FRPG 188A Citizenship and Sustainability
Spring 2010, 2011
St. Lawrence University
What kind of skills, knowledge, understanding, and literacy are necessary for a sustainable future? This is the essential question that will guided this First Year Seminar. Drawing upon readings, lectures, discussions, field trips, and community-based learning, we examined both the literal and figurative landscape of sustainability. After exploring the debates and dialogue surrounding this contentious term, we looked to systems theory—which considers the interrelationship between different parts of complex systems in nature, society and science—and systems thinking as an entry point. Woven throughout this exploration of skills and literacy was the thread of citizenship and civic engagement. Understanding citizenship and sustainability was the vehicle by which we developed critical communication and research skills. Independent research projects during the semester will provide the opportunity to delve deeper into topics that are of particular relevance and personal interest. Lastly, this course involved a community-based learning component through a partnership with Bittersweet Farms, a local organic farm in the North Country. This component of the course provided vital connections, serving as a context for the coursework along with being a source for discussions, reflections, and research.