A TALE FROM THE TROPICS: EDUCATION FOR SUSTAINABILITY AND THE VALUE OF PROJECT-BASED LEARNING
DS 88: Proceedings of the 19th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education (E&PDE17), Building Community: Design Education for a Sustainable Future, Oslo, Norway, 7 & 8 September 2017
Editor: Berg, Arild; Bohemia, Erik; Buck, Lyndon; Gulden, Tore; Kovacevic, Ahmed; Pavel, Nenad
Author: Andrews, Deborah; Townsend, Barney
Institution: 1: London South Bank University, United Kingdom; 2: London South Bank University, United Kingdom
Section: Creativity and Innovation in Design Education
In September 2016 two academics from London South Bank University were invited to Guadeloupe, a French Overseas Départment in the Caribbean, to teach students about design and innovation for sustainability. The project involved final year baccalauréat students on Applied Arts and Innovation and Technology streams at the Lycée Polyvalent Raoul Georges Nicolo. The aims of the project also included developing and extending staff knowledge of Design Methods, English language and design terminology as well education about and for sustainability. Art and science are sometimes combined in UK design education, but remain distinct under the French system; this project represented an opportunity for students from different subjects to work together and learn new approaches from their peers and academic staff. Project-based learning has always been core to design education and its value is being recognised and adopted by many disciplines. It was key to this programme, the results of which far exceeded the expectations of the local school teachers and visiting lecturers. It encouraged unprecedented levels of engagement and developed social skills and confidence among a group of students who generally lack motivation but whose attendance is mandatory. In addition to describing the project and learning outcomes, the paper includes qualitative research, analysis and comparison of feedback from teachers and students at the Lycée. The paper also highlights the challenges of teaching in a different cultural context and describes what the authors learnt and how these experiences are contributing to their pedagogic practice.