Since 2016, the authors have been teaching an interdisciplinary module on the global clothing industry to students enrolled in an introductory psychology course and a second year chemistry course at the University of Auckland in New Zealand. In 2016, the module also involved third year chemistry students, and in 2017, second year sociology students and graduate students in English literature from the University of Stuttgart in Germany took part. The module has the following features: (1) it focuses on a complex industry with ramifications for social and environmental sustainability, (2) it involves an issue of direct relevance to the students, (3) students teach those from another discipline as “subject experts,” and (4) students are assessed on their learning within their home course. An evaluation of the 2018 iteration with psychology and chemistry students (N = 185) showed post-test decreases in participants’ materialistic values, increases in knowledge and concern about the social and environmental impacts of the clothing industry and reported changes to clothes buying practices. The authors discuss the institutional barriers faced and provide five recommendations for other university teachers considering integrating an interdisciplinary sustainability module into existing courses.
Harré, N., Azizi, A., Brothers, P., Coomber, T., King, E., Mead, A., Saeckel, S., Vallée, M., Yeo, S. and Zhang, Y. (2020), "An Interdisciplinary Teaching Module on the Global Clothing Industry: Lessons from Working across Four Disciplines and Two Universities", Sengupta, E., Blessinger, P. and Yamin, T. (Ed.) Integrating Sustainable Development into the Curriculum (Innovations in Higher Education Teaching and Learning, Vol. 18), Emerald Publishing Limited, pp. 107-124. https://doi.org/10.1108/S2055-364120200000018025Download as .RIS
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