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Sustainability Science Education Dr Robert Dyball Fenner School of Environment and Society.

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Presentation on theme: "Sustainability Science Education Dr Robert Dyball Fenner School of Environment and Society."— Presentation transcript:

1 Sustainability Science Education Dr Robert Dyball Fenner School of Environment and Society

2 Sustainability Science at ANU Long history of teaching and research in “Sustainability Science” Founded Human Ecology Program in 1973 - an interdisciplinary study of human-environment systems to overcome “excessive compartmentalization” of knowledge in favour of a “comprehensive” approach Responsible for the “Hong Kong Project” – one of the first studies of “urban metabolism” Hong Kong Project team c 1980 Boyden et al, 1981

3 Key Skills for Ecological Literacy To help students understand complex human-environment systems and their problems (“wicked problems”) To make learning personally meaningful to students in their everyday lives with a focus on solutions to problems To empower students to understand not just the problems of today but future problems that they face To encourage critical reflection on social values and people’s choices, and the possibility of other ways of “living well” Throughout, to do this by research led learning

4 Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies (Sustainability) Sustainability Science requires interdisciplinary approaches. This requires coherent degree structures that allow students to study across traditional disciplinary divides.

5 Experiential learning - lots of fieldwork! Field classes in the Australian Snowy Mountains

6 Experiential learning at home – the Campus as Classroom “The sustainable campus can serve as both an experiment in progress and an ideal tool for educating future generations” (ICSS Sapporo declaration, pt 8). Students work on real projects on campus with Facilities Management. Campus management adopts student reports and puts their findings into practice. Both students and management benefit.

7 Common Ground International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU) Regional partners are University of Tokyo, Peking University and National University of Singapore IARU Sustainability Science project focuses on Sustainable Cities and Human Wellbeing Global interdependencies of food systems - how life styles in each country depend on each other Research findings are updated into classroom teaching and learning From IARU “Food Flows” project. Overseas land areas demanded by Tokyo domestic wheat consumption (to scale)

8 IARU Global Summer Schools IARU student exchange Exposes students to cutting edge research around the globe Puts students from different cultural background together in intensive class settings Exposure to cultural differences helps students to imagine they might live differently and more sustainably IARU member students on field study in Copenhagen

9 Prospects of web-based learning collaborations Student exchange is desirable, but expensive Web offers prospect of collaboration without travel ANU has been trialling web-based Sustainability Science classes Opens exciting prospects for greater regional and international collaboration From ANU – National University of Singapore joint course trial


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