Education for Sustainability (EfS) is in the process of enriching the curriculum and student learning experiences at the University of Gloucestershire, said Professor Daniella Tilbury (Dean and Director of Sustainability at the University of Gloucestershire) at an EfS workshop, titled ‘Turning tides in Education for Sustainability (EfS) across higher education,’ held at the university on 2 July 2014.
This annual event shared the experiences of EfS projects at the University of Gloucestershire (UoG) and EfS innovations in educational thinking and academic practice at several other UK universities.
The day began with a welcome and introduction to the day by Professor Tilbury, who briefly outlined EfS at UoG and its Learning for Sustainable Futures Scheme (LSFS). Launched in 2012 as part of the university’s approach to enhancing the quality of learning and teaching across all subject areas, the LSFS is a collaborative initiative between the university’s Sustainability Team and the Academic Development Unit. Through an annual call for project proposals, this scheme provides staff with grants to lead and develop new projects to embed EfS approaches into the curriculum and student learning experiences.
Maureen McLaughlin (Dean of Quality and Standards, UoG) spoke on ‘Futures for EfS: Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) and institutional responses’. Having realised students’ concern for sustainable development, UK higher education sector bodies have responded accordingly. For example, in June 2014, the QAA published an ESD Guidance for higher education providers in the UK. Chapter B3 of the UK Quality Code for Higher Education (the Quality Code) on Learning and Teaching identifies education for sustainability (or ESD) as an educational theme that cuts across academic disciplines and sustainable development will become a one of the themes of QAA review of UK higher education institutions.
Before moving to the sessions, Professor Sharon Turnbull (Leadership Trust), chair of the event, outlined the focus of the day, i.e. EfS, Change and Organisational Cultures.
The workshop featured three sessions and a discussion group session:
- Culture, community and curriculum – new pathways
- Learning from our experiences – institutional development in EfS
- Raising the stakes – improving student experiences
- EfS futures – Student and sector influences (discussion group session)
Session 1: Culture, community and curriculum – new pathways:
Session 1 comprised four presentations:
- Fashioning a new Curriculum: designing EfS into Fashion programmes
- Using EfS through Online Learning in Philosophy of Religion
- Designing Sustainable Futures: EfS and Product Design
- Game-Changers: EfS, Learning and Sport Communities
Fashioning a new Curriculum: designing EfS into Fashion programmes | Nick Sargeant (School of Art & Design, UoG): Creating a programme-wide approach to EfS, this project aims to embed EfS approach into the design and development of the new Fashion Design curriculum in response to the industry’s need for skills and leadership in sustainability. It strives to ensure that EfS approaches inform the learning process at all levels, ranging from creative expression and design skills to self-direction and professional responsibilities.
Using EfS through Online Learning in Philosophy of Religion | Dr Roy Jackson (School of Humanities, UoG): Focusing on Islamic philosophy as part of the design process for a new Masters programme in Philosophy and Religious Thought, this project seeks to engage students with EfS to support learning processes associated with the endeavour towards more sustainable futures. It also explores ways in advancing EfS in flexible learning environments and in distance learning and also using digital technologies.
Designing Sustainable Futures: EfS and Product Design | Dr Michelle Williams (School of Computing and Technology): This project aims to embed EfS principles in the new BA/BSc Product Design courses to facilitate students’ development of sustainability competences, which would be reflected in specific skills and expertise and graduates’ professional responsibilities. It also strives for deeper understanding among students on how sustainability informs a range of aspects in design, including design thinking, human factors and responsible professional practice.
Game-Changers: EfS, Learning and Sport Communities (Two projects) | Ben Moreland and Dr Abbe Brady (School of Sport & Exercise – Presented by Dr Alex Ryan in the absence of both project leaders):
- The first project: Drawing on the sustainability-related learning and skills of the university’s Sports Malawi outreach initiative, the project ‘Malawi and beyond: Transformative global learning in sports for development’ aims to transfer these insights and learning processes to the Sports Development curriculum using EfS approaches. This project, which gives students work experience in Malawi, is a unique example of bringing co-curricular learning into the formal curriculum.
- The second project: With a view of meeting the growth in industry professional development needs around sustainability in sport, the project ‘Changing the game: Education and learning for sustainability in sport’ aims to build the capacity of the teaching staff in the Sports and Exercise department to enable them to respond to sustainability in the higher education curriculum, placements and outreach. It is also employing sustainability as a cross-cutting agenda that connects the different areas of work in the Department, including health and wellbeing, community building and social change, and global connectivity and local engagement.
Session 2: Learning from our experiences – institutional development in EfS
Session 2 comprised a Chat Show discussion on progress in embedding EfS in four higher education institutions:
- The Futures Initiative (Dr Stephen Scoffham, Canterbury Christ Church University)
- ESD strategies and programme development plans (Katharine Foot, Royal Agricultural University)
- Institution-wide curriculum projects initiative (Katy Boom and Will Bowen-Jones, University of Worcester)
- Learning for Sustainable Futures (Dr Alex Ryan and Professor Daniella Tilbury, University of Gloucestershire)
Note: For more information about these initiatives, please see the links below at the end of this write up (under ‘More…’)
Session 3: Raising the stakes – improving student experiences
Session 3 comprised three presentations:
- Social Learning for EfS: the Open Voice initiative (Bruce Goodwin, Senior Chaplain, Student Services)
- EfS Competencies Portfolio for Students (Richard Millican/Tim Morgan, Institute of Education & Public Services)
- Student Voices for EfS in the Business School (Meg Baker, Green Fund Research Co-ordinator, Student Union)
Social Learning for EfS: the Open Voice initiative | Bruce Goodwin (Senior Chaplain, Student Services, UoG): With the ambition of creating new spaces at the university for informal and social learning among students, this project supports the creation of Open Voice, a ‘Public Square’ initiative that facilitates debates around issues of life, faith and meaning while connecting with sustainability values and concerns. This student-led project, which brings together students, the Chaplaincy and the sustainability team, is a unique attempt to bridge the faith and sustainability agendas in a higher education setting.
EfS Competencies Portfolio for Students | Richard Millican and Tim Morgan (Institute of Education and Public Services, UoG): Drawing on a UNECE (United Nations Economic Commission for Europe) European educator competences framework in EfS, this project aims to develop a portfolio for students in Education Studies to demonstrate and validate their development of EfS competences. It is one of the first attempts to use this competence framework to embed EfS in higher education programme level as well as a unique step of transferring the framework into a professional portfolio for students.
Student Voices for EfS in the Business School | Meg Baker (Green Fund Research Co-ordinator, Student Union, UoG): This project aims to strengthen the student voice in the development of EfS in the university’s curriculum with a specific focus on the renewal of the Business School and position of EfS in future academic strategy and curriculum development in Business subjects. It is an exploration of how students can influence the shaping and planning of their learning experiences.
The event ended with a session of discussion groups on ‘EfS futures – the role of students and sector bodies in the future of EfS in higher education,’ followed by a plenary discussion.
Photographs by Asitha Jayawardena | Cover image is from the PDF booklet titled ‘Learning for Sustainable Futures: Supporting pedagogical and professional development’
Content is based on the presentations of the day and the UoG booklet titled ‘Learning for Sustainable Futures: Supporting pedagogical and professional development’
The news post on the previous year’s workshop held at UoG on 25 June 2013:
Gloucestershire workshop on Education for Sustainability in Higher Education https://sunewsinfo.wordpress.com/2013/06/26/gloucestershire-workshop-on-education-for-sustainability-in-higher-education/
Live projects 2013-14, Learning for Sustainable Futures Scheme | University of Gloucestershire (UoG) http://insight.glos.ac.uk/sustainability/Education/learningforsustainablefutures/Pages/LFSFLiveProjects2013-14.aspx
Learning for Sustainable Futures Awards | UoG http://insight.glos.ac.uk/sustainability/Education/learningforsustainablefutures/Pages/default.aspx
Sustainability Education | UoG http://insight.glos.ac.uk/sustainability/Education/Pages/default.aspx
Sustainability | UoG http://insight.glos.ac.uk/sustainability/Pages/default.aspx
Academic Development Unit | UoG http://insight.glos.ac.uk/departments/adu/Pages/default.aspx
QAA/HEA ESD Guidance document (PDF) http://www.qaa.ac.uk/Publications/InformationAndGuidance/Documents/Education-sustainable-development-Guidance-June-14.pdf
The Futures Initiative website| Canterbury Christ Church University http://www.canterbury.ac.uk/exploring-sustainability/
Sustainability in Teaching, Research and Consultancy | Royal Agricultural University http://www.rau.ac.uk/the-rau/sustainability-at-the-rau/teaching-research-consultancy
Sustainability Elective Module | University of Worcester http://www.worcester.ac.uk/journey/elective-sustainability.html
Susthingsout | University of Worcester http://susthingsout.com/ (digital magazine) | Twitter @susthingsout
ESD | United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) http://www.unece.org/env/esd.html
University Educators for Sustainable Development (UE4SD) http://www.ue4sd.eu/
ESD posts on LinkedIn (#asiLI)
Why universities should lead their wider communities’ sustainability endeavours | Three reasons https://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20140606053309-101066234-why-universities-should-lead-their-wider-communities-sustainability-endeavours-three-reasons
LSBU MSc in Education for Sustainability | How it enriched my perspective http://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20140507110247-101066234-lsbu-msc-in-education-for-sustainability-how-it-enriched-my-perspective
A game of plates at ‘Growth vs. Earth’ Café | Who depends on whom? http://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20140407045738-101066234-a-game-of-plates-at-growth-vs-earth-caf%C3%A9-who-depends-on-whom?
Sustainability | A balancing act? Four of them? https://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20140409090334-101066234-sustainability-a-balancing-act-four-of-them
Making sense of sustainability (or sustainable development) | A look at seven definitions http://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20140414095133-101066234-making-sense-of-sustainability-or-sustainable-development-a-look-at-seven-definitions
Sustainability-oriented poetry | Ten unforgettable pieces from Byron to Tennyson http://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20140421183727-101066234-sustainability-oriented-poetry-ten-unforgettable-pieces-from-byron-to-tennyson
Sustainability-oriented quotes and sayings | Twenty gems from Native Americans to Einstein http://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20140524074906-101066234-sustainability-oriented-quotes-and-sayings-twenty-gems-from-native-americans-to-einstein
Related posts on The Sustainable University News & Info website (this website)
Gloucestershire event | Turning tides in Education for Sustainability (EfS) across higher education
New QAA/HEA ESD Guidance to complement UK Quality Code for Higher Education https://sunewsinfo.wordpress.com/2014/06/30/new-esd-guidance-to-complement-uk-quality-code-for-higher-education/
Gloucestershire workshop on Education for Sustainability in Higher Education https://sunewsinfo.wordpress.com/2013/06/26/gloucestershire-workshop-on-education-for-sustainability-in-higher-education/
ESD London Conference | Sustainability is a core theme in higher education today and will remain so tomorrow, says VC LSBU https://sunewsinfo.wordpress.com/2014/06/15/esd-london-conference-sustainability-is-a-core-theme-in-higher-education-today-and-will-remain-so-tomorrow-says-vc-lsbu/
Five questions and 100 delegates from 15 countries: COPERNICUS conference on higher education, sustainability and ESD https://sunewsinfo.wordpress.com/2014/01/13/five-questions-and-100-delegates-from-15-countries-copernicus-conference-on-higher-education-sustainability-and-esd/
New website: The Guide to Quality and Education for Sustainability in Higher Education https://sunewsinfo.wordpress.com/2012/12/13/new-website-the-guide-to-quality-and-education-for-sustainability-in-higher-education/
CONFERENCE: Quality Assurance, Enhancement and Education for Sustainable Development (ESD): Creating a Framework for Dialogue https://sunewsinfo.wordpress.com/2012/07/03/conference-quality-assurance-enhancement-and-education-for-sustainable-development-esd-creating-a-framework-for-dialogue/
ESD has made inroads in new pedagogical ideas in future flexible higher education – HEA report https://sunewsinfo.wordpress.com/2013/11/25/esd-has-made-inroads-in-new-pedagogical-ideas-in-future-flexible-higher-education-hea-report/
UNESCO World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) https://sunewsinfo.wordpress.com/2014/01/06/unesco-world-conference-on-education-for-sustainable-development-esd/
Informal communication has a key role in sustainability-oriented institutional change, says Green Academy Lead at Worcester https://sunewsinfo.wordpress.com/2014/06/02/informal-communication-has-a-key-role-in-sustainability-oriented-institutional-change-says-green-academy-lead-at-worcester/
Sustainability leadership is all around us, says Director SD at Canterbury Christ Church University https://sunewsinfo.wordpress.com/2014/05/21/sustainability-leadership-is-all-around-us-says-director-sd-at-canterbury-christ-church-university/
Disciplines speak ‘Sustainability’ in different languages, says ESD academic lead at Bristol https://sunewsinfo.wordpress.com/2014/05/15/disciplines-speak-sustainability-in-different-languages-says-esd-academic-lead-at-bristol/
Online learning is a driver for sustainability, says Dr Speight at HEA-Nottingham seminar https://sunewsinfo.wordpress.com/2014/03/10/online-learning-is-a-driver-for-sustainability-says-dr-speight-at-hea-nottingham-seminar/
HEFCE London event: NHS Sustainable Development jab to higher education https://sunewsinfo.wordpress.com/2014/02/03/hefce-london-event-nhs-sustainable-development-jab-to-higher-education/
Three years of innovation in sustainability in higher education and ESD | The Sustainable University One-stop Shop https://sunewsinfo.wordpress.com/2014/04/02/three-years-of-innovation-in-sustainability-in-higher-education-and-esd-the-sustainable-university-one-stop-shop/
London South Bank University (LSBU) in Africa: Education for Sustainability (EfS) Residential 2013 https://sunewsinfo.wordpress.com/2013/12/13/london-south-bank-university-lsbu-in-africa-education-for-sustainability-efs-residential-2013/
QAA/HEA ESD Guidance Document for UK higher education goes under consultation https://sunewsinfo.wordpress.com/2013/11/07/qaahea-esd-guidance-document-for-uk-higher-education-goes-under-consultation/
UNEP publishes Greening Universities Toolkit https://sunewsinfo.wordpress.com/2013/08/07/unep-publishes-greening-universities-toolkit/
Times Higher Education Awards 2013: Greenwich wins Outstanding Contribution to Sustainable Development https://sunewsinfo.wordpress.com/2013/12/01/times-higher-education-awards-2013-greenwich-wins-outstanding-contribution-to-sustainable-development/
HEA-NUS Report 2013: Student attitudes towards and skills for sustainable development https://sunewsinfo.wordpress.com/2013/10/03/hea-nus-report-2013-student-attitudes-towards-and-skills-for-sustainable-development/
New TOOLKIT: Problem-Based Learning: A Case Study of Sustainability Education https://sunewsinfo.wordpress.com/2013/10/24/new-toolkit-problem-based-learning-a-case-study-of-sustainability-education/
Delivering ESD and graduate attributes through Hybrid Problem-Based Learning https://sunewsinfo.wordpress.com/2013/07/16/delivering-esd-and-graduate-attributes-through-hybrid-problem-based-learning/
Related posts on The Sustainable University Notes blog
Education’s role in addressing sustainability and ESD http://su-notes.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02/educations-role-in-addressing.html
Higher Education’s role in building a sustainable world http://su-notes.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/higher-educations-role-in-building.html
Pathways to a sustainable university http://su-notes.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/pathways-to-sustainable-university.html
EDUCATION pathway to a Sustainable University (Part 1): curriculum content and delivery http://su-notes.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/education-pathway-to-sustainable.html
Opportunities for integrating sustainability across curricula (Part 2 of EDUCATION pathway to a Sustainable University) http://su-notes.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/opportunities-for-integrating.html
University of Planetshire approach to integrating sustainability across the curriculum (Part 3 of EDUCATION pathway to a Sustainable University) http://su-notes.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/university-of-planetshire-approach-to.html
Outputs of the University of Planetshire Approach to integrating sustainability across the curriculum (Part 4 of EDUCATION pathway to a Sustainable University) http://su-notes.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11/outputs-of-university-of-planetshire.html
Will it work? – The University of Planetshire Approach to integrating sustainability across the curriculum (Part 5 of EDUCATION pathway to a Sustainable University) http://su-notes.blogspot.co.uk/2014/01/will-it-work-university-of-planetshire.html
Related posts on The Sustainable University Diary blog (ESD reflections)
The starting point of our sustainability crisis? http://esddiary.wordpress.com/2013/06/10/the-starting-point-of-our-sustainability-crisis/
Who depends on whom? A game of plates http://esddiary.wordpress.com/2013/07/08/who-depends-on-whom-a-game-of-plates/
The Sustainable University One-stop Shop www.sustainableuni.kk5.org
Its satellite websites:News & Info www.sunewsinfo.wordpress.com | Research www.suresearch1.wordpress.com | Good Practice www.sugoodpractice.wordpress.com | Quotes www.suquotesfacts.wordpress.com | Blog www.su-notes.blogspot.co.uk | Reflective Diary www.esddiary.wordpress.com | Twitter www.twitter.com/sustainableuni1
Project PROPOSAL for universities | Sustainability as an enhancer of reputation and financial position | The Planetshire University (PU) modelhttps://sunewsinfo.wordpress.com/proposal/
LinkedIn GROUP | Sustainability, Education and Engagement | ESD at Planetshire Universityhttp://www.linkedin.com/groups/Sustainability-Education-Engagement-ESD-Planetshire-8102240
LinkedIn POSTS | Posts on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) & Sustainability in Higher Education http://www.linkedin.com/today/author/101066234-Asitha-Jayawardena
Profile & Portfolio | Asitha Jayawardena | Strengths, Accomplishments & Recognitionhttp://issuu.com/aij3/docs/profile-asitha
Online Shelf | Examples of past work (PDFs, booklets, press articles, logos, etc)http://issuu.com/aij3