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ERIC Number: EJ1014216
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1467-6370
Creating a Sustainable University and Community through a Common Experience
Lopez, Omar S.
International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, v14 n3 p291-309 2013
Purpose: This article aims to provide an overview of Texas State University's Common Experience, an innovative initiative that engaged tens of thousands of people in shared consideration of sustainability as a single topic during academic year 2010-2011. Design/methodology/approach: The discourse begins with an overview of the Common Experience from a pedagogical perspective based on five principles of effective instructional practice identified by the National Research Council (NRC) in their synthesis of the research from the fields of cognitive, developmental and educational psychology, and brain research on how people learn. Based on a case study research design, the article next provides detailed descriptions of course-based and non-course Common Experience activities, including examples from the year-long initiative. The discourse then focuses on important elements organizers should consider when planning non-course activities, followed by a description of the planning process needed to replicate the initiative at other institutions. Findings: Based on five principles of instructional practice, the Common Experience is a pedagogical innovation designed to cultivate a common intellectual conversation across the campus, to enhance students' participation in the intellectual life of the campus, and to foster a sense of community across the campus and extended community. In so doing, the Common Experience in sustainability inspired people on campus and in the community to change behavior and social policy, build scientific understanding, connect local environmental issues to global themes, and reshape values -- components crucial to sustainability education. Originality/value: The Common Experience is more likely to yield progress toward finding solutions to sustainability problems because it promotes engagement and input from all stakeholders within the campus and surrounding community through shared vision and face-to-face dialogue in a variety of contexts. (Contains 1 table and 1 figure.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Texas
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A