The theme of human behavior holds many possibilities for teachers to develop interdisciplinary learning opportunities across subject areas, grade levels, and cultural diversity. Many themes in the curricula of subject areas (e.g. biology, geography, social studies, economics, history, law, ethics, etc.) deal with human behavior either explicitly or implicitly. Many objectives of education in general, and of education for sustainable development in particular, aim to promote in students the ability to act responsibly, to take the perspectives of others, and to develop social-emotional competencies needed for living in our changing world.

 

At the same time, many social problems, from xenophobia and corruption, to mental and physical health, to the diverse problems of sustainable resource use at local, regional and global levels, have in common that they are both causes and consequences of human behavior. This is why aspects of the behavioral sciences are becoming increasingly integrated within sustainability science. Furthermore, we humans across cultures generally have a great interest in human behavior - intuitively, automatically, almost every second, we perceive human behavior (especially our own) in everyday life, and we are constantly thinking about its causes and consequences. Especially for students, their social environment is of central importance for their well-being.

 

Thus, through the perspective of "human behavior", many topics in education, especially topics relevant to sustainable development, can be explored in an interdisciplinary manner and in a way that connects to student’s everyday experience, cultivates students' understanding of the complex causes and consequences of human behavior, as well as their ability to change perspective and evaluate sustainable development approaches.

 

In this module, we therefore explore how we can convey the diverse concepts, research methods, and insights of the interdisciplinary behavioral sciences (including behavioral ecology and biology, behavioral economics, evolutionary anthropology, psychology, sociology) within individual subject areas, as well as for interdisciplinary or project-based learning.