develop an action plan to help restore the Delta/protect the environment in..

  23. Future steps • Green curriculum website • Examples of courses, programs • Examples of sustainability projects • List of sustainability resources

  24. Future steps • What is next? • Any suggestions? • Should greening curriculum be faculty driven? • How can we foster collaboration? • How can we make greening curriculum a reality?