Marion Gehlker, German, Spring 2020

Courses in Environmental History, Economics, and Politics

I would like to express my thanks for the much appreciated opportunity to participate in the Teaching Relief for Learning program in Spring 2020. My goal was to broaden my knowledge scope on environmental issues in a global context for my advanced language class on “Green Germany: History and Culture of Sustainability”, as well as gain insight into teaching approaches at the undergraduate level at Yale. Plus, due to Covid, I had the experience of participating in online classes midway through the semester.

I took three classes: The undergraduate seminar on “Politics of the Environment”, provided helpful insights into how to involve students in class in each session. The American Studies graduate course on “Readings in the Environmental Humanities” made me include more historical aspects of the environment into my own course, such as the environmental impact of mining and river straightening throughout the centuries. I was interested in a class that explored economic and financial alternatives to our current corporate capitalism model, but could not find any, and instead opted for a post-doc course in the economics department, which, while taught expertly, did not discuss environmental issues but was more geared towards economic-mathematical models. 

Overall, I highly recommend the TRL but make sure you select the right courses for your needs, by getting as much information about the class beforehand.