Global Classroom Overview

Global Classroom: Foundations of Sustainable Development Practice is a web-based course that fosters cross-disciplinary collaboration and allows students and teachers from around the world to participate in collective assignments and learning experiences.

Global Classroom was initiated at the Earth Institute, Columbia University, in 2008 by the members of the MacArthur Foundation-supported International Commission on Education for Sustainable Development Practice, even before its Final Report was written. The commission brought together 20 leading experts from around the world to consider new types of interdisciplinary educational programs to address the practical challenges of sustainable development. The first Global Classroom addressed a broad range of core issues, including health, economics, policy, agriculture, ethics, and education. Today, more than 17 universities from around the world have participated.

All course materials, including the syllabus, readings, and assignment questions, are available on a common course website. Students from around the world are assigned the same readings and then join their classmates for live weekly on-camera sessions with global experts.  The Global Classroom is "attended" for 14 weeks, beginning in September, and is available to interested organizations, including universities, corporations, and development agencies.