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LSE Course Descriptions

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ELP 550: Advanced Leadership for Sustainability (4)
This multi-media seminar course reviews, analyzes and critiques the history, politics and rhetoric of sustainability. A number of key themes related to leadership for sustainability are addressed: The history and meaning of sustainability; approaches to leadership and strategies and skills used by sustainability leaders; the effects of globalization on humans and ecology; whole systems thinking and design; and the role of eco-spiritual values and Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) in sustainability.  Inspiration is drawn from local, regional and global initiatives that are creating sustainable economies, systems, policies, and appropriate technologies. Through reading, discussion and experiential service learning, students will develop their own sustainability vision into action project.

ELP 548: Advanced Global Political Ecology (4)
In order to grasp the emerging discipline of political ecology, we discuss the following: the impact of a globalized economy on human and non-human communities; the relationship between poverty, global inequity and environmental degradation, the distribution of resource use and conflicts between the global North and global South, the ecological processes, earth democracy and the relationship of these issues in our personal lives. Students apply these concepts in real life through a multi-media study and presentation of a chosen commodity in terms of its production, distribution and consumption.

ELP 517/617: Ecological and Cultural Foundations of Learning (4)
This course explores how we teach and learn ecologically and what constitutes ecological and cultural ways of knowing. This course goes beyond simply justifying or advocating that our education should be grounded in ecological principles and explores how teaching and learning can be designed so that it critically questions cultural norms, is place-based, participatory, experiential, and transformational. Building on the work of numerous sustainability educators, this course engages in multi-sensory and interdisciplinary pedagogical inquiry. Students will create a teaching philosophy that reflects an understanding of ecological principles and sustainability pedagogy, and will demonstrate the design and implementation of an effective teaching experience.

ELP 519: Sustainability Education (4)
In order to build a robust theory and practice of sustainability education, this course covers local, national and global innovations in light of the UN decade for Education for Sustainability (2005-15). While critically assessing earlier traditions such as nature education, environmental education, outdoor education, place-based education, and ecological literacy; students are involved in developing curriculum and teacher preparation modules for K-12, higher education and or community organizations.

ELP 510: Theory and Practice of Sustainability (4) 
This course shows the application of theories and models in sustainability design, social justice, and bio-cultural diversity. Through hands-on workshops, personal stories, lectures, and discussion, students experience real life examples of how individuals and institutions have developed a vision and implemented that vision in various areas of sustainability including:  Education, Community Leadership and Governance, Food Systems and Policies, Indigenous Practices, and Appropriate Technology. Through group and individual reflection, students explore how they can integrate these experiences and perspectives into their own practice of sustainability education. This course has been offered as a study abroad course in 2011 & 2012 in Costa Rica, and in 2013 in Cuba. 

ELP 490/590: Permaculture and Whole Systems Design I (4)
Permaculture is an ethically based whole-systems design process that uses concepts and methods derived from ecosystems and indigenous peoples to create sustainable communities, institutions, and social systems.  Through both theory and practice, this course explores permaculture philosophy, ecological principles that underlie permaculture design, and the elements of whole-systems design. We are all designers, whether we design landscapes, buildings, organizational charts, software, political and judicial processes, or simply plan our day and the arrangement of our furniture. In a culture that devotes much time and energy to planning and design, there are remarkably few design systems that ensure that the results are sustainable, just, and appropriate.

ELP 491/591: Permaculture and Whole Systems Design II (4)
This course builds upon the knowledge gained in Part I of Permaculture and Whole Systems Design (required prerequisite), and explores in-depth:  Methods of whole systems design, advanced pattern literacy, biomimicry, appropriate technology, energy systems, land use philosophy and practice, and education and teaching methods in permaculture. Much of the course will be presented through experiential learning exercises, group discussion and projects, and hands-on activities. A portion of this course is dedicated to a final design project, in which student teams will create a permaculture design for a specific site. 

ELP 410/510: Nonviolence and Gandhi's Educational Philosophy (4)
This course has a two-fold goal: to study the principle of nonviolence as defined by Gandhi and to examine how this principle may be applied in our daily lives, including educational and other work settings. We will explore the links between nonviolence and Gandhi's notions of community, sarvodaya (welfare of all), anekantvada (belief in many doctrines), labor, self-sufficiency, advaita (non-dualism), enoughness, yajna (sacrifice), and non-exploitative modes of living proposed by Gandhi. Throughout the course, we will extract this connection as we examine his educational program of nai talim (new education). This course adopts a unique approach to practicing nonviolence and conflict resolution in education. Daily, educators are bombarded with "new" strategies for dealing with conflicts and challenges. While we will search for and develop specific practical approaches to dealing with these challenges, the participants will ask "broader" questions related to what it means to be nonviolent. We will consider the contemporary relevance of Gandhi's nonviolence as a way of living focusing on key facets of Gandhian theory and practice for ecological sustainability.

ELP 540: Urban Farm Education:  Leveraging Policy and Research to Cultivate Garden-Based Education in Practice (4) 
Students explore the policy and research context surrounding garden-based education in schools and communities with a focus on instructional design and assessment. As a learning community, students examine how policies and educational practices can pose barriers or potential leverage points for systemic change, and develop and teach integrated garden-based curriculum.

ELP 524 Spiritual Leadership for Sustainable Change
This course explores how spirituality is integrated into teaching and learning, and into the work of engaged citizens. Spiritual leadership is explored through such themes such as: authenticity, identity, paradox, relationships, and sustainability. Community-based learning provides an opportunity to examine leadership and sustainability issues through a spiritual lens.  Deep questioning and reflection will support the exploration of how spirituality is integrated into teaching and learning, and into our daily lives and work. All projects and readings are designed to create an open inquiry into the questions: “What is spiritual leadership?” and  “How is spiritual leadership connected to sustainability leadership and creating sustainable change?”

ELP 503: LSE Thesis (4+) 
Students work individually with their adviser to define, develop and present a thesis that demonstrates a satisfactory level of knowledge and skill related to sustainability education. The thesis is likely to require 4-6 quarters of work before the completion. Students need instructor's permission before enrolling in the course.

ELP 506 COMPS Exam (4)
This course is designed to provide support to students completing their Comprehensive Examination (Paper). The Comprehensive Examination (Comps) is one of two options (the other is Thesis) required for completing the ELP Master’s degree. The four (4) credit ELP 506 Comps course is required for students electing the Comps option. This course will be offered to help students design, write, and present their Comprehensive Paper at the final meeting of the course. Students should have completed a minimum of 35 credits before enrolling in the course.


ELP Professional Studies Core Courses

ELP 451/551 
Social Foundations of Education (4)
Study of sociological theories that illuminate the effects of education on individuals and society. Problem areas in race, class, and gender are explored in the process of examining theories of socialization, certification, allocation, and legitimation and their application to historical and current educational situations.

ELP 454/554 
Philosophy of Education (4)
Study and comparison of the philosophical bases of educational ideas and of the educational implications of philosophical thought. Course includes an additional, concurrent 30 hour minimum field project requirement.

ELP 511, 512 
Principles of Educational Research and Data Analysis (4, 4) 

Research paradigm; measurement and test characteristics; planning and evaluation; library resources; identifying research problems; planning research; types of research; research designs, central tendency, variability and relationships; sampling, sampling error, and hypothesis testing; crossbreaks; one, two, and multiple group, and multiple independent variable designs; computer applications; information systems. Prerequisite: graduate standing.

ELP 520 
Developmental Perspectives on Adult Learning (4)
Explores professional applications of adult development theory and research to facilitating adult learning in a wide variety of contexts, including formal educational and training programs as well as general environments such as learning organizations. Course includes an additional, concurrent 30 hour minimum field project requirement. Prerequisite: admission to a graduate program.

ELP 568 
Educational Organization and Administration (4)
Examination of the role, functions, and responsibilities of the educational leaders and administrators; study of administrative and organizational theory and its application to the operation of educational programs and organizations in various settings, including school districts, higher education and educational divisions in private sector organizations. Course includes an additional, concurrent 30 hour minimum field project requirement. Prerequisite: graduate standing.


Undergraduate Courses

ELP 350U: Introduction to Leadership for Sustainability (4)
This multi-media seminar course reviews, analyzes and critiques the history, politics and rhetoric of sustainability. Students are exposed to a variety of whole systems design in sustainability as well as examples from the grassroots including the growing conservation economy in the Pacific Northwest, and the issue of indigenous cultures and sustainability. Students apply these concepts in real life by developing a wildest dream project in sustainability and outlining social, natural and economic capital needed to implement it.

ELP 348U: Introduction to Global Political Ecology (4)
This course surveys a broad range of topics at the convergence of thinking about ecology and globalization. Students examine how the emergence of a global economy along with its technological, financial, and institutional developments has impacted life for both human and non-human communities. To apply these concepts and personalize the historical material, the focus is on various "commodities" with which we interact, such as salmon, tomatoes, and oil. As a foil to the global aspect, this course emphasizes the relocalization approach and examine ways in which local communities are generating alternatives to those aspects of globalization that are seen to be unjust, disempowering, and even eco-cidal.

ELP 349U: Gandhi, Zapata and Topics in New Agrarianism (4) 

What is the role of food, land and agriculture in the imagination of an ecologically sustainable, socially just, and bio-culturally diverse future? This course examines the legacies Mahatma Gandhi and Emiliano Zapata might have for the emergent local food economy in North America and in individual student's bioregion. While firmly grounded in the farms and gardens in the Portland Metro area, students review local, bioregional and global trends in production, distribution and marketing of food, and develop comparative perspectives.