Sustainability Attributes

Students graduating with a sustainability background from UBC should have a firm grounding in, and be able to demonstrate, the following four key attributes: Holistic Systems Thinking, Sustainability Knowledge, Acting for Positive Change, and Awareness and Integration.

We recognize that a range of innovative pedagogies is critically important to ensure best practices in teaching and learning and we strongly encourage program developers to explore these options in their curriculum development. Providing multiple perspectives of sustainability should provide a holistic view to challenge students to remember, reflect and critique sustainability content, as well as to analyze, synthesize, evaluate and apply solutions to solve existing problems.

For each of the following four attributes, developed and described by the USI Teaching and Learning Fellows, we provide the attribute concept, example learning objectives, from UBC and beyond, as well as some potential assessment tools which could be used to help develop, and then assess students understanding of these key sustainability concepts. 

Holistic Systems Thinking

Holistic Systems Thinking considers the interdependent, inter-relational, and contextual aspects of phenomena and applies an integrated, inclusive mindset to problem solving.  Holistic approaches are concerned with the assumptions, knowledge, methods, and implications of various disciplines and treats them as an integrated whole, or system.

Acting for Positive Change

To be an effective and successful graduate a student must be able to engage others and implement or contribute to positive change.  The integration and application of a holistic approach, core sustainability knowledge, and the ability to connect across intellectual constructs must be intertwined with a personal value system that inspires action.