Evaluating a dialogue-based approach to teaching about values and policy in graduate transdisciplinary environmental science programs
This article discusses a formal evaluation of new curricular materials and activities designed to foster understanding of three key issues–expertise, risk, and sociopolitical constraints–related to values and policy in transdisciplinary environmental science. We begin by describing the three issues, along with current thinking about the most appropriate ways to address them in the context of transdisciplinary environmental science. We then describe how we created curricular materials and activities focusing on these three issues that could be tailored for use in a wide range of graduate environmental science programs. The curriculum was adapted by instructors for use in five graduate classes at two US universities, and we used a pre-test, post-test mixed methods design to evaluate its effects on students’ ethical reasoning about values and policy. The results of this evaluation suggest that our semi-structured, dialogue-based curriculum enhances student awareness of and reasoning about values and policy in environmental research. We close with several educational recommendations for transdisciplinary environmental science programs that are grounded in our experience with this curriculum.
Hall, T. E., Piso, Z., Engebretson, J., O’Rourke, M. (2018). Evaluating a dialogue-based approach to teaching about values and policy in graduate transdisciplinary environmental science programs. PLoS ONE. 13(9): e0202948. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0202948.