Preserving World Cultural Heritage: Social Justice and Sustainability Competencies via Socially-Oriented Interdisciplinary Education




Vázquez-Villegas, Patricia
Ruiz-Cantisani, María Ileana
Caratozzolo, Patricia
Lara-Prieto, Vianney
Ponce-López, Roberto
Martínez-Acosta, Mariajulia
Torres, Anthony
Sriraman, Vedaraman
Martinez Ortiz, Araceli
Membrillo-Hernández, Jorge

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title




The world's cultural heritage (customs, practices, places, objects, artistic expressions, and values that signify a legacy of the history of humanity) provides identity to communities. In Mexico, the case of the World Heritage City of Xochimilco involves a sustainable agroecological system designed by its ancient inhabitants more than 500 years ago. Currently, the biodiversity and the chinampas (floating agricultural gardens) are at risk due to inconsistent government oversight and the lack of incentives for communities to carry on with the culture of agricultural production on Lake Xochimilco. Through a Challenge-Based Learning, a culturally relevant academic experience for university students was designed to involve them in preserving biodiversity while developing research and problem-solving skills. Satisfaction surveys and course evaluations indicated that this didactic methodology encouraged students to consider their connection to social justice issues and prompted them to expand their knowledge in their different disciplines. Socially-oriented experiential learning is an effective pedagogy that fosters a sense of social responsibility in students.



axolotl, challenge-based learning, educational innovation, higher education, higher-order skills, socially-oriented education, STEM education, sustainability, Tec21


Vázquez-Villegas, P., Ruiz-Cantisani, M., Caratozzolo, P., Lara-Prieto, V., Ponce-López, R., Martínez-Acosta, M., Torres, A., Sriraman, V., Martínez-Ortiz, A. & Membrillo-Hernández, J.(2022).Preserving World Cultural Heritage: Social Justice and Sustainability Competencies via Socially-Oriented Interdisciplinary Education. Journal of Teacher Education for Sustainability,24(1) 49-72.


Biomedical Engineering and Chemical Engineering
Interdisciplinary Learning and Teaching
Engineering Education