Integrative Learning Reflection

Honors 200 advanced my integrative learning skills by presenting one broad, complex topic and breaking it down into smaller, separate counterparts. In Honors 200, climate change was presented from three very different perspectives: domestic policy, international policy, and scientific evidence. Going into the course, I did not see how these three perspectives coincided with one another and I thought that a feasible solution to curb climate change could be designed and agreed upon overnight. This integrative approach uniting three fundamental aspects of the problem helped illuminate the reasons why climate change policy makes such slow progress. First, scientific evidence forms the basis for policy. If dangerous thresholds can be determined, policy may be exacerbated to avoid these points of no return. If nations are not convinced by scientific evidence, policy may not be formed at all. Second, domestic interests really shape the way each nation approaches climate change. Economic interests take priority; in industrial nations with abundant fossil fuels, policy is skewed in a way that best protects their industry although it is not green. With that in mind, industrial countries that are profiting from using nonrenewable resources hinder international policy, the third perspective represented. Experiencing the mock UN Forum in class brought out how each nation’s individual interests impacts their stance in dealing with climate change as a global problem and how smaller and less fortunate nations are underrepresented in global agreements. Each of these three unique, seemingly separate perspectives overlap and contribute greatly when considering solutions to a problem as severe as climate change. Having expert professors representing each perspective and building onto the complexity of the problem helped me to develop integrative learning skills that I used to connect these three counterparts.

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