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Now We’re Cooking!: Adding Practical Application to the Recipe for Teaching Sustainability

31 Pages Posted: 3 Sep 2011 Last revised: 27 Oct 2011

Jonathan D. Rosenbloom

Drake University Law School

Date Written: September 2, 2011


This essay explores the benefits and challenges presented by incorporating experiential learning and formative evaluation in the Drake University Law School course, Sustainability & Its Application. The course combined academic inquiry with actual, practical experience to facilitate student professional development, enhance practice skills, and explore a new and rapidly developing area of law. The course was designed to mimic a small law firm focusing on sustainability. The firm developed proposals for our “client,” a public/private non-profit, that would increase sustainability in the City of Des Moines. By the end of the semester, the students produced thorough reports, including draft language to amend the local city code. The reports were presented and defended before the client and the Des Moines City Council.

This essay analogizes the process of implementing lessons with practical import (and in consideration of methodological components that might be adaptable to similar courses) to creating and modifying a recipe for baking cookies. The essay sets forth some thoughts and highlights from decisions on substantive content to implementation of peer review and formative evaluation, and what might be applicable to similar courses.

Keywords: formative, evaluation, summative, experiential, learning, methodologies, sustainability

Suggested Citation

Rosenbloom, Jonathan D., Now We’re Cooking!: Adding Practical Application to the Recipe for Teaching Sustainability (September 2, 2011). Pace Environmental Law (PELR) Review, Vol. 1, No. 2, 2011; Drake University Law School Research Paper No. 11-15. Available at SSRN:

Jonathan D. Rosenbloom (Contact Author)

Drake University Law School ( email )

27th & Carpenter Sts.
Des Moines, IA 50311
United States

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