Using cases to promote active learning for sustainable development
How can we create a space for active learning, where students apply their knowledge to real world problems and develop critical thinking, problem solving and communication skills? A case is a real or constructed scenario that involves issues and conflicts that need to be resolved, though they usually do not have one clear or obvious solution. They may contain a description of the scenario as well as relevant background information such as graphs, stories or historical documents. Real or constructed cases are already used for teaching and learning within in the fields of law, economics and social sciences, but are not widely used within education for sustainable development. Cases can be used to shift focus from sustainability problems to solutions and strategies for a sustainable development.
This page is continually updated with new cases, and the cases themselves are occasionally updated to be kept up-to-date. Please go back here often to make sure that you have the latest version of the case.
- COP 18: An Antiguan and Barbudan Perspective – international climate negotiations(v1.0, in English)
- The Energy Bill 2012-2013 at the Parliament of the United Kingdom (v1.0, in English)
- The development of Khayelitsha, South Africa (v1.0, in English)
- A Citizen’s Movement for a Sustainable Future in Uppsala (v1.0, in English)
- Rönnbäck, riksintressen och den svenska gruvindustrin (v1.1, in Swedish)
The teacher’s guide briefly outlines how to work with cases for teaching and learning. It is available in English here: Teaching and learning with cases: a guide for teachers and Swedish here: Undervisning och lärande med case: en guide för läraren (v1.0). Thanks to Suzanne Pathkiller, Academic Developer, Uppsala University, for the English translation.
The Sustainability Case Library has two parts:
- a growing collection of cases that can be used and adapted for teaching and learning at different departments
- a teacher’s guide that briefly introduces the case methodology
There are both Swedish and English language cases available and the aim is that the cases can be used without prior experience in teaching sustainable development. The cases may be used in a number of settings, for example:
- an introductory seminar where the cases are solved in class
- together with a lecture as a coherent learning module in sustainable development
- as a smaller or larger part of the written examination of a course
The Sustainability Case Library is funded by a grant from the Division for Development of Teaching and Learning at Uppsala University and is coordinated by CEMUS.