Sustainable development is based on three pillars: - the economic, social and environmental factors that need to be taken into consideration, and their cultural context. There is increasing awareness that these three factors are interconnected, overlapping and interdependent. Due to this fact, learning and understanding sustainable development is an immediate necessity of society. The notion of 'sustainable development' is subject to many different interpretations and definitions.The key concepts of sustainable development are needs and limitations. Needs of the present can be understood as a quality of life. However, the world is experiencing a huge gap between rich and poor countries and unequal distribution of wealth. Sustainable development means to cover at least the basic needs of all people; all other living standards have to be sustainable. Sustainable development is not just about our impact on the environment and the planet as a whole. In fact, our daily life decisions are made from where we source our supplies, to who we employ and has the power to influence not only our local community but society as a whole.
Therefore, this teaching material aims to help students develop the ability to:
- understand and describe the relationships between environmental, social and economic systems;
- identify the positive and negative environmental change which may arise from economic growth;
- identify the importance of empowering individuals and organisations to work together to create new knowledge;
- facilitate and mediate progressive discussions among interested parties (stakeholders) to help resolve dilemmas and conflicts;
- evaluate the consequences of their own actions and of collective actions;
- a commitment to lifelong learning for sustainable development
Case study teaching
This course will be organized with the participation of students and teachers. Students will be divided into small groups of 5-6 people for each session. In addition, each group will choose to work through some case studies in one of the three dimensions of sustainable development using the Text puzzle method. Moreover, they will deeply analyze and discuss case studies critically within their group, and then they have to discuss their case studies with other members of other groups which have different case studies. The choice of the case study will be according to students’ or lecturer’s interest, but it is crucial to cover the approaches of SD. There is a link below in which students might have access to some case studies on SD. Moreover, they will have the possibility to gain knowledge from different external stakeholders engaged on sustainable development. Finally, the reflection portion of this classroom will be a key component of the active learning process; therefore the lecturer would have to spend additional time to maintain this reflection portion, which will be presented in blog format. The lecturer will be able to monitor these comments that are provided by the students, and encourage everyone to post, and reply their peer’s thoughts.