Self-Care as a Way of Being: Fostering Inner Work in a Graduate Sustainability Leadership Course

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Portland State University -- Curricula -- Design, Sustainability -- Study and teaching, Experiential learning -- Study and teaching (Higher)


Sustainability education is a way of learning and teaching that mimics the kind of world we want to create, focusing on transforming our ways of knowing and being so that we can foster healthy, interconnected, just, and resilient communities. Emerging sustainability leaders in higher education are often challenged by the immensity of this work and by the stress and overcommitment within the culture of academia. This article explores the importance of engaging in both the outer and inner work of sustainability, including a focus on self-care. Based on an action research study of a graduate sustainability leadership course, this article highlights data from a self-care plan assignment. The results provide insight into students' perceptions of self-care as a way of being, and how educators can best acknowledge and nurture self-care as a way of being in sustainability education and leadership development.



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