Instructional / Course Design,  Sustainability

USask Sustainability Fellows Leading the Way

For the past few months, I’ve had the pleasure of co-facilitating the first of the two years of the Sustainability Faculty Fellowship sessions with Aditi Garg. There are six Faculty Fellows, each bringing different experiences, ideas, and perspectives to the group.
The Faculty Fellows are:
  • Tate Cao from Engineering
  • Kate Congreves from Agriculture and Bioresources (Plant Sciences)
  • Shannon Forrester from Kinesiology
  • Brooke Klassen from Edwards School of Business
  • Eric Micheels from Agriculture and Bioresources (Agriculture and Resource Economics)
  • Ulrich Teucher from Arts and Science

Year One

We began with a meet-and-greet breakfast in mid-May and followed that with seven two-hour sessions over four weeks during which we discussed aspects of course design and teaching strategies, issues of sustainability (specifically the United Nations 17 Sustainability and Development Goals, which you can read about elsewhere on this blog), the role that their disciplines may play in addressing the sustainability goals, and positionally and privilege.
It was a lot to cover during those sessions, but the collegiality seemed to appear almost instantly and it wasn’t long before they were all sharing ideas, supporting each other, and growing more and more energized at the prospect of what they might do in their own classrooms to integrate sustainability into their courses, something students have been asking for.
The Faculty Fellows and a few other members of the USask community took a bus tour of Saskatoon looking at and hearing from staff from several locations where instructors can take students for place-based learning activities related to sustainability. We visited Wanuskewin Heritage Park, the Meewasin North East Swale, Saskatoon Food Bank and Learning Centre, and City of Saskatoon at River Landing.
The six Faculty Fellows have spent the rest of the summer reading Braiding Sweetgrass and preparing to teach in ways that will integrate much of what they’ve learned since May. As the Faculty Fellows are teaching, they will continue to meet to discuss their experiences with these revised courses and to prepare for the next phase of their Fellowships.

Year Two

The focus for the second year of the Fellowships will be two-fold. First, the Faculty Fellows will contribute to an open resource that will serve as a summary of their experience and guide for other instructors, both at USask and other institutions, to integrate sustainability into their own courses.
The second area of focus will be working with their colleagues in their home departments/colleges to begin to integrate sustainability across the curriculum. This will involve working with individual instructors as well as administrators to help prepare students for addressing the sustainability problems we’re facing across the planet.
If you have any questions about the Sustainability Faculty Fellowships or about how you might integrate sustainability into your courses, please contact us at the GMCTL.
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