NAGT > Professional Development > Traveling Workshops Program > Effective and Societally Relevant Courses

Make Your Course More Effective and Societally Relevant

Workshop Description


In this workshop, you will infuse societal relevance to (re)design and strengthen your course materials. Each workshop is customizable with themes depending on the interest of participants. The workshop can be designed for courses taught at any level and for instructors in a variety of disciplines including STEM, the social sciences, the humanities, and interdisciplinary fields.

Perhaps you have been teaching the same course for years and want to modify it to incorporate more of what we know about how people learn. It could be that you are about to teach a new course for the first time. Or maybe you want to incorporate societally relevant material into your science courses or bring geoscience and environmental issues into your non-science course. Evidence shows incorporating societal issues, such as sustainability and environmental justice, enhances student learning and success throughout the curriculum and can serve as a potential entry point into the sciences.

Over the course of the workshop, we will engage in a series of activities that will help you think about your course from the student learning perspective. You will learn about pedagogical techniques by engaging in them, not just by hearing about them. You will leave the workshop having begun to (re)design your course and with an action plan and resources for continuing the process.

See Example Programs »

Topics and Sessions

The core workshop is designed to help you build strong courses that link learning about the Earth and societal issues and support all students to be successful in your classroom. Groups may also choose one or more from the list of sessions below. Sessions can be explored over the course of a day and can be mixed and matched.

  • Sustainability
    Sustainability is of high interest to students, including those who are traditionally underrepresented in the geosciences. Thus by linking geoscience and sustainability we attract students and support their success. Topics in sustainability open pathways for integrating economic, social and environmental issues into courses. Participants will experience effective teaching activities with a sustainability focus and will leave with ideas and plans for incorporating sustainability into their new or existing courses.
  • Environmental justice
    Environmental justice issues highlight disproportionate impacts of the built environment on people of color and low-wealth communities. Environmental justice provides a lens for under-represented students to link science to issues they care about. Participants will experience effective teaching activities with an environmental justice focus and will leave with ideas and plans for incorporating environmental justice into their new or existing courses.
  • Community engagement: local, regional, national, global
    Science and everyday life have become disconnected. Incorporating community engagement (e.g., service learning, communication, field work) into your courses can help students transfer academic learning to real-life situations in their professional, personal and civic lives. Participants will experience effective teaching activities with a community engagement focus and will leave with ideas and plans for incorporating community engagement into their new or existing courses.
  • Hazards

Goals

By the end of this workshop, participants will be able to

  • use what's known about how people learn to build strong courses
  • link learning about the Earth and societal issues
  • incorporate strategies that support all students to be successful
  • implement effective teaching activities with focus on societal issues

Resources

Why Should Undergraduate Education include a Focus on Sustainability and Earth-centered Societal Issues?

Environmental Justice in the Context of Sustainability

Connect to the World We Live in

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