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Learning while transforming: solution-oriented learning for urban sustainability in Phoenix, Arizona
- Wiek, Arnim, Kay, Braden
- Current opinion in environmental sustainability 2015 v.16 pp. 29-36
- business enterprises, cities, learning, problem solving, students, universities, Arizona
- Conventional educational settings struggle with enabling students to acquire competence in collectively solving sustainability problems. Such competence is best conveyed in real-world learning settings. Solution-oriented sustainability learning (SOSL) programs create and utilize such settings. Here, students directly contribute to sustainability-oriented transformations of cities, businesses, or government organizations, while building their proficiency in sustainability problem-solving. SOSL programs, however, often face obstacles such as lack of faculty capacity and insufficient resources. This article reports on experiences from SOSL courses in Phoenix, as part of the SOSL program in the School of Sustainability at Arizona State University. Addressing accomplishments and challenges, we offer constructive lessons to other universities on how to start or enhance SOSL courses and programs.