Making Environmental Connections in Courses in the Humanities and Social Sciences
Colleen Boyd, Sue Guillaud, Mai Kuha, Lisa Kuriscak, Melinda Messineo Abstract Purpose: Mapping out environmental connections to course themes in the humani- ties and social sciences is a rewarding but perhaps often overlooked process that can ultimately make course content more grounded and relevant to students. This paper describes pedagogical interventions in a variety of disciplines to raise student awareness of environmental issues across the curriculum. Design/methodology/approach: Faculty from four departments engaged in con- tent-based instruction and provide suggestions in this paper for incorporating such an approach into humanities and social science classrooms. Findings: This paper reports on environmental connections made in a range of courses in the humanities and social sciences by faculty at Ball State University. In each case, ecological themes were incorporated in ways that reinforced and enriched course content. Pedagogical outcomes are noted and general guidelines are provided for others to incorporate environmental issues in their courses. Originality/value: In the applied sciences and physical sciences, the path seems fairly clear for faculty who want to incorporate environmental issues in their courses. The connection seems less straightforward in the social sciences and humanities. For example, the potential environmental impact of learning to speak Spanish or French is not so immediately obvious. While efforts to integrate environmental connections in courses in geography, psychology, and writing have been reported in previous research, these efforts are not mainstream. This paper contributes to the growing body of work on environmental education by reporting on work in fields that typically do not...
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