Institute for Integrative Studies (INFIS)
The Institute for Integrative Studies concentrates on the conceptual enhancement and on the implementationof Education for Sustainable Development in kindergarten, elementary school and in vocational training.
Implementation of innovative higher education and school concepts.
Research on the advancement of ESD concepts in a national & international context; conception of realization of innovative student seminars and teacher training within the framework of ESD; establishing transdiciplinary cooperation projects and transdisciplinary research in the context of Sustainable Development; curriculum innovations in terms of SD; quality management in schools.
CiCe (Children's Identity and Citizenship in Europe)
Highlights on innovative projects on higher education
Regarding the range of its teaching offers the infis is supporting disadvantaged students by specific seminar forms and propositions – e.g. diseased students or single parents are sustained comprehensively. Furthermore the infis is part of an academic quality circle in terms of the enhancement of teacher education in Lower Saxony. Leuphana University received an EMAS certification in consequence of its Eco-Management concept.
The infis is cooperating with the Ministry of Education of Lower Saxony in terms of Education for Sustainable development. It implemented innovative teaching and student working methods in its academic curriculum. By this means this infis is enhancing its seminar concepts in a transdisciplinary way, cooperating with different expert groups. Outstanding in this context is the connection between the humanities and natural sciences within the framework of Sustainable Development. Informal learning is an explicit part of the curriculum since a few years.
In 2006 a new general studies program “Academia bears responsibility” – dealing with sustainability questions – was implemented. It is compulsory for all first semester students of Leuphana University. The infis offers courses in this program and participates in its advancement.
The Institute for integrative Studies is cooperating with the public administration of Lüneburg but also with other communities in Germany and abroad. It maintains exchange projects in terms of regional development, e.g. with the Confindustria of Grosseto/Italia. In this context the infis is partner of different transdisciplinary projects in the vocational training and kindergarten sector, like Leuchtpol or Kita 21. The infis was involved in the conception and evaluation of projects dealing with ESD in mobility, art and Youth questions (http://www.leuphana.de/institute/infis/forschung-projekte.html), inter alia founded by the DBU (Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt/ German Federal Foundation for the Environment).
Focusing on the concept of Education for Sustainable Development the Institute for integrative Studies follows a particular value orientation in research and teaching – specifically dealing with the principles of Agenda 21, meaning that science is located in social and global contexts, including problem-oriented and highly participative methods in working and teaching. According to these criteria the institute for integrative studies is engaged in the development of the general studies program of Leuphana and in the University mission statement.
An inherent part of its curriculum in higher education are student seminars dedicated to ethical principles and questions of Sustainable Development like responsibility, the use of resources, distributive justice, gender and diversity, etc.
Education for Sustainable Development is the teaching and research focus of the Institute for integrative Studies (infis). Several of its research projects address the topic of Sustainable Development and teaching. (http://www.leuphana.de/institute/infis/forschung-projekte.html) All members of the infis are part of the faculty of Sustainability.
Since the main teaching area of the infis is “Social Studies & Scientific Literacy in primary school” in teacher education studies, the curriculum is highly connected to the living environment (Lebenswelt) of pupils and future teachers. Questions of social challenges and responsibility are part of all offered student courses, but in particular in one entire module in the second semester all “Social Studies & Scientific Literacy” students investigate topics of Sustainable Development from the perspective of economy, ecology, society and culture. It comprises a large part of project work in real life contexts.