ERIC Number: EJ1025377
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Abstractor: As Provided
Sustainability Education: The What and How for Mathematics
Hamilton, Jason; Pfaff, Thomas J.
PRIMUS, v24 n1 p61-80 2014
In this article we provide a simple way to think about the concept of sustainability and provide a number of examples for incorporating sustainability education into commonly taught mathematics courses. Scientific assessments have concluded that ecosystem services (the benefits that humans derive from the functioning of Earth's natural systems) are in general decline worldwide. As a result, there is an increasing emphasis on incorporating sustainability principles into traditional STEM education. It is a challenge to offer expected content in our courses while adding this new socially and scientifically relevant information. However, it is important to do so because it is our obligation to help produce an educated citizenry. The mathematics community is strongly positioned to be a foundational part of this effort because of the large percentage of students that take at least one mathematics course, in particular, calculus and statistics. A concise set of five learning objectives for sustainability education can be overlain upon almost any mathematics course while not sacrificing appropriate content. Use of carefully constructed, data-rich, real-life examples allows for increased student engagement and provides for opportunities to pursue mathematics while focusing at least some of our efforts on the areas of greatest societal need.
Descriptors: Sustainability, Mathematics Instruction, Environmental Education, Relevance (Education), Calculus, Statistics, Educational Objectives, Place Based Education, Systems Approach, Ethics, Student Empowerment, Learner Engagement, STEM Education, College Mathematics
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A