What I Am Wondering …: A Teacher Training Program on How to Find and Answer Questions of Sustainable Consumption
This example is about training future teachers in relation to ‘sustainable consumption’ by inviting them to come up with an integrative research question that they then answer during the course, drawing from scholarly literature and through group work.
By: Antonietta Di Giulio (University of Basel)
Session type: Multiple sessions, TT level, Small/Medium size
Learning from practitioners
Introduction to the teaching example:
The objective of this exercise is to include aspiring educators in a hands-on activity that demonstrates how "sustainable consumption" should be understood as a cross- and trans-disciplinary field of scholarship. They get knowledge on how to handle complex subjects in their classes by starting with everyday observations and worries.
Future educators are asked to develop an integrated research topic related to sustainability, which they will then respond to during the course by reading academic materials and working in groups. The question must enable students to consider many viewpoints with respect to sustainable consumption and show how they are not constrained by preconceived notions.
The course has a philosophical stance, encouraging future educators to reflect on the topic of sustainable consumerism. It also offers useful tools that show how inter- and trans-disciplinarity may be promoted, by providing them with concept maps. The mapping enables users to identify causal relationships between variables that must be taken into account in order to respond to their research question. Additionally, they are urged to write reflections and interview sustainability professionals.
Although the course contains some lectures on topics like consumption, inter-, and trans-disciplinarity in research and teaching, it is mostly centered on conversations among students, with minimum interventions from the instructor. These inputs are dependent on the development, issues, and subjects of each group; they are thus adjusted to meet their requirements.