Teaching Sustainable Development in a Sensory and Artful Way — Concepts, Methods, and Examples

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Despite significant short-term pressures such as the recent Coronavirus pandemic with its economic and social disruptions, longer-term environmental un-sustainability and its projected intergenerational consequences remain a major threat for the future of mankind. More and new efforts are required in all social spheres with regard to the universal Sustainable Development Goals. In this context, the present article makes the argument for teaching sustainable development in higher education with a more sensory and artful approach, in order to raise students’ awareness of the multisensory reality of human existence and develop skills to engage creatively for sustain-ability transformations. Rooted in the perspective of sensory and arts-based sustainability science, three experimental bachelor courses—designed and conducted by the author of this article in collab-oration with artists—with twenty to twenty-five students in each course from diverse disciplinary backgrounds in environmental studies, cultural studies, and social sciences are presented and dis-cussed. It is argued that the specific course design and the scientific-artistic co-teaching provide an innovative way to teach sustainability topics in a more sensory way. The article ends with an outlook on potentials and challenges of this approach.

Original languageEnglish
Article number13619
Issue number24
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 01.12.2021

Bibliographical note

This publication was funded by the Open Access Publication Fund of Leuphana University Lüneburg.

This article belongs to the Special Issue Education for Sustainable Development and Teaching: Challenges, Practice and Research

    Research areas

  • Sustainability Governance
  • Arts-based research and teaching, Education for sustainable development, Sensory sustainability science, education for sustainable development, arts-based research and teaching, sensory sustainability science