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At colleges across the country, faculty are using the multimedia materials in the Curriculum and Resource Center to begin reframing courses and syllabi. Subscribers range from San Jose State University to the University of Michigan to Manhattanville College (NY).
Teacher Education (See also Marygrove College): Beginning in 2012, we have been supporting a cohort of teacher education professors from five states to integrate Education for Sustainability content and methods into a variety of courses. Participants are from Eastern Michigan University (EMU) , Michigan State, University of Michigan, University of Cincinnati, SUNY Fredonia, Northeastern University, and Florida Gulf Coast University. The participants teach a wide range of courses including science, math, and social studies methods; social foundations; educational psychology; literacy and language; educational policy and reform; and a student teaching practicum. We are now in the implementation phase of the 20-month project, and participants are implementing their sustainability-infused course "makeovers."
Marygrove College (Ongoing): This liberal arts college, located in the heart of Detroit, is engaged in reframing its elementary education program to incorporate model pedagogy connecting community revitalization and social justice. Through a series of workshops and strategic planning sessions, Creative Change engaged faculty in defining a new vision for teacher education and Marygrove built on a vision of a revitalized Detroit. Faculty explored competencies students and citizens need to contribute to regional sustainability and the implications for teacher preparation.
Michigan State University (MSU) (Ongoing): This Big Ten university is launching a competency-based sustainability specialization for students in multiple majors. Creative Change is working with the institution to develop a support package to 1) increase faculty’s interdisciplinary content knowledge, 2) support faculty as they create syllabus “makeovers” that integrate the new competencies, and 3) identify strategies to use campus facilities as a context for connecting academics and service.
In a separate project with MSU (2007), we developed a curriculum on sustainable food systems. The curriculum is part of the Voices Project, an on-line resource of materials to build greater understanding about farmers, farming and food at the local level. The new curriculum is aimed at adult learners and is designed for use in informal settings in communities, introductory university courses, and other educational settings. Learn more.
Washtenaw Community College (2010): As part of its institution-wide commitment to sustainability, Washtenaw Community College's professional development program decided to explore sustainability as a context for reframing courses in multiple departments. In an on-site program, Creative Change engaged faculty in hands-on activities to explore human-environmental interactions, the Commons, life cycles, and the links between culture and ecology. Faculty then generated ways these concepts connected to their disciplines, ranging from nursing to chemistry to business. Based on the results of follow-up evaluations, Creative Change met with the leadership team to develop strategies for expanding the work.
Western Michigan University College of Business (2009): Creative Change provided an introductory program on sustainable economics for the Western Michigan University College of Business. The program introduced a cohort of business professors to core "triple bottom line" concepts using model activities and resources from our Curriculum and Resource Center (CRC). Learn more about our economics program.
In partnership with Purdue University's College of Engineering (2006), we developed Our Town, a high school curriculum and teacher education program on brownfields redevelopment and sustainable communities. Learn more about the growing Our Town program.
We've worked with the University of Michigan Community Scholars Program (2005), an undergraduate program focused on community service, social justice, and academic study. Creative Change assisted in the design and teaching of a freshman seminar on sustainability taught by Dr. Jim Crowfoot, supervised individual students on their community projects, and served on the program's advisory board.
Read more about the sustainability seminar in the following articles co-authored by Jim Crowfoot and Susan Santone, Creative Change's Executive Director: "Collaborative Learning About Unsustainability: An Interdisciplinary Seminar to Help Achieve Sustainability" "The Role of Community-based Projects in Teaching Sustainability."
Both articles appear in Engaging the Whole of Service-Learning, Diversity, and Learning Communities, Joseph Galura, Penny Pasque, David Schoem, and Jeffery Howard, eds. (OCSL Press at the University ofMichigan Press. 2004) For more information: firstname.lastname@example.org
Creative Change has collaborated with Eastern Michigan University's Social Foundations of Education Program (2003-2008) to offer graduate courses for practicing teachers. Courses are offered as part of the Social Foundations EcoJustice Education Concentration in the Department of Teacher Education. Courses developed:
We've worked with the Center for Sustainable Community Development (CSCD) at the University of Minnesota, Duluth, to support their K-12 partnership programs on renewable energy. Creative Change's experience with teacher education, curriculum, and K-12 funding streams provides a critical link between the CSCD's technical expertise and schools in its region. Our support included advising the CSCD on current K-12 issues, identifying funding sources for school-based renewable energy programs, and assisting with proposal writing and strategic planning to sustain initiatives.