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    Sustainability education beyond the classroom: how the “exploding university” nurtures collective intelligence across local and global communities

    Wadham, Helen ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9980-4409, Hart, Clare, Hashmi, Anita, Kettleborough, Helena Mary, Marron, Roz, Randles, Sally, Skritsovali, Konstantina and Tucker, Megan (2023) Sustainability education beyond the classroom: how the “exploding university” nurtures collective intelligence across local and global communities. In: Handbook of Research on Implications of Sustainable Development in Higher Education. Advances in higher education and professional development book series . IGI Global, Hershey, PA, pp. 202-229. ISBN 9781668461723 (print); 9781668461730 (ebook)

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    Abstract

    This chapter explores how the authors expanded their teaching and learning beyond the classroom at Manchester Metropolitan University in the UK. It puts forward the theoretical concept of the “exploding university” as a way to help develop a critical yet hopeful understanding of collective problems at local and global scales. This helps them explore three interrelated initiatives that brought teachers, students, and communities together, namely a sustainability festival, research project on animal rehoming, and community tree-planting drive. The chapter illuminates how exploding the work beyond the classroom enabled everyone involved to take action on the challenges that matter to them, while also developing a “collective intelligence” about their underlying causes. The exploding university thus emerges as a theoretical and practical model, which we can use to inspire students to actively critique, reimagine, and reconstruct the world around them. The authors conclude by encouraging and supporting others who might wish to embark on similar journeys themselves.

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