Lori Delacruz Lewis is seeking feedback on her sustainability workbook from higher education teachers. Courtesy of Storyblock.

March 12, 2018

Lori Delacruz Lewis wants to know what higher education teachers think of her sustainability workbook.

Lewis, the sustainability coordinator for Mountain View College in Dallas, is working toward her master’s degree in Sustainability and Development at SMU. Her graduate thesis has involved writing a workbook, Sustainability: Designing Interdisciplinary Opportunities for Teaching. The workbook is geared toward helping higher education faculty integrate sustainability into their course while incorporating the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals.

The project started as a capstone but has turned into a thesis and Lewis needs data about faculty using her workbook to write an analysis. She is asking teachers to download the 174-page workbook. At the beginning of May, faculty who have provided their email address will receive a 16-question survey via email that needs to be returned by the end of May.  

She explains that she wrote the book for colleges and universities, but it could also be used in Advanced Placement high school courses. 

A teacher can glance through the workbook and select courses relevant to their course. Questions such as the following are asked.: What topic did you cover and what was your experience? Did you find the workbook easy? How did the students respond?

Lewis consulted Mountain View College textbooks while writing the workbook, identifying topics that correlate with sustainability. The workbook covers topics that faculty may not realize are also sustainability topics.  

“The topics that I actually wrote to are geology, business management, computer science, engineering and government,” she shares. “When a teacher opens the workbook and finds a topic that he/she would like to present, they can look to the sidebar and find a list of courses such as chemistry, economics, history, physics, sociology, etc., that correlate with the topic.”

A tip in using the workbook is that is isn’t necessary to use every single topic, but perhaps just pick a few, or even one, that fits what is being covered in the teacher’s syllabus and bring in a faculty member from a different discipline to cover the same topic from a different point of view. This gives students a well-rounded view of the topics.  

“Actually, I had in mind that someone in geology could cover a topic by utilizing a current event, an industry report or video. In a sidebar for each topic is a list of other courses that coincide with that topic, e.g., a different faculty member from another discipline could talk to that topic from a different point of view so that students could learn how their courses are interconnected.”  

Download the Sustainability: Designing Interdisciplinary Opportunities for Teaching workbook here. Questions? Contact Lewis at Ldelacruz@dcccd.edu.

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