On March 13th and 14th, 2015, The Sustainability Laboratory participated in Cooper Union’s Teaching Towards Sustainability Workshop, joining an impressive group of educational innovators from around the country for presentations and discussion.
From the program:
The workshop sought to begin discussions around the following questions:
Dr. Ben-Eli presented on both the GSF Program and Project Wadi Attir. A fellow from the pilot session of the GSF, Kathy Chiu, also presented about her experience in the program.
Some highlights from other presentations include:
- David Turnbull talking about Waterbanks, a design for a sports stadium/school in East and West Africa whose very structure allows for the harvest of rainwater. “Its unique structure houses up to eight classrooms for education or microenterprise initiatives, a health clinic, public latrines, and expansive opportunities for agricultural development, supporting the need for food security.”
- Paul Cawood Hellmund talking about the Conway School for Landscape Design, a 10-month Masters in Landscape Design where students work on real projects for real clients in a supportive, collaborative learning environment.
- And Pheobe Crisman from UVA’s School of Architecture talking about The Learning Barge, a floating, self-sustaining field station located on the most polluted tributary of the Chesapeake Bay. Built and maintained by UVA students, The Learning Barge provides interactive K-12 and adult education about how the river ecology and human activities are inextricably linked.
The Lab also got to spend some time with our friends from The Buckminster Fuller Institute, Sarah Skenazy (L) and Elizabeth Thompson (R):
The synthesis discussions were lively and enlightening, as educators discussed the best criteria for a transformative sustainability education, the tension between the need for “deep-discipline” education and the need for interdisciplinary learning environments, the limitations of teaching within established academic institutions, the lifecycles of “outsider” sustainability education organizations, and other important topics. For some discussion highlights, head over to the GSF Twitter Page, or search the hashtag #teachingtowardssustainability.
The Lab looks forward to collaborating with our new colleagues and friends.