Principles of Sustainability course at NWTC/ critical thinking
Principles of Sustainability (10-806-112) is a (newer) three credit course taught online, face to face and blended at NWTC. This transferable course counts as a science elective at UWGB/UW-O and is quite popular with General studies transfer students and also with ADN to BSN completers.
What’s in the curriculum you may ask?
Principles and applications are involved, but also critical thinking. Solar energy (alternative energy), chemical cycling and biodiversity are considered the three scientific principles. Most of us would expect those topics. The SOCIAL science principles are: economics, politics and ethics.
Sub themes include: natural capital, natural capital degradation, trade-offs, solutions and individuals matter.
Any one of those sub themes could be a SPARK, or even a topic to integrate into a lesson in many disciplines that need applications/ current events.
The critical thinking charge to students in the preface lists these items:
- Question everything and everybody.
- Identify and evaluate your bias and beliefs
- Be open- minded and flexible
- Be humble about what you know
- Question evidence and conclusions presented
- Try to uncover differences in basic beliefs and assumptions
- Try to identify and assess motives of those presenting evidence
- Expect and tolerate uncertainty
- Do the arguments used involve logical fallicies or debating tricks?
- Do not believe everything you read on the internet
- Develop principles or rules to evaluate evidence
My hope is that more instructors will be encouraged to add some content from Principles of Sustainablity to their classes. Feel free to share your ideas!