Teaching Ideas for Specific Disciplines

After learning about resources available to them, faculty members who attended the 2017 Conference Day “Engage Your Students with Sustainability” workshop  broke into discipline groups and discussed how to infuse sustainability into their specific curriculum. Check out their ideas.

Continuing and Technical Education – Irby Foster, reporter

  • Incorporate the 17 Sustainable Development Goals into CTE classes.
  • Establish Cooperative Education programs – Apprenticeships and internships that focus on sustainability give students work experience and builds their resumes. Create DCCCD internships.
  • Learning Labs – Incorporate learning labs into all programs, including non-traditional ones such as business and finance
  • Continuing Education Units (CEUs) –
  • Buildings/Facilities – Use DCCCD facilities as labs.
  • Be sure to teach old school, pencil and paper techniques because technology sometimes fails and students need to know who to complete their tasks even if their computer isn’t working.
  • Teach students how to determine the feasibility of a project.

Liberal Arts – Josh Rose, reporter

  • Incorporate the 17 Sustainable Development Goals into all liberal arts classes (e.g., English, Spanish, French, Art Appreciation, Government, Sociology, Geology, History)
  • Introduce academic modules to use across the curriculum and disciplines.
  • Share information (e.g., Art, Gender Equality, STEM)
  • Create a transdisciplinary committee to help infuse sustainability throughout the colleges/district.
  • Incorporate these types of subjects into liberal arts course: gardens/food, social justice, bats and bees
  • Create an informative web app that gives information about recycling.
  • Use the app to share experiences/examples of sustainability projects at each college.
  • Choose a single goal at each college for Earth Day.
  • Make a fundraiser around _________.

Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) – Tony Mba, reporter

  • Refurbish old computers.
  • Make assignments digital. Limit paperwork.
  • Take the class beyond the classroom.
  • Promote Service Learning opportunities.
  • Lean green in the classroom. – Limit the use of water in the labs.
  • Assign group activities around sustainability.
  • What is the chemistry of the soil/atmosphere?
  • Offer hands on activities about photosynthesis and renewable energy.
  • Make assignments related to sustainable home design and engineering.
  • As students to create journals about their environments.
  • Diagram lifecycles of certain products/services.
    • Sandwich
    • What does it take to get a sandwich from farm to table?
    • What does it take to get the sandwich from the table to waste/recycle/compost?
  • Have discussions about the social and economic aspects of employment.
    • Where does pollution happen? (city vs. country; industrial areas vs. neighborhoods, etc.
    • Farming vs. mining. Which is worse? 

Social Sciences -


  • Create a working group at your college to integrate Sustainable Development Goals throughout all curriculum at the college.

U.S. Government

  • Assign policy papers, oral presentations and debates about sustainability.
  • Assign a semester long team research project.


  • Recruit students to volunteer at the community garden on campus.