Teacher Training Core Course

Human Behavior and Sustainable Development

Our interdisciplinary teacher training course "Human Behavior and Sustainable Development" is designed for teacher training students across subject areas and cultural backgrounds to explore the core concepts of evolution, behavior, and sustainability science. Furthermore, the focus is on exploring content and methods for teaching these concepts in primary and secondary school contexts. The course concept is continuously developed and adapted in collaboration with teacher training institutes.

Our aim is to grow a network of teacher educators to collaboratively and iteratively adapt, implement, and evaluate course design, with the main aim to advance the teaching of human behavior as an interdisciplinary theme in sustainability education (see more information on our Educational Research page)

On this page, you find an overview and the main materials to the course. See also our Educator's Crash Course (comming soon), whose content is largely congruent with our teacher training course.

Implementation partners

Our teacher training seminar is currently implemented in the following teacher training institutes:

Elements of the course are also currently implemented in:

  • University of Antananarivo, Madagascar

    • Anthropology and Sustainability master program

    • Ecole Normale Supérieure (Teacher Training Institute)

Contact us, if you are interested in implementing the course or elements of it in your higher education context!

Course overview

The theme of human behavior holds many possibilities for teachers to develop interdisciplinary learning opportunities. Many themes in the curricula of subject areas deal with human behavior 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. At the same time, many social problems, from xenophobia to mental health, to problems of sustainable resource use, have in common that they are causes and consequences of human behavior. Furthermore, we humans, across cultures, generally have a great interest in human behavior - intuitively and almost every second we perceive human behavior in everyday life, and we are constantly thinking about its causes and consequences.

In this course, we 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 teaching.

The course is divided into two phases. In the first phase, we introduce a diversity of cross-cutting concepts and methods and we will explore various teaching materials on these topics. In the second phase of the course participants choose a concrete topic and work individually or in small groups to develop and present a lesson on which they get feedback from the other participants.

Teacher Training Module Syllabus Overview.pdf

For example presentation slides, see the presentations on our Crash Course page (comming soon). The content of the crash course is largely congruent with the content of the teacher training core course.

Additional Resources: Readings and Videos

Below you find additional optional resources that we have been making available or recommending to students on course learning platforms, to go deeper into concepts and ideas, as resources for lesson development, or just for inspiration.



Online Readings

see the full database of additional course resources here (it will be continuously updated)