Teaching is transmitting and

sharing a confrontation of ideas

Teaching, even if it is largely undervalued in research, is for me as much a way of transmitting and training students as it is a source of stimulation and new ideas. Because students do have something to contribute in terms of reflections and ideas, I get them to collaborate (while training them) in innovative and emerging thought and methods in the social sciences of climate and energy. But I do this by getting them to ‘think climate’ and acquire methods of research and analysis that will allow them to answer their own questions.

My pedagogical approach partly corresponds to the philosophy of environmental education. For this, I opt for a double method ; i) a classic one, by presenting a problem, theories and issues and then, ii) moving on to exchanges, collaboration, activities and student-student-teacher interactions. The methods or activities vary but they may include collective brainstorming on a work in progress, an international negotiation simulation on climate change or mock semi directive interviews in sociology of energy.

These pedagogical experiments have been the subject of several publications. For example, I have been testing their level of ecological radicalism since 2005, whose results have been recently published dans la Revue Pensée Ecologique. I also directed two books on pedagogy at the university level, and I had the pleasure of obtaining an award of excellence in pedagogical innovation for political science in 2006 from the European political science network (EpsNet).

Finally, I noticed over the years that my climate and energy seminar students (3rd year undergrad, leading to a 50 page undergrad thesis) at Grenoble Political Studies Institute often choose subjects or issues at the forefront of climate and energy social science research. They sometimes work on subjects two or three years before formal research really takes hold of them. For me, these undergrad theses have become potential early-signal revealers of new research fields worthy of investigation. So much so, that some of their work have been co-published with me in joint articles in social sciences journals.


2019. « Ecologie politique des étudiants d’université : vers une radicalisation ? » (Political ecology of university students: toward a radicalisation?) Ecologie et Politique, novembre 2019. http://lapenseeecologique.com/ecologie-politique-des-etudiants-duniversite-vers-une-radicalisation-stephane-labranche/

2014. Y. Schemeil, C. Bouillaud, A. Colson, C.-P. David, A. Fauve, S. La Branche, R. Magni-Berton « Quand simuler stimule. Innovation pédagogique et recherche décisionnelle » (« When simulating stimulates: pedagogical innovation and decision-based research« .  Revue française de science politique/3 (Vol. 64), p.479 à 501.

2010. avec N. Milot. Enseigner les sciences sociales de l’environnement. Expériences interdisciplinaires. (Teaching Social Sciences of the environment. Multidisciplinary experiences). Chapters : « Introduction » avec N. Milot. Chapter: « Enseigner les nouveaux débats dans les sciences sociales de l’environnement ». Septentrions.

2010. “Toward a European Teaching Quality Assurance System for Political Studies?” In E. Berndtson (ed.). European Approaches to Quality Assurance in Teaching Political Science. EpsNet (European Political Science Network) series.

2008. “Greening Grenoble’s Institute of Political Studies: A Few Methods to Professionalise Course Content”. Pp. 50-59. InK. Kas and M. Brosig (eds.). Teaching Theory and Academic Writing: A Guide to Undergraduate Lecturing in Political Science. Epsnet series.

2005. “ICTs and role playing in teaching international relations. Methods and pedagogical implications”. In E. Grossman and J. Mittag (eds). Simulation games and role-playing activities in Political Science: a user’s guide. Epsnet series.

2005. “Teaching and Learning Through Role-playing Activities. A Few Thoughts on Responsible Learning and Teaching at university”. The NET journal of the EpsNet. vol. 3, n° 1, p. 25-31.

2004. With L. Olivier. Enseigner les sciences sociales. Expériences de pédagogie universitaire. (Teaching Social Sciences. Experiences from university) L’Harmattan. And author of two chapters : « Une simulation d’une négociation internationale assistée par les nouvelles technologies » et « Trucs, astuces, idées et activités courtes ». Co-author of the introduction « La pédagogie à l’université : un tabou enfin levé ? » and of the conclusion « Pour ouvrir la discussion sur l’enseignement à l’université ».


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