At Syracuse University London, Becca teaches on concepts of global justice and environmental sustainability. Courses include:
Climates of Resistance familiarises students with the myriad ways in which racism is manifested in contemporary environmental policy and practice — and the multiple means through which marginalised communities respond to and transform unjust realities. The class considers:
- Who benefits from environmental resources and services?
- Who bears the cost of environmental risks and harms?
- Who has their needs and desires considered in human-nature interactions?
- Who holds power in environmental decision-making?
- Who implements and enforces environmental policies?
Case studies include representation from Sámi reindeer herders in the Arctic, Amazigh fog-harvesters in Morocco, Black gardeners in American urban centers, Latinx activists on the US-Mexico border, Navajo water guardians in the American Southwest, community tree planters in Rwanda, Indigenous Islanders in Oceania, and nature-inspired musicians from the East Asian diaspora.
Sustainability on Trial is a ten-day travelling course. Through intensive field studies featuring ‘smart’ buildings, working huskies, and wilderness spaces, students examine diverse and contested approaches to ‘being green’. The first part of the course explores eco-innovations being piloted in the Nordic countries, home to some of the world’s greatest progress toward sustainable development and carbon-neutral living. In the second portion of the class, students travel into the Arctic Circle to question whether sustainability is living up to its promise for all stakeholders. Who has benefitted or been harmed by environmental policies? Ultimately, the Seminar helps students to understand their effect on the world and how they can make that impact a more positive one.
During her PhD, Becca taught with The Brilliant Club, a non-profit organisation placing doctoral researchers in non-selective state schools and sixth form colleges serving low participation communities to deliver programmes of university-style tutorials to small groups of outstanding pupils. Becca taught a range of courses for younger students, including:
- “Could the stars float in the bath?” (mathematics and astrophysics)
- “Into the Deep, Dark Woods” (English and geography)
- “How many engineers does it take to make ice cream?” (engineering and design thinking)
Becca also created two courses of her own for older students at the GSCE and A-level.
Does the Telly Lie? Media and the Middle East is an interdisciplinary course allowing students to expand their knowledge and skills in government, English, and sociology. The course will guide students in exploring the role of media in society. Through the lens of Western news coverage of the Middle East, students will consider how knowledge and ‘fact’ are created in society and how they might evaluate truth claims. Students will wrestle with potential ‘myths’ told in mainstream media about a region generally portrayed as mired in conflict and be challenged to look “beyond the bombs” to consider biased assumptions about the role of gender, environmental resources, and democracy in the area. The course will build students’ specific knowledge of the Middle East’s religions, cultures, and politics while also encouraging them to reflect on similar issues in their own settings.
Through the final assignment, students will use the analytical reasoning skills developed in the course to critically evaluate a series of news articles and/or programmes. Students will compare and contrast stories from a variety of sources on a Middle East topic selected by them. Students will be expected to show an understanding of the broader implications of their own and societal understandings of and approaches to information. As such, emphasis will be placed less on the actual topic chosen and more on the reflective reasoning abilities demonstrated. This way, students will be given a taste of the evaluation processes expected at university.
Participation in the course will build students’ critical thinking while empowering them to be more active and thoughtful citizens of the world.
Catching the Clouds: Water Security and Sustainable Engineering is an interdisciplinary STEM course furthering students’ knowledge of meteorology, chemistry, and physics. Using the world’s largest fog- harvesting system as a case study, participants will examine the role of engineering in sustainable development. Students will explore the science behind fog formation, solar power, and renewable energies. Design thinking will be used to guide students in considering how we develop and implement sustainable technologies that can improve quality of life, especially for marginalised communities. The course will build pupils’ specific knowledge of Morocco’s hydrology and the CloudFisherTM system while encouraging them to consider applied engineering and sustainable development more broadly.
During their final project, students will critically analyse an existing community intervention and suggest improvements for future work (which might include questions of efficacy, scalability, or sustainability). Pupils will reflect and expand on a case study chosen by them, and may elect to focus their examination on any region, problem, and disciplinary angle they desire. In this way, participants can apply their learning throughout the course to personalised academic interests. The assignment is structured to allow for maximum flexibility while emphasising analytical abilities and an understanding of the broader implications of chosen case studies, thus giving students a taste of the evaluation processes expected at university.
Participation in the course will build students’ capacities for applied engineering and awareness of sustainable development, empowering them to consider how their interest in science can be used to address social issues.