With a colleague, I developed a course for undergraduate and graduate students called Shades of Green: Redesigning and Rethinking Environmental Justice Movements. As a learning researcher, I wanted to understand how design thinking, which is an empathy-focused process for creative problem-solving, could be used as a mode for community-engaged teaching and learning. Each week, we had one class session focused on reading and discussing scholarly articles about diversity and inclusion in the environment and another class session focused on collaborating in teams with community partner organizations to help them address real challenges they faced around diversity and inclusion. Students interviewed representatives from the organizations, developed new insights about the challenges they learned about, brainstormed innovative solutions, and worked with the community partners to evaluate and refine their ideas into early “prototypes.”
Read more about our course on the Stanford GSE Centennial website.