Part 1: Introduction to Sustainable Societies

Summary

Image of Dead TreeEach of you have personally experienced sustainability problems or seen their effects in your communities. Sustainability problems in Africa come in many forms: poverty, disease, environmental degradation, pollution, political corruption, waste, cultural bias, lack of educational opportunities, lack of food or water, climate change, lack of capital, and many others.

In Part 1, you will learn to recognize the wide range of social, economic, and environmental sustainability problems in Africa and begin to discover how much these problems impact you personally. You will explore the concept of sustainable development and explore its merits from a variety of African perspectives. You will discover how much you already know about these issues and talk about which problems are most important to you and your classmates. (The Student Matrix Tracking Sheet will help you record your classmates’ concerns.)

In a game, you will learn how to ensure a community’s survival as well your own and through role-playing you will hear what several well-known Africans have to say about the kind of issues that will most affect your future.

At the end of Part 1, you will learn about how to prepare for the community application projects that you will be presenting in Part 4 so that you can use the time in Parts 2 and 3 to effectively plan your personal research and assembly of relevant material.

Recommended duration of Part 1: Five hours of class time during less than two weeks

Objective

      • Recognize the range of social, economic, and environmental sustainability problems in Africa
      • Understand the purpose of the course
      • Know about the resources provided by the course

Results

Understanding of

      • the concept of sustainable development and the rationale for it
      • which sustainability issues are regarded as critical by classmates
      • the student-centered learning approach to be used during the course
      • course requirements

Knowledge of

      • the most critical social, economic, and environmental sustainability issues

Assessment of

      • student familiarity with sustainable development issues