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Learning

This category contains 56 posts

Grading requires an ego that I don’t have, at least in sustainability

Okay, so 2+2=4. If that’s the question, I can probably grade it. But most of what I teach is sustainability and “right” answers are a lot less clear. I’ve been doing research into self-reflection and sustainable assessment recently for a project and I think it applies here. Sustainable assessment, described by Boud and Falchikov (2007), … Continue reading

Context matters in climate change policy support

I tend to set up the courses I teach in ways that students aren’t always used to. I do this based on research about effective strategies and I talk to my students about that research and the reasons why I have chosen a particular approach. I find these conversations are really important because, like most … Continue reading

Systems thinking and mapping resource

I’ve been working on a project related to the introductory sustainability course that I teach. Systems thinking is an incredibly valuable approach to assessing complex situations and challenges. However, it can be very challenging to grasp. As I developed the systems thinking material for my course, I created an open educational resource (OER) on the … Continue reading

Seriously!? An unfounded but standard “race correction”?

I’ve had pulmonary function tests, which test how well your lungs function. I don’t come out particularly well. But apparently, if I was Black my results wouldn’t look so bad. This is because there is a so-called race correction applied to results of these tests for Black patients. The thing is, this correction has no … Continue reading

Breaking Down Silos

The sustainability course I teach has students from many different faculties and departments. The first half of the semester we look at, what are commonly referred to as, the pillars of sustainability: economics, society, environment, and culture. I talk about how I disagree with the language of pillars though because it implies that these are … Continue reading

Individual or Collective?

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about individual versus collective actions. When I worked in energy efficiency we often focused on individual actions as being a starting point towards sustainability. Part of the hope was that if an individual engaged in individual actions like installing a high energy furnace or not idling while they waited … Continue reading

Are Kids the Way to Increase Concern in All Adults?

When I first got into environmental education the idea that kids would share what they learned with their adults at home and influence their attitudes and decisions was common. A new study by Hartley et al (2021) examined whether kids could influence adults outside of their immediate family. To sum up, kids got the power. … Continue reading

To add or subtract, that is the question

A common excuse in education for not using active learning strategies in a course is that there isn’t enough time because of the amount of content that needs to be covered. This never sits well with me. I fully admit that I can’t cover everything and l make tradeoffs if I want to include something … Continue reading

Building experience into sustainability learning

I’m working on creating the next level of sustainability course for the university where I teach sustainability. Part of my plan is to integrate some community engaged learning or work-integrated learning opportunities. There are several reasons that I want to do this but among my leading reasons is a firm belief that learning that never … Continue reading

Changing the message about mistakes

As an athlete I know that mistakes are part of how I improve. I fall when figure skating, I eat the wrong food at a dragon boat festival, I forget to put my goggles down for the first lap of a triathlon swim. These were all part of my learning process and the point was … Continue reading

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