A Global Classroom for International Sustainability Education

TitleA Global Classroom for International Sustainability Education
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsWiek, Arnim, Michael J. Bernstein, Manfred Laubichler, Guido Caniglia, Ben Minteer, and Daniel J. Lang
JournalCreative Education
Date Published04/2013

Sustainability studies put emphasis on social-environmental-technical problems with local manifestations and global impacts. This makes especially poignant the need for educational experiences in which students confront the challenges of crossing cultural, national, and geographical boundaries in a globalized world and understand the historical, epistemological and ethical underpinnings of these diverse cultural conditions. The success criteria to evaluate the educational experiences demanded by the globalization of education, however, are yet to be specified and used in novel educational opportunities. A brief review of international sustainability education options currently available to students reveals a gap between the knowledge students may need to succeed in a globalized world and the opportunities available. Into this landscape, we introduce The Global Classroom, an international collaboration between Leuphana University of Lüneburg in Germany and Arizona State University in the US. The project strives for an interdisciplinary and cross-cultural approach to equipping students with the knowledge, skills, and attitudes required to take on sustainability challenges in international settings. We discuss the structure and organization of the Global Classroom model and share preliminary experiences. The article concludes with a reflection on institutional structures conducive to providing students with the international learning opportunities they may need to tackle sustainability problems in a globalized world.