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Sustainability Education

Certificate of Advanced Study

This 16-credit program is for those who wish to help their K-12 students become agents of change within their schools, organizations, communities and institution for a sustainable future. The five courses within this program may be applied to the M.Ed. program in Educational Studies.

Course Descriptions

EDU 5XXX Education for Sustainability
In this course, candidates work to conceptualize sustainability as a social imperative and critical context for 21st Century learning. Through critical examination of a range of beliefs about the Earth’s preferable versus probable future, candidates will develop a clear vision for a sustainable future. Through careful consideration of current debates regarding issues related to sustainability students will articulate changes that need to be made by individuals, local communities and countries if that vision is to be achieved. Candidates will use these needs analyses to assess current education policies, make policy recommendations and develop authentic school or program charters that can be used to guide curriculum development and instructional strategies within formal and informal educational settings.

EDU 5XXX Earth Citizenship
This course focuses on creating Earth citizens who have the values, skills and knowledge necessary for contributing to a sustainable future. Students will actively engage with driving questions about the foundation they need, the kind of citizen they should be, and the understandings and capabilities they should have for contributing to sustainability. Course readings, activities, discussions and projects facilitate students’ exploration and acquisition of wellness as the foundation and aspiration of sustainability, global citizenship, biosphere custodianship, change agency, world viewing, systems seeking and futures thinking. And finally, students will examine the ways in life is a function of ecosystems, society is a part of the biosphere constrained by limits and humans belong to and have responsibilities within local, national and global communities.

EDU 5XXX Critical Pedagogy of Place
In this course, sustainability is developed as an urgent and unique context for motivating and designing curriculum and instruction. Armed with their vision for sustainable future and their understanding of the values, skills and knowledge required for making the changes required to achieve this vision, students will learn how to assess existing curricula for supporting or integrating sustainability. They will also use this framework to guide their development and implementation of curriculum and instruction that facilitate effective civic engagement for sustainable communities. Students in this course will experience and learn how to use classroom community development, critical pedagogy of place and problem-based learning in the development of curriculum and instruction for sustainability.

EDU 5XXX Sustainability Action
In this course, students will demonstrate their motivation and capacity for being agents of change for sustainability. Using their understanding of ecological and human systems combined with their capacity for world viewing and systems and futures thinking, students will develop sustainability action proposals that demonstrate their conviction that communities, practices and products can be assessed for and changed toward a sustainable future. Students will have the opportunity to further develop their change agency capabilities as they present their sustainability action proposals to and receive feedback from a group of highly invested stakeholders. Once revised to incorporate critical feedback, these sustainability action proposals will serve as the basis for the EfS program culminating project.

EDU 5536 Action Research/Internship/Culminating Experience
This course provides an opportunity for students to understand the fundamental methods of qualitative educational research. Issues in current educational research are explored and implications for practice are outlined. Students develop and complete an original research project in relation to fieldwork/internship experience in an education-based setting. This course is a seminar and requires significant student participation, fieldwork, research, and writing. Fieldwork required.