Support for teaching sustainability
Embed sustainability in the taught curriculum with the help of a variety of development resources. No matter what your discipline or experience, we encourage you to join our community of practice which is co-organised with the UN centre of regional expertise in education for Sustainable Development.
QAA Youtube video: What is education for sustainable development? Four minutes, 16 seconds.
Community of Practice
Teaching Climate and Sustainability
This group aims to support all stakeholders to embed climate and sustainability in curriculum and pedagogy at the University of Edinburgh.
It is co-hosted by:
- The Department for Social Responsibility and Sustainability
- The UN regional centre of expertise in education for sustainable development
- Learning for Sustainability Scotland.
It aligns with the Curriculum Transformation Project Environmental Sustainability in the Curriculum subgroup.
We invite all staff and students with an interest in teaching climate and sustainability to join below:
Access resources and training opportunities.
Share experiences and celebrate good practice.
Overcome challenges using the critical friend approach.
Network at regular in-person and online forums.
Collaborate across disciplines
Join the Teaching Climate and Sustainability Teams channel
If this link doesn't work, try joining using the code a782wn5.
Sign up in person or online, Tuesday 18 April 2023 [University login required]
Resources for teaching sustainability
This guidance that was produced with input from across the UK higher education sector, including that of our own academic and chair of Learning for Sustainability Scotland Pete Higgins, provides direction for teaching practice to meaningfully support the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
To summarize educators should:
- Baseline existing provision
- Incorporate the SDGs across content.
- Use pedagogies to deliver content that develop UNESCO competencies for sustainable development.
- Monitor and evaluate progress including student voice.
Based at the University, Learning for Sustainability Scotland is one of the United Nations University Regional Centres of Expertise for Education for Sustainable Development.
They are a collection of networks that work across the education sector to deliver learning for sustainability to local and regional communities. They have been fundamental to Scotland’s world-leading commitment to addressing sustainability in educational policy.
Explore their resources and opportunities to get involved.
Sustainability is core to the Curriculum Transformation Project. It aims to:
- Generate an outstanding educational experience for students.
- Increase our impact in how teaching is administered and supported, and
- Create greater alignment with institutional strategic priorities such as that in strategy 2030 to ‘make the world a better place, to ensure that our actions and activities deliver positive change locally, regionally and globally.’
An Environmental Sustainability in Curriculum working sub-group was set up as part of the project which will produce recommendations around teaching sustainability. These will be shared in the Community of Practice above.
Curriculum Transformation Hub [SharePoint]
Confidence in knowledge is often a barrier to embedding sustainability in teaching practice.
Fortunately, there is training on offer for staff and students to improve confidence in communicating about sustainable issues:
- Carbon Literacy Training takes place over a day and provides an understanding of climate science and the impact of actions in terms of carbon emissions.
- Introduction to Sustainability is an hour-long online training that provides insight into what the University is doing as part of its commitment to sustainability.