Teaching Social Sustainability: From Adjective to Verb

By Melissa Nursey-Bray.

Published by The Learner Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Teaching and learning requires course coordinators to draw upon a wide range of skills to encourage critical thinking and deep learning. While the delivery of courses in marine environment and management is usually advantaged by the availability of fun teaching tools and case studies, such as boats, and the marine environment itself, delivering courses on social sustainability can seem dry by comparison. Despite the fact that the subject social sustainability inherently involves people and the excitement of politics, it is harder to give students ‘real life’ experience in this context. This paper, based on action research principles, reflects on the development of curriculum for a course called Developing Social Sustainability, at the Australian Maritime College, Tasmania, Australia. It highlights how the adoption of a critical pedagogical approach helped not only to enliven the notion of sustainability but encouraged a process of learning for rather than about sustainability.

Keywords: Sustainability, Critical Thinking, Reflexivity, Teaching and Learning

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 16, Issue 1, pp.359-372. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.202MB).

Dr. Melissa Nursey-Bray

Lecturer, National Centre for Marine Conservation and Marine Sustainability, Australian Maritime College, Invermay, Tasmania, Australia

Originally from Adelaide I came from a history and politics background to move into Indigenous resource management by training Indigenous Rangers in natural resource management across Northern Australia. I have since worked for government, Inidgenous groups, ENGOs and universities. My core interest is the investigation of how communities can become involved in and contribute to environmental management. Most recently this has included consideration of how social science can help build community capacity to resolve global problems such as climate change. I am currently a social sciences lecturer at the Australian Maritime College teaching courses in marine sustainability and management and the application of qualitative methodologies. I am co-convenor of the Social Sciences Climate Change Research Network (SSCCRN).


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