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ERIC Number: EJ1057726
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 44
ISSN: EISSN-1918-2902
Sustainability: Teaching an Interdisciplinary Threshold Concept through Traditional Lecture and Active Learning
Levintova, Ekaterina M.; Mueller, Daniel W.
Canadian Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, v6 n1 Article 3 2015
One of the difficulties in teaching global sustainability in the introductory political science classes is the different emphases placed on this concept and the absence of the consensus on where the overall balance between environmental protection, economic development, and social justice should reside. Like many fuzzy concepts with which students struggle, teaching sustainability lends itself to pedagogical examination within the scholarship of threshold concepts. This article investigates students' understanding of sustainability in the seven semesters when the concept of sustainability was introduced via role-playing simulation and compares it with the similar data from a more recent semester when simulation was supplemented with traditional lecture and classroom exercises. Ultimately, our research question is twofold: (1) How do students define a multifaceted concept like global sustainability and (2) what is the better way to teach it--active learning only or active learning in combination with traditional instruction?
University of Western Ontario and Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. Mills Memorial Library Room 504, McMaster University, 1280 Main Street West, Hamilton, ON L8S 4L6, Canada. Tel: 905-525-9140; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A