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Bringing the World In

Real World Learning Experience: Level 100

In 100 level RWLEs, students bring the world into the classroom through organizing or participating in activities like guest lectures given by professionals, student panel discussions, newspaper reading, and documentary watching, learning how and why sustainability problems and solution pathways are place-based, contextual, and part of other people’s daily lives. Students learn to collaborate with peers in the classroom to complete instructor-led tasks to study sustainability problem and solution contexts. Teamwork, active listening, and engaging in discussions as well as identifying and analyzing sustainability problems and solution pathways are key mastery goals at this level.

Benefits of these types of activities:

  • Engages all the senses, in particular affective dimensions of learning, and uses a narrative format to take students to a place and introduce them to people.
  • Can illustrate complex concepts and framings as well as explore complicated issues difficult to adequately address in lecture and discussion formats.
  • Introduces media as a player in framing sustainability problem and solution pathways and teaches speaking and communication skills.
  • Super easy to integrate into class with little preparation, replacing a lecture and offering variation in lecture schedule.

Examples of related learning objectives:

  • Reflect on what is gained by “bringing the world” into the classroom in sustainability education.
  • Interact professionally with people visiting the classroom while engaging in dialogue.
  • Discuss how the places where we live, work, play, and learn shape what and how we know.