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Project Proposal

Teaching and Learning Climate Crisis and Future Challanges

Pinar Batur (Sociology and Environmental Studies)

Project Description

The project consists of three components: participating a team effort to design a curriculum for high school students about the climate crisis and sustainability; participating on a teaching team to administer the curriculum in a three-week intensive course; and conducting individual research projects regarding the climate crisis.

This Ford project will support a collaborative effort with Ford Scholars, the Vassar Exploring College Program, and the Vassar Environmental Cooperative to design and teach a three-week intensive program about the climate crisis and sustainability. The Ford team will participate to design overall curriculum, as well as working on a section for a lecture based online class to provide a foundation for theoretical concepts and case studies, and to formulate research questions. From the beginning of June, we will meet with the project participants to develop a syllabus into understanding the climate crisis and the challenging issues in sustainability projects. We will research and review a broad range of materials before we decide on the class structure and the curriculum. When the classes begin at the beginning of July, the Ford students will shoulder the responsibility of mentoring three high school students each for the duration of this project, as well as participating in all program activities, and working with high school students on their projects. The three weeks intensive teaching program will end in mid-July and the students will be expected to contribute to teaching evaluations and the assessment of the project. Their individual research projects will be integrated into the class presentations.

Anticipated Project Activities

  1. Participating a collaborative effort.
  2. Design and teach a three-week intensive program about climate crisis and sustainability to high school students.
  3. Mentoring high school students.
  4. Individual research project on climate crisis and inequality.

Preferred Student Qualifications and Skills

  • Coursework in Environmental Studies and Sociological thought, especially in exploring the Climate Crisis;
  • Strong communication skills, both orally and in writing;
  • Proven ability to work in large groups as well as independently;
  • Excellent organizational skills;
  • Strong research skills;
  • Vassar Grand Challenges program participants will be preferred.

Anticipated Follow-up Teaching/Professional Activity for Student

Students’ research will be integrated into my class my 300 level class, “Toxic Futures,” in the Spring.

Project Location

Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, NY

Project Duration

Eight weeks

Project Start Date

June 7, 2021

Project End Date

July 31, 2021