Sustainability In Higher Education

The Sustainability Curriculum Consortium ™ represents an opportunity to catalyze the next phase of the sustainability movement in higher education: a cohesive, aligned, and integrated approach to sustainability scholarship, supported by curriculum and professional development across the disciplines. We sense that despite institutions’ best efforts to embrace sustainability, curriculum development and faculty professional development in this area have lagged behind other initiatives such as carbon/climate impact reduction, environmentally responsible purchasing, and campus greening. While goal tracking systems, institutional pledges, and other steps have accomplished much and should continue, more is needed to shift the sustainability paradigm in higher education. Ambiguity and conflict about sustainability’s meaning, complexity, and pedagogical implications, even among the environmental studies and sciences, have subtracted momentum from the movement. When comparing the content and delivery of sustainability education with practices in policy and industry, we perceive a rift over the last decade, one that faculty and curriculum development can uniquely (and must immediately) address.

Ira Feldman at AASHE 2015 Minneapolis