Teaching sustainability critically: a scholar activist perspective
The presentation is based on a paper titled From the streets to the classroom: power analysis as a tool for critical pedagogy, published in the Journal of Marketing Management. A (community) activist tool was employed in order to help students engage with the nuances of sustainability conceptually and practically, understand the terrain of struggle, map out the actors involved, and address its ideological dimension. The power analysis exercise helped students engage with the critical content of the module, understand how the different approaches/positions of sustainable development can manifest themselves, what their implications are, go beyond the academic lingo and reflect on how these issues impact our lives, rethink their positioning beyond the customer/ manager dominant position. The value of scholar activism and emancipatory education are discussed as agents of radical change. The aim is to open a dialogue about structural roadblocks within third level education – and more particularly the business school, as well as personal reflections on positionality and the role of the critical academic.