What universities can do to mainstream sustainable development

What universities can do to mainstream sustainable development Patrick Blessinger and Barbara Cozza Note: This article first appeared in the December 2021 issue (Vol. 26 No. 2) of IAU Horizons. By and large, human beliefs, attitudes and mindsets drive human behaviours. Thus, the future of humanity, and the planet they inhabit, will ultimately depend on humanity’s ability to adopt a sustainability mindset in order to solve the most intractable issues of our time (for example, poverty, illiteracy, species extinction, resource depletion, climate change). Within this context, higher education, as a catalyst for economic and social progress, can and should lead the world to achieve a sustainable future with the support of the UN framework Agenda 2030 and the sustainable development goals. The future of humanity, and the planet they inhabit, will ultimately depend on humanity’s ability to adopt a sustainability mindset in order to solve the most intractable issues of our time. Ultimately, [...]

Making sense of pedagogy

Making sense of pedagogy Patrick Blessinger Over the past few decades, many new pedagogical strategies have been developed in the attempt to improve teaching and learning. An explosion of books, articles, and other publications have been written about these different pedagogical strategies. There has also been an ongoing debate about which approach(es) is/are most effective. After teaching for many years at both the K-12 and higher education levels and after conducting research in this field for many years, my professional experience and research findings inform me that direct, explicit instruction at the primary and secondary grade levels is very important. As a general rule of thumb, the lower the grade level, the more direct, explicit instruction is needed, for obvious reasons. In the lower grades, most students lack the requisite mental models (schemas), knowledge base, skills, experience, emotional and social maturity, etc. to learn effectively on their own. The younger [...]

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