• Academics

    Curriculum banner

    There are two existing curricular models at The New School: required core courses across an entire school, like the Sustainable Systems course for all Parsons undergraduates, and dedicated sustainability programs and minors, listed below. TEDC aims to support these models as well as other curricular approaches. TEDC staff and Affiliated Faculty are currently working to imagine and mobilize sustainability curriculum and curricular support across the university.

    Learning about sustainability involves understanding

    1. Rationales for concern about sustainability, such as valuing

      • equity and justice (across peoples of different race and culture and between current and future generations)
      • being precautionary (by limiting the extent of what is done or ensuring its reversibility)
      • a diversity of non-human species and the uniqueness of places
      • democratic principles of transparency and inclusiveness
    2. Qualities of sustainable systems, such as natural ecosystems, that tend to be

      • resilient (with infrastructural and social redundancies and networking that can absorb unexpected impacts)
      • negentropic (attempting wherever possible to stem the cosmic dissipation of energy into less concentrated and ordered forms)
      • biocompatible (with outputs that can be non-destructive inputs to mostly non-human (i.e. 'natural') systems, or non-interfering of those systems (i.e., valuable inputs to subsequent industrial systems)
      • dematerializing (decoupling demand satisfaction and value creation from material resource consumption)
    3. Capacities of institutions and communities to prioritize those rationales and qualities, by incorporating

      • scientifically-produced knowledge into decision-making
      • long term planning that take account of variable scenarios and risks
      • whole-of-life costing, internalizing environmental costs and restoration
      • timely, authentic consultation with a wide set of stakeholders and communities
      • accounts of humans that assume culturally-specific reasonableness constrained by socio-technical systems and routine everyday practices
×