The Sunflower Project: Sustainability across the Curriculum

The Sunflower Project: Sustainability across the Curriculum
Patrick Broxterman
[email protected]
Phone number:
Communications (Adjunct Faculty)
Level of grant:
Level 1
Scope of Work:
My proposal is to implement sustainability concepts in an entry level public speaking
class. The scope of the class focuses on teaching students to deliver effective and
articulate speeches. The course requires students to give five speeches: an
Introduction Speech, an Informative Speech, a “Special Occasions” Speech, and two
Persuasive Speeches. For this project, I would like my students to focus their
Informative Speech and one Persuasive Speech on sustainability.
Throughout my courses, I plan on having guest lecturers/ speakers. Primarily, these
speakers will be from the political field. However, as an introduction to the
sustainability component of the class, I would like to start with a guest sustainability
speaker. This speaker would discuss (1) what sustainability is, (2) how it is
implemented at JCCC, and (3) its importance. The students would then have a
chance to ask the expert questions following the lecture (i.e., speech).
After the guest sustainability speaker lecturers, I will then incorporate sustainability
into the procedure of developing an Informative Speech with my class. Students will
be able to choose whatever sustainability topic they would like. As this is an
informative speech, we will not be emphasizing opinions. Rather, the speeches will
focus on informing the audience. The topics may include ideas such as:
How to grow vegetables indoors year round;
How an electric car works;
How to switch from paper-based forms to digital ones;
Alternative electric sources; or
The students would then need to evaluate audience reaction and connection with their
speeches. Once this is done, we would move to the persuasion speech.
In our persuasive speech, students would have a chance to persuade other students to
adopt sustainability ideas. Contrarily, students may make arguments against certain
sustainability practices. For example, a student may argue that a Honda Civic which
uses regular gasoline is better for sustainability than a Honda Civic Hybrid because of
Sunflower Project Grant Proposal
Patrick Broxterman
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battery toxicity. Or, a student may argue against using wooden chopsticks in favor of
plastic (reusable) ones. Regardless of what a student argues, he or she will be graded
on argumentation validity (does it make logical sense?) and soundness (is it well
supported with credible sources). As with the informative speech, the audience
reaction would be evaluated.
For the final persuasive speech in my class, we will be doing a Civic Engagement
Speech. Students would have the option to further discuss sustainability in this
speech, but it would not be required to do so.
Submit your answers to the following:
1. Explain why you would like to take part in this grant program:
I have long been in favor of sustainable practices. Much more important
than a personal belief in these practices, however, sustainability presents an
almost value-neutral topic for students to practice the procedure of giving
speeches. I understand that no topic is ever truly “value neutral,” but this
concept is broad enough to allow an individual student to discuss topics
that they are able to research and form cohesive arguments.
2. Explain how your students will benefit from the course revision/ creation:
The key for this class is learning how to create and deliver speeches. In an
introductory level public speaking class, we focus on the process.
Sustainability gives a good substance base for students to draw from. Plus,
it is genuinely interesting and an area that is not discussed as much as
many other topics students often choose (e.g., legalizing marijuana, lowering
the drinking age, abortion, etc.)
3. Explain how your course revision/ creation will uniquely contribute to JCCC’s
mission to teach sustainability across the curriculum:
“The mission of the Center for Sustainability is to incorporate sustainable
values and practices into the JCCC community.” Simply put, this course
revision will allow students to research, discuss, and deliver speeches that
will require both the individual student and audience to gain a better
understanding of what sustainability practices are and ways to incorporate
Return completed applications to: Student Sustainability Affairs Coordinator, Kim
Criner in CC305K.