2020 Transitions Lab

Faculty Engagement

Sustainability Community of Practice

Sustainability requires a transdisciplinary pedagogical approach, linking theories and methods from disparate fields and finding effective teaching mechanisms for students with diverse backgrounds and capabilities. The Sustainability Community of Practice project aims to create campus-based community network of sustainability faculty who teach or are interested in teaching sustainability related courses and share a common language and understanding of core sustainability concepts.

The Sustainability Community of Practice convenes for summer seminars and ongoing meetings to enhance the pedagogical efforts of this emerging community of sustainability scholars. Creating this community in which faculty gain a firm foundation in one another’s approaches to sustainability and meaningful differences will require the creation of a growing faculty cohort over the course of several years. These activities are designed to facilitate cross-department interaction and coordination through discussions of research-based sustainability learning principles.

As students explore sustainability, we will experiment with ways to motivate them to combine disciplinary expertise with transdisciplinary perspectives, and assess whether they have mastered crucial operations defined in the previous educational levels. Faculty will share results with a wide audience, including instructors of sustainability courses, general science courses, departments, and instructors in many fields who teach similar kinds of transdisciplinary thinking, such as the use of diverse kinds of data and consideration of alternative viewpoints. This Sustainability Community of Practice will help develop a consensus for threshold concepts and teaching approaches that are crucial to the success of the new degree program. Building on the success of IU’s Office of Service-Learning, and the sustainability-oriented service-learning experience of the Office of Sustainability, the Community will also help establish methods of integrating service-learning into the academic framework of the new degree program, and the ways of knowing that service learning might offer.

Application Information

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To apply for SCoP, we ask that you simply submit a brief statement explaining your interest in the 2018 SCoP. This statement should describe (1) your personal and pedagogical affinity for sustainability education, and (2) a course to which you could apply SCoP experiences and best practices.

Please submit your statement electronically to sapredmo@indiana.edu. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until twelve participant positions are filled. Selected participants will be notified in April and will receive an honorarium of $750 at a later date. All participants should agree to the following:

  • Prior to attending, choose an existing (or new) course that will be the focus of your thinking and work during the workshop.
  • Read a modest selection of materials prior to the workshop.
  • Attend all three half days (9:00am to 1:00pm) of the SCoP Workshop, date TBD.
  • Submit to the IUOS by "TBD" a two-page document that explains your proposed teaching innovations and your commitment to implementation.

We look forward to receiving your brief statement of interest. Please feel free to spread the word about this opportunity, so that sustainability reaches all students across campus regardless of their major!