Teaching Sustainability: Programming and Pedagogy from Three Different Disciplines
When: June 9, 2022, 1:45 pm - Thursday
Where: Ezell 363
Christian higher education institutions have varying degrees of experience in offering sustainability curriculums and sustainability-focused majors and degrees. This session will provide an overall examination of a 15-year graduate program and the unique pedagogy of one of its newest courses. A brief summary of alumni demographics and job placement will also be presented. The session will also address lessons learned from planning and developing a new undergraduate academic program with a planned launch for Fall 2022.
Rebecca Selove, Tennessee State University and Jaclyn Spivey, Lipscomb University, “‘Hope’ as an Integrative Theme in ‘Psychology of Sustainability’”
This presentation explores the effectiveness of “hope” in Sustainability curriculum development. Teaching graduate-level “psychology of sustainability” presented opportunities for developing students’ critical thinking about the utility of applying social science methods to the problems of sustainable behavior. The curriculum primarily centered on theories and tools for implementation and evolved to include an emphasis on hope. Students expressed frustration that psychology does not offer predictable and immediate solutions to concerns about sustainable behavior. Including “hope” and metacognitive skills from psychology function both as course content, and as ways to practice self-care in the process of practicing and promoting creation care.
Dodd Galbreath, Lipscomb University, “Educating Graduate Sustainability Professionals: 15 Years of Programming, Pedagogy, and Practice”
In 2007, Lipscomb University launched the Institute for Sustainable Practice, the first holistic academic program in sustainability in the Southeast and one of few programs in the nation. Its graduate program has offered an MBA concentration, 9 certificates, a master of science, and dual MS/MBA degrees. Just under 300 alumni and students from over 20 disciplines in 216 different organizations are innovating and/or leading sustainability initiatives in 25 states and 5 foreign countries. The presentation will address the program’s current format and courses, program changes over time, lessons learned, alumni outcomes, and its vision for the future.
Chris Doran, Pepperdine University, “Undergraduate Programming in Sustainability: Lessons in Program Planning and Design”
In 2021, the relevant academic committees of Pepperdine University passed the Sustainability major, which is the largest interdisciplinary program in the history of Seaver College. This happened after the Sustainability minor started only 5+ years before. This presentation will highlight some of the strategic decisions made to create the program, share some of the challenges of working with an extremely limited budget in a region with mature UCLA and USC sustainability programs in our backyard, and focus on the distinctly Christian grounding that makes program so compelling to its students.
Jim Carpenter, Abilene Christian University, Convener
- Rebecca Selove and Jaclyn Spivey, Tennessee State University; Lipscomb University, “‘Hope’ as an Integrative Theme in ‘Psychology of Sustainability’”
- G. Dodd Galbreath, Lipscomb University, “Educating Graduate Sustainability Professionals: 15 Years of Programming, Pedagogy, and Practice”
- Chris Doran and Dawnielle Wright, Pepperdine University, “Undergraduate Programming in Sustainability: Lessons in Program Planning and Design”
- Katharine Hayhoe, Nature Conservancy, Respondent