A Teacher's Guide to Evolution, Behavior, and Sustainability Science

The second edition of the Global ESD creative commons publication provides educators with an interdisciplinary roadmap to understanding the origins, development, and flexibility of our human capacities to cooperate around things that matter.

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By Susan Hanisch & Dustin Eirdosh

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. 

  • Download the guide HERE
  • Learn more about the Global ESD educational design concept and access teaching materials at www.GlobalESD.org 

Global ESD

Educational innovation and curriculum design, in cooperation with the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology

Global ESD works internationally to support sustainability education initiatives that connect concepts in human evolution, behavioral ecology, and sustainability science. By linking scientific perspectives on social change with students and classrooms seeking to make the world a better place, our aim is to foster a more global discussion about where we are going in the light of where we all have come from. Our work is done in close collaboration with the Department of Comparative Cultural Psychology at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany. Primary contributors to this blog community are Dustin Eirdosh & Susan Hanisch

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