The course bridges theory and practice in the context of socio-ecological transformation. Students are encouraged to use their creativity, experiences and knowledge in order to develop their own particular transformation project in the Austrian context. The project shall have an interdisciplinary fundament in theoretical perspective and shall work within a science-society interface in practical terms. The transmission and persistence of a progressive approach to socio-ecological transformation shall get achieved and enhanced via dynamic stakeholder dialogues, opening as well as enabling of public discourses on transforming socio-ecological relations, emergence of novel micro-meso institutions as well as education for sustainable development.
The course will deconstruct a holistic understanding of socio-ecological transformation in its economic, ecological, social, cultural and political sphere in practice. It offers students the opportunity to understand different perspectives of sustainability via an experience based learning approach/service learning method.
Students understand the context-dependent dynamics between theory and practice as well as micro and meso within the framework of a socio-ecological transformation. They are able to explain central cornerstones of inter-and transdiscipliarity, science-society interfaces, micro-meso institutional dynamics, education for sustainable development and are able to develop a service learning project dealing with a particular sustainability challenge in the greater realm of a socio-ecological transformation.
Further learning outcomes:
- Critical understanding and holistic perspective on the concept of socio-ecological transformation
- Students not only learn from the experience of the service alone, but by reflection on and creating meaning from the experience
- Students involvement in the community is encouraged, networking is fostered
- Individual personality development
- Communication and group skills
- Complexity awareness, problem analysis, critical thinking and cognitive development
- Real life experience contributes to professional/career development
Attendance of the classes is obligatiory.
Over the year, it is allowed to miss one group coaching.
Notice of Special Regulation for Covid-19: If a student is required to quarantine, or is otherwise prevented from attending class, due to a certified case of Covid-19 infection or a federally mandated Covid-19 lockdown, and this affects either attendance or the completion of an exam or other required course assignment, the course instructor is empowered to provide an alternative means for said student to meet the attendance/assessment requirement as necessary. The same means will be required of any student in the same situation in the same course.
The method of service learning or learning by engagement representing a distinctive form of experiential learning. It represents one of the most promising methods promoting ESD as it is an alternative teaching approach where students are confronted with real-world problems and try to find solutions cooperating with partners such as communities, NGOs and companies. SL integrates a service activity into academic curricula and is based on the concept of “learning by doing”. Students learn and develop through engaging in concrete projects by meeting the needs of communities and making personal experiences, embedded in an academic learning environment where they can reflect upon their actions.
Service learning fosters autonomous operation of students to address a problem or need in society. Students shall design particular solution concepts for urban challenges in the local area.
Coaching includes four phases - "Preparation, Action, Reflection and Evaluation" and will be supported via the lecturers.
The particular format of the course trains amongst others problem-solving skills, conflict resolution skills, networked thinking, teamwork and organization skills.
- Class attendance andparticipation (20%)
- Grouppreparation and ability to respond to questions and engage in discussions (20%)
- Writtenproject concept in group and presentation (30%)
- From the beginning on keep an individual updated service-learning research diary; individual reflection paper based on service-learning research diary(30%)