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Teaching and learning sustainability

Sustainability-related certificates

The JMU offers a range of interdisciplinary courses that address sustainability issues and gives students the opportunity to earn sustainability-related certificates.

Promoting sustainability literacy in our students

At the JMU, we believe that it is important that all students become educated about sustainability. Read on to find out what we are doing to promote sustainability literacy in our students.

The transformation experiment Teaching4Sustainability in the sustainability lab WueLAB explores ways and means of implementing sustainability topics and higher education for sustainable development in the curricula of all academic subjects on a science-based basis.

All members at the University of Würzburg, teachers, students and staff, are involved in the process.

Exchange and networking

Once per semester, a networking event is organized for lecturers, students, staff and those interested in higher education for sustainable development. This provides an opportunity for exchange and networking. The topics of the networking event are based on the interests of the participants and current developments at the University of Würzburg. In addition to the networking event, there are two WueCampus exchange rooms, one for lecturers and staff and one for students. Events can be shared there and networking efforts can be initiated.

Qualification of teaching staff

The certificate "Transformation Lehren Lernen", a cooperation between Teaching4Sustainability and the university didactics ProfiLehre, enables teaching staff to gain insights in the field of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) in a science-based way, reflect on the challenges of implementing ESD in university teaching, deepen their own knowledge of sustainable development goals and try out teaching and learning methods that introduce students to critical-reflective thinking and research-oriented action.

Further Information

Introduced in the 2020/21 winter semester, a series of lectures delivered by both internal and external speakers discusses selected topics in ecological, economic and social sustainability. The lecture series is open to JMU students from all disciplines.

By attending lectures in the series, students can earn ECTS credits towards their degrees and can complete one of the requirements for earning the Certificate for Sustainability and Global Responsibility.

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The Chair of Philosophy of Education at the Faculty of Human Sciences offers the BOeN certificate for education, ecology and sustainability. The certificate is designed for students studying the Bachelor’s programme in Pedagogy or the Master’s programme in Educational Sciences.

Interdisciplinary courses and practical projects

The certificate contains different components: learning the fundamentals of teaching environmental education, gaining practical experience in the area of education for sustainable development by working on practical projects with local partners and taking interdisciplinary courses of the students’ choice.

Networking events

The BOeN programme is accompanied by networking events that give students the opportunity to connect with others and gain insights into different fields of activity for sustainable development.

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The Professional School of Education (PSE) at the JMU is the centralised point of contact for issues relating to teacher training.

Annual symposium

Each year in the autumn, the PSE and its partners host a symposium on the training of teachers.

Both the 2019 event with about 300 attendees and the virtual 2020 event addressed sustainability-related issues.

Lectureship and partner schools

In addition, the PSE is responsible for coordinating the cooperation of the University and its partner schools on issues including sustainability and is in charge of the lectureship in education for sustainable development, which has been in existence since the 2020 summer semester.

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Teaching outside of the classroom

Incorporated into the Botanical Garden of the University of Würzburg, the teach’n’learn garden is a great environment for teachers-to-be to learn how to teach sustainability-related topics. There are close links between the teach’n’learn garden and the CampusGarden operated by the volunteers of the working group for ecology and sustainability of the JMU Student Representation.

Hands-on learning experiences

The teach’n’learn garden offers a wide range of opportunities for students, teachers and pupils to learn. The sessions in the garden offer hands-on learning experiences and give our teaching degree students a chance to try out different teaching methods and practise working with groups of pupils.

Learner-centred activities

Our teachers-to-be learn how to teach learner-centred activities, and pupils get the opportunity to undertake experience-based activities in an authentic learning environment.

More than just 'traditional' botany

Working together with a wide range of partners, the teach'n'learn garden is about much more than teaching just ‘traditional’ botany. A special focus is on education for sustainable development.

In 2018, the teach'n'learn garden was awarded the 'Umweltbildung.Bayern' quality label.

In 2020, the Botanical Garden received the special award 'Social Nature – Nature for All' of the UN Decade on Biodiversity.

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Computer Science and Sustainability (B.Sc.)

Social Science Sustainability Studies (M.A.)

Applied Physical Geography, Change and Protection of Geosystems (M.Sc.)

Applied Earth Observation and Geoanalysis (EAGLE) (M.Sc.)

Geography (B.Sc.)

Pedagogy (B.A.)

Educational Sciences (M.A.)

  • Education for sustainable development: 'Nachhaltigkeit im (Schul-)Alltag – Bildung für nachhaltige Entwicklung gestalten: Unser Konsum "fair-ändert" die Welt' (teacher training)
  • Sustainability literacy in the (primary school) classroom : 'Nachhaltigkeitsbildung in der (Grund-)Schule – unser Konsum "fair-ändert" die Welt' (teacher training)