About this course
This course provides a space for students to explore perspectives and practices for regenerative cultures in the context of major societal and environmental challenges of our time. The course takes an experiential, place-based, relational approach to learning, where students are invited to explore their own place in nature as part of a community of life. A sense of connectedness and belonging to the (natural) world often co-arises with the motivation to care and act for sustainability. The ‘outsider’ perspective of science and the loss of regular meaningful contact with nature pose a challenge to have direct lived experiences that explore what it means to feel for and to be in relation with the world. Especially for students engaged in topics of sustainability, it can be helpful to nurture this sense of connectedness. The course offers tools and perspectives for students dealing with climate and environmentally related anxiety.
Central to the course is a full-week outdoor summer camp in which we explore a diversity of nature and community-based practices. These include practices of Deep Ecology developed by, among others, eco-philosopher Joanna Macy. These emancipatory practices empower participants to widen and deepen boundaries of concern and to move beyond a crisis mentality toward an inspired and hopeful commitment to sustainability. After the summer camp, students reflect on the meaning of the experienced learning methods for sustainability education. It is a collective and co-created learning journey in which students actively participate in the construction of knowledge and meaning based on their experiences. The course ends with a presentation of (artistic) personal reflections of their overall learning experience.
Students are also challenged to mirror their experiences during the course against current higher education with the aim of generating ideas for how higher education can become more regenerative.
The course is also open for PhD students. In case you want to follow this course as a PhD student, please contact the course coordinator before the start. Maximum number of participants: 20
After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- explain, understand and reflect upon the concept of regenerative cultures and the role of relational consciousness for sustainability;
- explore their own place in the world as part of a community of life and reflect on what this embodied experience means for their worldview, personal values and change agency in a complex world of sustainability challenges and opportunities;
- employ several personal leadership skills, such as reflexivity, perspective-taking, voicing, empathy, self-sustainability, and an inspired commitment to sustainability;
- critically reflect on the value of their learning experience in relation to education/learning for sustainability
Teaching method and examination
The course will be assessed by the quality of a reflective and creative assignment. The minimum mark is 5.5. To be able to finalize the course, students are expected to actively participate in the provided activities.