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Presentation
Teaching to Transform: Proven and Practical Ways to Design Sustainability Courses that Inspire
Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) Conference (2011)
  • Heather Burns, Portland State University
Abstract

This workshop will lead faculty and other sustainability educators through the practical steps of using the Burns Model of Sustainability Pedagogy (Burns, 2009; Burns, 2010) to design or re-design courses or programs. The Burns model of Sustainability Pedagogy synthesizes educational best practices to provide a practical model for course design that is rooted in ecological principles. The Burns model is comprised of five key dimensions: (1)Content; (2)Perspectives; (3)Process; (4)Context; and (5)Design and seeks to: (1) increase learners’ systemic understanding of complex sustainability issues (Content); (2) provide learners with opportunities to think critically about dominant paradigms, practices and power relationships and consider complex ecological and social issues from diverse perspectives (Perspectives); (3) enhance learners’ civic responsibility and intentions to work toward sustainability through active participation and experience (Process); (4) increase learners’ understanding of and connection with the geographical place and the community in which they live (Context); and (5) utilize an ecological course design process that weaves the other four dimensions together to create transformative learning experiences (Design). As such, the Burns model provides a clear method for designing or redesigning courses so that they are transformative opportunities for learning as sustainability (Sterling, 2002). This workshop will use this model of sustainability pedagogy in its design and implementation, providing researched examples of ways that this model has successfully been applied within leadership, skills-based, and educator training courses. Additionally, participants will have opportunities to participate in activities, discussion and reflection about how to implement this model in their own courses or programs.

Publication Date
October 12, 2011
Citation Information
Heather Burns. "Teaching to Transform: Proven and Practical Ways to Design Sustainability Courses that Inspire" Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) Conference (2011)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/heather_burns/8/