Delivery of sustainability-related curriculum to undergraduate students can be problematic due to the traditional “siloing” of curriculum by faculties along disciplinary lines. In addition, while there is often a ready availability of courses focused on sustainability issues in the later years of students’ programs, few early entry-level courses focused on sustainability, broad enough to apply to all disciplines, are available to students in the first year of their program.
In this paper, we describe the development, and preliminary implementation, of an entry-level, interdisciplinary sustainability course. To do so, the authors describe the development of a university-wide initiative designed to bridge units on campus working and teaching in sustainability areas, and to promote and support sustainability curriculum development.
The authors describe the conceptual framework for organising course content and delivery. The authors conclude with an informal assessment of the successes and challenges, and offer learning activities, student assessments and course administration recommendations for consideration when developing courses with similar learning goals.
The positive and negative experiences gained through developing and offering a course of this nature, in a large research-focused university, offers knew insights into potential barriers for implementing first-year cross-cutting sustainability curriculum.
Coops, N.C., Marcus, J., Construt, I., Frank, E., Kellett, R., Mazzi, E., Munro, A., Nesbit, S., Riseman, A., Robinson, J., Schultz, A. and Sipos, Y. (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, Vol. 16 No. 5, pp. 729-747. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJSHE-04-2014-0059
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