Teaching for a sustainable future


Although the session about curriculum would not have been my first choice to attend during the Sustainability Seminar, it was the only one that fit in my schedule on short notice. Four professors spoke about their respective sustainability-focused courses and programs, then sat for a brief question and answer panel.

I’m not going to go over what was said by each since there are already half a dozen posts like that, but realize that sustainability is not just about the environment and natural resources. The gist of the Engineering department sustainability curriculum was to develop courses for engineers but include all students, not labelled engineering, and provide necessary perspectives for engineers designing sustainable technologies and techniques. The new sustainability-focused Management major is about managing limited resources to carry out an organization’s mission in an environmentally, economically, and socially sustainable method. The Bucknell in Nicaragua program is focused on social sustainability of communities and adaptation to external and internal pressures. The interdisciplinary integrative perspectives courses, wrestle with issues, combine content, model interdisciplinary collaboration through co-teaching by professors in different disciplines that inspire new perspectives on how to deal with global questions with local ramifications.

I think sustainability is a very important topic for all students to cover as our world is more crowded than ever and natural resources are becoming scarce. The global market requires sustainable thinking and planning to continue, as we have talked about the need to develop long-term benefits rather than short term rewards thinking.

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