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Contact Information · PDF file 2016. 7. 20. · Alexis Lau: [email protected] Robert Gibson: [email protected] . Big History as a Pedagogical Framework in Teaching for Sustainability at The

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  • Contact Information Aidan Wong: [email protected] Alexis Lau: [email protected] Robert Gibson: [email protected]

    mailto:[email protected] mailto:[email protected] mailto:[email protected]

  • Big History as a Pedagogical Framework in Teaching for Sustainability at The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

    Aidan Wong, Alexis Lau, Robert Gibson

  • Background

    HKUST – The Hong Kong University of Science and

    Technology, established 1991

  • Background

    • By 2007 – Environmental Education was mostly

    domain and issue specific at HKUST • Environmental Engineering • Environmental Science

    – No Program or General Education course on macroscopic environmental issues

  • Background

    2007 – UNEP GEO4 – IPCC AR4

    • Whether we like it or not, changes are coming … – Over Exploitation of Planet’s Biological Resources – Rising Resource Intensity of Production & Consumption – Near-term Climate Change

  • Background

    • HKUST established an interdisciplinary Division of Environment in 2008 – with faculty joining from Science,

    Engineering, Social Science and Business – the first new academic home at the university

    after its inception in 1991 • Launched a new general education course

    to teach macroscopic environmental issues in 2009 – Climate change risk, mitigation & adaptation

  • Background

    CC Risk, Mitigation and Adaptation – Global Environmental Outlook (GEO4)

    • Sustainability – Climate Change (IPCC AR4)

    • Physical Science Basis (WG1) • Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability (WG2) • Mitigation (WG3)

    Size and Assessment – up to 120 students from all schools – Short essays, MC exam, debate, term paper

  • Background

    Course feedback (2009-2014, 6 years):

    Regarding sustainability & climate change, students can – recognize the board scope & interconnectivity – debate the issues from different perspectives – evaluate the importance & urgency of problems

    … but In general, students are very pessimistic about the likelihood of the world coming together to address these global environmental problems effectively

    … they DON’T see themselves as agents of change !!!

  • 2015 Spring (Feb – May)

    • Sneaked 10 lectures of Big History into the course “Climate Change Risk, Mitigation and Adaptation”

    • … mainly to use Big History to replace the discussion of sustainability in the GEO4 report, and also reduced the examples related to adaptation and mitigation, which were rapidly changing and readily available on the web

  • We got help from the Big Guys

    … our revised Climate Course was due to start in Feb 1st 2015, and

    here was Al and David using

    Big History as background and introduction for Climate Change discussions at the

    World Economic Forum in Jan 2015

  • Feedback from the students (2015)

    • The course helps to illustrate the urgency of climate change and discuss possible ways that we can adopt to help ourselves better adapt to the changing environment. Together with the Big History project, we can better understand our linkage with the environment and thus playing an active part in alleviating the negative impacts of climate change.

    • I personally like big history although it does not seem to have much link with climate change

    • The content of the course does not seem to match the course title "Climate change risk, mitigation and adaptation“

    • … …

  • 2016

    We changed the course title


    Climate Change Risk, Mitigation and Adaptation


    Climate Change, Sustainability and Big History

  • Challenge (ILO)

    We hope that the students ... ... recognize the scope, complexity and difficulty of the global environmental / sustainability problems, but also … … be optimistic about the likelihood of changing for the better, and see that they can contribute positively and significantly to these changes.

  • before 2014 Class 2015 / 2016 Class Sustainability (GEO4) 5 Big History 11 Climate Science 7 Climate Science 4 Risk and Adaptation 4 Risk and Adaptation 2 Mitigation 3 Mitigation 1 Guest Lectures 2 Guest Lectures 2 Class Discussions 3 Class Discussions 3 Assessment Assessment

    Essays, MC, Term paper Essays, MC, Term paper Group Debates Group Posters

    Course Structure

  • Course Curriculum - Distinctiveness

    • Not focused on Big History; • Adopt it as a pedagogical framework to teach sustainability,

    by drawing concepts / implications from Big History and link them to climate issue.

     Scales - different temporal and spatial scales  Emergent Properties in Climate Change  Complexity and Fragility  Scientific Evidence and Consensus  Multidisciplinary interactions  Natural Selection – Extinction  Change and Adaptation  Collective learning and Collaborations

    Presenter Presentation Notes highlight human’s ingenuity; we are capable to be the most collaborative species on Earth

  • Assessment

    • Two essays after classroom discussions • MC Mid-term

    • Final group (3 – 4 students) project

    – Poster to reflect on what they have learned about Climate Change, Sustainability and Big History

    – Online Video to explain their poster

    • Individual End-of-term paper

    • Questionnaire before and after course

  • Posters – most focus mainly on Climate Change & Sustainability

  • Posters – a few focus more on Big History

  • Posters – a few just throw everything in … uncoordinated (or relationship not obvious)

  • But … with collective learning, there is always hope !!

  • Feedback (2016)

    • Most (75%) students agree that studying Big History changed their world view, and only 4% disagreed.

    • Most (56%) students find the connection between Big History and Climate change to be strong, and only 16% of the students find the connection weak.

    • Some student noted that they would like more discussions about climate change • We interpret this as positive as they have become more

    interested in the subject (which they can easily get online if they are interested).

  • Next steps

    • Revise materials to have “better” balance between Big History and Climate Change

    • Other assessment method(s)

    – Suggestions please ???

  • Thank you Contact Information: Aidan Wong: [email protected] Alexis Lau: [email protected] Robert Gibson: [email protected]

    Slide Number 1 Big History as a �Pedagogical Framework in Teaching for Sustainability�at The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology Background Background Background Background Background Background 2015 Spring (Feb – May) We got help from the Big Guys Feedback from the students (2015) 2016 Challenge (ILO) Slide Number 14 Course Curriculum - Distinctiveness Assessment Posters – most focus mainly on��Climate Change & Sustainability Slide Number 18 Slide Number 19 Slide Number 20 Posters – a few focus more on��Big History Slide Number 22 Posters – ��a few just throw everything in … uncoordinated (or relationship not obvious) Slide Number 24 Slide Number 25 But … with collective learning,��there is always hope !! Slide Number 27 Slide Number 28 Feedback (2016) Next steps Thank you

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