Towards a revolution in sustainability education: Vision, architecture, and assessment in a case-based approach
Pearl Zhu Zeng and
World Development Perspectives, 2016, vol. 1, issue C, 58-63
The challenges of sustainability and sustainable development are multifaceted and complex. Addressing them in the long run requires a revolution in the training of future generations of learners so that they can devise solutions for sustainability dilemmas in environments characterized by uncertainty, information deficits, and asymmetric power relationships. Such a revolution is under way in many disciplines. Within the field of sustainability studies, there is much promise in a problem-driven, solution-focused approach that emphasizes experiential learning in the best tradition of case-based teaching. The Michigan Sustainability Cases initiative builds on the familiar case-based approach by adapting it in three ways to support active, engaged learning: integration of audiovisual elements into the conventional text-based case narratives; strong partnerships among students, faculty, and practitioners to flip the curriculum; and a digital platform for enhanced flexibility to configure case-based curriculum design. A competitive funding mechanism and writeshops for case development teams promise to open the case-based approach through imaginative appropriation for sustainability learners in diverse educational and organizational contexts globally.
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