February 3, 2016

Sustainable Consumption and Production, Clark University, 2009-2017

  • Lecturer: Halina Brown
  • Program: graduate seminar in Environmental Science and Policy program and MBA; also some students from International Development or Community Development and Planning
  • Duration: one semester, 14 weeks, 3 hours/week; Class size: 15
  • Focus: “understand the complex drivers of consumer society, the role of technology, culture, institutions and politics; envision a society with less consumption; how to get there and roles of different agents”
  • Theories: cross-disciplinary retrospectives that include theories of technological innovation, sociotechnical transitions, social practices, social movements, theories of learning, institutional theory, and others
  • Approach: lecture; guest speakers; group presentations and discussions; independent student research.
  • Novel approach: conceptually built around IPAT equation, assigning questions to groups of students who then prepare discussion papers, to debate in class; privileges teamwork; course includes a glossary of terms
  • Student evaluation: Homework (25%); Midterm (25%); Class attendance and participation (25%); Final paper (30%)
  • Course evaluation: generally well received; the course ‘opens their minds’ towards thinking of sustainability in new ways
  • Reading list: book chapters, articles, reports, quite comprehensive. Also, proposes a glossary of terms.