Document Type



Spring 2014



Course Number


Course Description

You will learn basic concepts, theories, and models of sustainable development. Most often-quoted definition of sustainable development is “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”. We will deal with thus defined field of sustainable development through examining three constituent parts: economic sustainability, sociopolitical sustainability, and environmental sustainability.

Besides providing a good knowledge of the subjects, I set a goal of building numeracy and critical thinking proficiencies in my teaching. The goal of academic education is to fully develop the students in terms of both knowledge and practical ability, and numeracy and critical thinking are indispensable in the context of the latter. For this end, I play up scholarly bases and rigorousness of discussion for academic courses. In economics, theories are presented by mathematical frameworks called theoretical models. Only with the language of mathematics, we can formulate relationships in a theory, elucidate assumptions and implications about complex subjects, and understand the mechanisms that the implications are derived with clarity, generality, rigor, and simplicity. Informal presentation only in words does not express them adequately and effectively. Therefore, I follow this norm in my teaching.

Specifically, I spend time in presenting careful and detailed introductions of the technical bases of important models. Then, I demonstrate how these models work and show how we can derive implications using various instruments including figure, table, graph, and algebra. This process affords competence in numerical calculation and graphical interpretation as well as the ability to evaluate quantitative information accurately. Furthermore, understanding or, at least, touching upon the rigor of the concepts and models helps students acquire the skill of critical thinking. To think critically is to think clearly and rationally about the subject matter under consideration. It starts by identifying assumptions required to derive conclusions, and then we analyze and evaluate their adequacy and appropriateness. I believe this process increases your analytical skills and paves the way for intellectual interaction in the real world