Part 1: Introduction to Sustainable Societies

To the Instructor

Part 1 includes activities that assess the students’ pre-course knowledge of social, economic, and environmental sustainability issues; defines the most critical sustainability issues; and presents the rationale for sustainable development.

In Part 1, it will be critical for you to set the style and pace for the course. Initial activities are designed to get the students thinking, talking, and participating without requiring large amounts of prodding by you. However, be prepared to draw the students out of their shells if they are slow to take active roles themselves. The faster you can get them participating, the faster they will begin learning from each other and expecting their colleagues to be prepared to teach them things that they haven’t thought about before themselves. This will make it easier for you to assume your role as facilitator, guide, and advisor.

Student skills development in Part 1 will include analysis, problem-solving, creative thinking processes such as modeling and formulating questions, and higher level thinking processes such as identifying bias, inferring, relating, applying, and reflecting.

To assist you in preparing to lead your students in their exploration of the social, economic, and environmental issues that make up this course we recommend that you read “Environmental Education, Ethics and Action: A Workbook to get started”. You will find it in the “Supplemental Materials” section of your Instructor’s CD.

The Workbook objectively challenges the link between ethics and our everyday activities. It takes ethics out of philosophy departments and puts it squarely onto the streets, into the villages, towns, and cities, and connects ethics to all life on Earth. The book's primary audience is teacher trainers, college instructors, university professors, and others responsible for professional development in education. It is also aimed at environmental educators who want to take their teaching more deeply into the questions that lie at the heart of sustainable living.

The activities in Part 1 should be done in the order listed. It is suggested that activities be grouped in pairs, with each pair taking one hour of class time. Part 1 is designed to require five hours of class time. Activities 1 through 5 do not require out-of-class preparation by the students. Student preparation and readings can be expected to take one hour for Activities 7, 8, and 9.

1. Video: Introduction to Education for Sustainable Development

2. Introductions

3. Sustainability Issues Pre-Test

4. Sustainable Societies in Africa: Modules on Education for Sustainable Development Handout (after pre-test)

5. Sustainability Game

6.Sustainable Societies in Africa: Modules on Education for Sustainable Development Preview

7. The State of Sustainable Development in Africa

8. Principles of Sustainable Development

9. Voices on Achieving Sustainable Development

10. Explanation of the Final Student Project