As an undergraduate Economics teacher, you can use this set of computer-based tools to help you in teaching the concept of the tragedy of the commons.
This lesson plan will help students to understand the concept of tragedy of the commons, and to identify the “commons” and the “tragedy” in some example problems. In the activity, students will examine climate change as a tragedy of the commons and will discuss possible economic solutions (policy, development) for the problem.
Thus, the use of this lesson plan allows you to integrate the teaching of a climate science topic with a topic in Economics.
Use this lesson plan to help your students find answers to:
- 1. Describe the concept of tragedy of the commons.
- 2. Discuss climate change as a tragedy-of-the-commons problem. Identify the “commons” and the “tragedy”.
- 3. Explain why “atmospheric sinks for greenhouse gases” can be considered as a “commons”.
- 4. Discuss different types of governance solutions for climate change as a tragedy of the commons. Analyze the strengths and weaknesses of each type of solution.
Understanding Tragedy of the Commons using Climate Change
About Lesson Plan
|Topic(s) in Discipline||• Tragedy of the Commons
• The Economics of Climate Change
|Climate Topic||• Energy, Economics, and Climate
• Policy, Politics, and Environmental Governance
|Access||Online , Offline|
|Approximate Time Required||120 min|
|A micro-lecture (video) that introduces the concept of tragedy of the commons and provides examples to explain the terms “tragedy” and “commons”.|
|Classroom/ Laboratory activity
|A classroom/laboratory activity to further understand tragedy of the commons through case studies, discuss “Earth’s atmosphere” as a commons and “global warming” as a tragedy, and propose solutions to solve this tragedy-of-the-commons problem.|
|Reading (~60 min)||A reading that discusses climate changeas a tragedy-of-the-commons problem (atmospheric sinks for greenhouse gases are the commons), provides an overview of current climate change governance, and describes polycentric governance strategies to address global climate change at various levels and scales.|
Here is a step-by-step guide to using this lesson plan in the classroom/laboratory. We have suggested these steps as a possible plan of action. You may customize the lesson plan according to your preferences and requirements.
|1.Introduce the topic through a micro-lecture (video)||
|2. Conduct a classroom/laboratory activity||
|3. Discuss solutions through a reading||