The Peripatetic School formed by Aristotle in ancient Greece is said to have been so-named because of Aristotle's habit of walking around while lecturing. While there may be limits to this legend, we now associate the word peripatetic with that act of wandering. The course Principles of Sustainability is designed as a digital peripatetic. Using modern digital technology, this course attempts to leverage the insight and observations, the images and the sounds, and the knowledge and understanding of our global partners in sustainability to better help our students master the challenges and opportunities for sustainability. Our modern digital media resources can capture the sights and sounds of our increasingly globalized world far better than a static Power Point bullet. Our journey is a digital journey of imagery, imagination, and the peer-reviewed factual reality of our past, present, and potential futures. Sustainability is challenging and teaching it is perhaps more so. Our new pedagogy represents our response to the challenge of a positive, sustainable future — by cultivating and inspiring the practical vision of the students who will get us there.
While a doculecture may be a new pedagogy and a new experience for students, teaching-by-walking-around should be a more dynamic and deeper approach to a university lecture than you have experienced before now. We are trying to engage both your intellect and your emotions to inspire you to learn. Whether filmed in an infinity white screen studio, or on a forest trail, the idea is to discuss the subject of analysis in an environment that is close to the topic using the sights and sounds of the world shared by several hundred filmmakers, videographers, and photographers across the globe that have contributed to this project. The information intensity of this approach is very high, and being "PowerPoint-free", students will not have "the notes" auto generated by this ubiquitous program that is overused in most learning environments. Our advice is to approach a doculecture with anticipation and preparation. Anticipate and prepare for the event by making sure you have a quiet, perhaps darkened, place, quality digital resources, and a good set of headphones. Read the assigned materials first, so that you have a knowledge base and familiarity with the subject jargon. Doculecture content is dense and rapid; and a thirty minute doculecture work is easily the same content as a standard fifty minute university lecture. We hope you enjoy this experimental learning approach. —GM