Sustainability in the Curriculum
Sustainability is a critical topic for 21st-century citizens to understand, regardless of field or profession.
To assist our faculty in incorporating the topic of sustainability into their courses and their everyday life, we create and share development opportunities and resources.
Eight Ways to Integrate Sustainability Into Your Course
Adapted from The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE)
Aside from participating in energy conservation measures and proper waste reduction on campus, we hope faculty will consider helping to foster a true culture of sustainability by infusing it throughout the curriculum. Here are eight steps to include sustainable concepts across disciplines:
- Use sustainability examples to illustrate key concepts. See "The Big Ideas of Sustainability".
- Develop assignments based on aspects of sustainability.
- Assign readings focused on sustainability that correspond with course content.
- Assign new projects to illustrate sustainability concepts covered in class
- Devote one section of the course to sustainability-related concepts.
- Develop a new course.
- Use a guest speaker or attend a campus event. See our calendar for suggestions.
- Go on a field trip. See this map for suggestions within walking or short driving distance of campus.
Student/Class Projects With Sustain Champlain
A small staff and a long list of projects = plenty of opportunities for students to get involved with campus-based projects. These projects could be class research projects, service-learning projects, independent studies, internships, etc. See the current project list.
Need funding? Consider utilizing the Green Revolving Fund to move your class projects from theoretical to fully implemented.
Day-to-Day Classroom Greening Tips
- Encourage proper disposal of items in the classroom. See what goes where on our Sort-It-Out page
- Utilize online submission option for assignments in Canvas—check out the "Canvas Roadshow" slides put together by Cheryl Casey (CCM faculty)
- If printing is required:
- Ask students to use .75" or 1" margins (many default settings are at 1.25")
- Use 1.5 paragraph spacing instead of double spacing
- Use 1-side clean scrap paper for drafts that are turned in
- Print double sided
- Encourage re-use of poster boards, etc. when possible
- AASHE's Academic Commons—contains curriculum materials from across disciplines. Materials are organized in a variety of ways, including by type (lesson plans, syllabi, lab assignments, etc.), discipline, and tag. Champlainers can access member-only resources by creating a log-in with your Champlain email address.
- InTeGrate: Interdisciplinary Teaching about Earth for a Sustainable Future
- A Guide for Applied Sustainability Learning Projects (2017), from AASHE
- The Field Guide to Teaching Sustainability, from Penn State University
- Sustainability Improves Student Learning website, hosted by Carleton College
- Northwest Earth Institute's Discussion Courses for Higher Education
- 147 Practical Tips for Teaching Sustainability: Connecting the Environment, the Economy, and Society by Bruyere, Dunbar, Kimmel, Mizia, Newman, Timpson, 2009.
- Teaching Environmental Literacy: Across Campus and Across the Curriculum by Reynolds, Heather L., Eduardo S. Brondizio, and Jennifer Meta Robinson (eds.), Indiana University Press, 2009.
- Higher Education and Sustainable Development: A Model for Curriculum Renewal by Cheryl Desha and Karlson 'Charlie' Hargroves, Routledge, 2014.