Business And Science: Integrated Curriculum for Sustainability (BASICS)
A New Approach to Transdisciplinary Sustainability Curriculum in Higher Education
The Business And Science: Integrated Curriculum for Sustainability (BASICS) team is developing transdisciplinary curriculum modules for undergraduate students that combine STEM and business, with a focus on the wicked problems of sustainability in a global economy. The project team features faculty experts in STEM and business disciplines from multiple institutions that are forming Local Learning Communities to collaboratively and iteratively create and assess these curriculum modules. Through this model, BASICS is building a strategic network of partnerships that can help catalyze faculty learning and change across the broader academic community, leading to a 21st-century education that prepares all students, STEM and business alike, to better address complex problems of sustainability in a global economy.
Can our innovative model of Transfusion—that is, collaborative transdisciplinary sustainability curriculum development led by STEM and business faculty—lead to a transformation at institutions of higher education by better preparing a 21st-century workforce to address the wicked problems of sustainability in a global economy?
With hundreds of data points, the results on student learning are uniformly positive. But in addition to helping 21st-century leaders prepare for complex, ill-structured problems through the curriculum our teams design, BASICS has developed diverse groups of faculty in local learning communities (LLCs) within and among our institutions that are thriving. We are not only changing the curriculum, we are changing faculty culture around sustainability curriculum development at the intersection of business and STEM.
We are in year four of the five-year project. With nearly two full cycles of curriculum development and testing complete, we are ready to launch into the next phase of the project. We will kick off our next phase at a meeting on Sept. 22 in Chicago.
This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) under Grants #1914906 (Bentley University), #1914909 (Northern Illinois University), and #1914913 (Wittenberg University).