Teaching Matters 2018 | Presentation Details | 2018
'The ability to make mistakes' - the SIPS sandpit for social responsibility, ethical conduct and sustainability
Millie Rooney, Sustainability Team, Infrastructure Services and Development
Excellent teaching produces excellent students
The Sustainability Integration Program for Students (SIPS) connects what students are learning in the classroom with real-world application of sustainability at the University of Tasmania. Students can participate in the program via internships (either paid or for course credit) or through coursework. Examples of projects include engineering designs for a bike shelter or running a Ride2Work breakfast. Students are mentored by UTAS professional staff.
A testament to the success of the program is the diversity of students who participate, students vary in age, culture, experience. Students join SIPS to: change the world, build their CVs, or accidentally.
SIPS supports students to take risks and follow their own interests. This is essential for developing the ability to ‘critically evaluate issues of social responsibility, ethical conduct and sustainability’ (University of Tasmania Graduate Quality Statement).
Sustainability is set within the bigger systems that underpin issues of inequality, social justice and a safe environment. Students engage personally to make links between the different things they care about whether it’s caring for their families, reducing plastic use or indigenous rights.
Feedback has been incredibly positive with comment such as ‘It was an amazing experience… The ability to make mistakes and catch up from there helped me tremendously,’ ‘I really got to take control’ and ‘I realized I could have a different career’ all suggest significant learning outcomes and excellent teaching.