Forums & Workshops
Teaching, Learning and Sharing
The Sustainable Campus initiative has as one of its main objectives to strengthen the capacity of the participating educational institutions for sustainability action mainly through the sharing of knowledge experience. Throughout the life of the initiative we have designed opportunities to engage different members of the educational community of all participating institutions in activities that motivate them to share their process and lessons and to learn from each other.
These activities have taken the form of courses, forums and workshops and have contributed to the development of a network, or support mechanism for sustainability action at each campus. The network was based on the principles of sharing rather than competing. Sharing was done with a generous spirit of showing others what is being done at each campus, opened to sharing lessons learnt. All campuses engaged in sharing their experience, whether these had just began organizing or had a rich organizational experience. Through the involvement of Ciudades Verdes and Earth Values these activities have been designed to be fun, practical, critical and to support the development of relationships between participants.
The Centro de Estudios Superiores Lic. Benito Juarez Garcia held a one-day Forum to share experiences of innovation in education and Sustainable Happiness. The Forum was facilitated by Prof. Luisa Montes. It was attended by graduate students who presented their work in educational innovation inspired by the concept of sustainable happiness. Dawson College students also presented a number of sustainability initiatives that are carried out at Dawson College. The Forum also included the participation of Dr. Julio Mora who shared the Sustainable School Project of the Ministry of Education of the State of Morelos. Two simultaneous workshops, a demonstration of how to make self-watering pots re-using plastic water bottles and how and why to make “seed bombs” were facilitated by Dawson College students.
The forum was a collective initiative that brought together Dawson College, five Mexican universities in the State of Morelos, as well as Mexican government and non-governmental organizations with the purpose of supporting sustainability in post secondary educational institutions.
The objectives of the Forum were the establishment of a network for collaboration on campus sustainability among Mexican Universities and Dawson College; to build knowledge on campus sustainability from a North-South perspective; to provide a cross-learning experience between Dawson College teachers and teachers from Mexican universities and to generate knowledge on campus sustainability learning practices. We met these objectives through a series of collective activities.
The Forum took place at different campuses each day and it included conferences, workshops, guided visits, panel discussions, a book launch and other activities. A product from this Forum has been collaboration for a series of articles that will be published in a special issue of the UPN’s on-line pedagogical magazine. This forum had the support of the Direction des Affaires International of the Fédération des Cégeps.
Designed by Dr. Gisela Frias (Dawson College) and Margarita Hurtado (Ciudades Verdes) this course took place at the Escuela Particular Normal Superior Lic. Benito Juarez. The course explored different themes related to Campus Sustainability; environmental issues and sustainable solutions, organizational and leadership strategies and environmental education and pedagogy. The facilitators came from different Canadian and Mexican academic institutions, civil society organizations and Mexican government agencies. The course was geared towards training future leaders in the field of campus sustainability.
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Tools for Environmental Education: A workshop for facilitating student engagement, learning and environmental action. April 25-26 2013
The workshop had the participation of Dawson College faculty who teach environmental content in their courses. Participating faculty came from different programs including social science (sociology, geography and anthropology), science, business administration and CRLT. In addition, a teacher from the Mexican university “Normal Superior Benito Juárez” and an undergraduate student from the Mexican National Pedagogical University also participated.
The methodology included group integration activities aimed to generate an atmosphere of trust and cordiality to favor alternative forms of expression to those that teachers normally use in their classes, such as play and expression through art. Through an experiential approach participants engaged in artistic expression, theater, played games, shared laughter and tears, engaged in human contact through hugs or holding hands and established a dialog of knowledge. All these exchanges gave to the group the opportunity to learn that these provide complementary and alternate paths for the treatment of environmental issues.
This workshop marked the beginning of the IDRC funded phase of our project and the official beginning of our institutional partnership. A rich cross cultural learning experience about sustainability in post secondary campuses. The UPN, Normal Superior and Dawson College consolidate their collaborative work during a two-day workshop to solidify team building, share experiences, strengthen capacities and dream about how our campuses can be more sustainable spaces.