Implementing New Teaching Models at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology View Full Text


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Chapter Info

DATE

2013

AUTHORS

Jeffrey I. Steinfeld , Amanda Graham

ABSTRACT

It has been widely observed that Education for Sustainable Development(ESD) –or, as some prefer, Education for a Sustainable Future – presents a challenge to existing systems of instruction and curricula. The empirical, reductionist, discipline-based model which now forms the basis of university faculties has served well in the past, leading to enormous expansion of human knowledge, technology, and – with some exceptions – the global economy.However, this model may not be adequate to address the issues and challenges of global sustainability, and indeed many feel that this growth in human activity lies at the root of the problems now faced by humanity. Accordingly, for ESD to succeed in its purpose, ways must be found to bridge the gaps among multiple disciplines, and to develop students’ capacity to synthesize the viewpoints these bring to sustainability. A variety of approaches are being taken to meet this challenge. These range from wholesale restructuring of curricula and creation of new courses of study in “sustainability science” or “energy systems” to incremental changes in existing courses, along with supplementing formal curricula with research, networking, and other opportunities for intensive experiential learning. This chapter describes some of the innovative activities that have been undertaken at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). MIT’s approach is fundamentally discipline-based and multidisciplinary, embodies the Institute’s motto of mens et manus (learning by doing), and makes use of the campus itself as a laboratory for learning. Among the examples described here is a graduate level subject on sustainable energy (recently adapted to include undergraduates), a project-based subject for beginning students that addresses topics ranging from energy saving projects on campus to global environmental issues, the infusion of energy and environmental topics into basic course requirements in science, engineering, and social science, and making use of the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program to engage students in current research activity on these topics. More... »

PAGES

53-66

References to SciGraph publications

  • 2008-10. Synthesiology as sustainability science in SUSTAINABILITY SCIENCE
  • 2009-04. Sustainable engineering education in the United States in SUSTAINABILITY SCIENCE
  • Book

    TITLE

    Handbook of Sustainable Engineering

    ISBN

    978-1-4020-8938-1
    978-1-4020-8939-8

    Identifiers

    URI

    http://scigraph.springernature.com/pub.10.1007/978-1-4020-8939-8_4

    DOI

    http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-8939-8_4

    DIMENSIONS

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