InTeGrate Modules and Courses >Food as the Foundation for Healthy Communities > Instuctor Stories > Akin Akinyemi
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Akin Akinyemi: Using Food as the Foundation for Healthy Communities in URP3000 Intro. to Planning at Florida State University


About this Course

Most of my students are juniors and seniors majoring in environmental science, international affairs, sociology, geography, economics, etc.

41
students
Two 75-minute lecture sessions per week.

URP3000 Intro. to Planning Syllabus (Acrobat (PDF) 60kB Nov28 16)

Emphasizing the connection between urban planning and the water-energy-food nexus

Nested in week twelve of this sixteen-week introductory urban planning course is a provocative mixture of lectures and debates on environmental and energy planning. This Food as the Foundation for Healthy Communities "teaching experiment" came about at this junction and fits nicely into this mix. The graphics and poignant data supplement and reinforce the readings and discussions already planned.

The progression of the three modules from concepts to practical applications was very useful in setting up and piquing the interest of the students. To better draw parallels between my existing course content and the Food as the Foundation for Healthy Communities Module materials, I interspersed the teachings returning to the pre-planned lectures in-between the three units of the module.

As evidenced by the quality of the work turned in, the students were very engaged. My requirement of the students to produce and present two succinct PowerPoint slides as a thinking and outlining tool before writing their final essays enhanced the quality of the final product.

Facts, opposing views, and extra credits are good motivators for learning. My students were well motivated to engage the added challenge posed by the unanticipated addition of the Food as the Foundation for Healthy Communities Module.

My Experience Teaching with InTeGrate Materials

Though I am not a scientist, I have a diverse educational background ranging from environmental studies to architecture and urban planning, and thus I was able to grasp and teach the course content. I did not see it fit nor have sufficient time to modify the course content, but was not able to fully discuss all of the readings and videos due to time constraint.

Relationship of InTeGrate Materials to my Course

It works out that by the time IRB and other approvals were received, Unit One was taught on the second day of week 12 of this 16-week class. We had just finished "Growth Management, Smart Growth, and Sustainable Development" and were about to start "Environmental and Energy Planning."

Assessments

The primary tools used in assessing the students' assimilation of the Food as the Foundation for Healthy Communities Module are: a) The Unit 1, 2, and 3 "Minute Papers," which I personally graded, then turned over to the InTeGrate team; and b) The online pre- and post-GLE tests, which gauge the students' awareness and understanding of natural phenomena before and after participating in these three teaching modules.

Outcomes

My goal is have a different voice speak to my students on the importance of environmental consciousness. The combinations of the lecture PowerPoints, videos, discussions, and writing exercises help accomplish this goal.

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These materials are part of a collection of classroom-tested modules and courses developed by InTeGrate. The materials engage students in understanding the earth system as it intertwines with key societal issues. The collection is freely available and ready to be adapted by undergraduate educators across a range of courses including: general education or majors courses in Earth-focused disciplines such as geoscience or environmental science, social science, engineering, and other sciences, as well as courses for interdisciplinary programs.
Explore the Collection »