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date: 09 August 2020

Abstract and Keywords

In this chapter, we examine the relationship between environmental political theory and the development of sustainability studies within US higher education. We assess the incorporation of environmental political theory authors in sustainability classrooms and the extent to which environmental political theory and sustainability studies classrooms engage in experiential, skills-based learning. We situate this pedagogy as an extension of the tradition of the liberal arts, especially as developed by John Dewey, and effectively, as citizenship skill development for democratic societies. To teach twenty-first-century citizenship skills, we maintain, is to teach sustainability skills. This entails educating and empowering students to grapple intellectually and practically with the interdependent social, environmental, and economic challenges that define their current circumstances and future prospects. Environmental political theory can and should become more relevant to sustainability studies programs, primarily by strengthening its mission of engaged theory through the cultivation of experiential learning opportunities.

Keywords: sustainability, environmental political theory, John Dewey, higher education, pedagogy

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