Using a common theme to engage the student body in sustainability

Sustainability is a transdisciplinary topic, one that business schools increasingly recognise needs to be embedded into each course and across curricula. But how does one go about doing this?

There are a growing number of interesting examples coming from schools around the world that are taking innovative approaches to engaging students in these types of discussions. One approach taken by a few schools is to choose a theme and to explore that theme, across a range of different classes, from a range of different angles.

Coles College of Business at Kennesaw State University has developed a country study programmed called “The Year of”. The aim of the course is, over a full academic year, to take a wide-ranging look at a specific country or region from its earliest history right up to current events, including social and environmental issues. The goal is to help students and staff better understand and appreciate other countries and cultures and break down stereotypes. The year includes a series of lectures, performances, exhibits and films as well as opportunities to develop working relationships with consular officials, business leaders and expatriates. The programme also offers grants to encourage general education faculty to produce discipline-based modules on the country under study, use them in their own classes, and disseminate them among colleagues. 2011-2012 is The Year of Peru.

Another school taking a similar approach is Pacific Lutheran University. In the spring 2011 semester, sections of the courses Financial Accounting and Principles of Marketing had a shared reading, “Travels of a T-shirt,” in addition to the ordinary textbooks for each course. The classes had three joint meetings throughout the semester where they used open discussion, class exercises and debate to discuss the business sustainability issues raised in the book. They worked to ensure that the classes not only understood the discipline issues, (Accounting and Marketing) but that the intersections of the two disciplines on these issues and the perspectives of each discipline on sustainability.

Has your school taken a similar approach to teaching students and staff about sustainability issues? Please share your examples in the comments area below.

One Response to Using a common theme to engage the student body in sustainability

  1. Pingback: 2012 Summary of Best Practices in Responsible Management Education (Part 1) « unprme

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: