Humans are a highly cooperative species, and yet, the biggest problems facing our planet are largely the result of our inability to work together.
How can teachers engage students in this apparent paradox?
The second edition of the Global ESD creative commons publication, A Teacher's Guide to Evolution, Behavior, and Sustainability Science, provides educators with an interdisciplinary road map to understanding the origins, development, and flexibility of our uniquely elaborated human capacities to cooperate around things that matter.
Produced as part of our work at the Department of Comparative Cultural Psychology at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, in Leipzig, Germany, the guide is a fun and resource-packed document that can help teachers from across traditional subject areas come together around understanding what makes us human, and how our understanding of our species impacts our views on social change and the challenges of planetary sustainability.
The guide is provided open access, on the creative commons, and is not just an introduction to the fascinating interdisciplinary sciences of human cooperation, but also contains practical teaching supports to help students develop conceptual understanding across traditional subject areas.
Featuring an overview of Learning by Design and the science of teaching for transfer of learning from our friends at EdtoSavetheWorld.org, the guide highlights the opportunities presented by the interdisciplinary human sciences to help students connect the dots around what it means to be human, where we came from, and how we might try to get where we would like to go.
Two further content updates include the addition of a new content anchor, Cultural Diversity, a wide-ranging topic that influences our individual and social psychology, as well as our understanding of the nature of human adaptation itself! Additionally, we have developed a section on Community Science, using the theoretical understandings of evolutionary anthropology as a framework for student-led investigations into the everyday cooperation dynamics that shape their lives.
Finally, the Teacher's Guide is also an invitation, to educators around the world, as well as education development professionals and scientists of all kinds, to join us in advancing a new vision in Education for Sustainable Development grounded in the emerging scientific perspectives of human origins and social change.