Applying Education for Sustainable Development at the College
Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) empowers people to change the ways in which they engage with and work towards a more sustainable future. It works to build on the defined meaning of sustainable development shown below:
“Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”
Our Common Future: Report of the World Commission on Environment and Development, 1987
The diagram below shows the range of opportunities Education for Sustainable Development can create, and the potential impact that can be achieved through its delivery, for example, creating new teaching and learning opportunities, and enhancing the skills and knowledge on subjects relating to all aspects of sustainability (social, economic, and environmental).
Teaching and Learning Approaches
Teaching and learning opportunities can take the form of Informal and Formal approaches. A list of options for the two approaches is shown below:
- Project based learning
- Organised responses to (inter)national campaigns (e.g. Climate Week, Plastic Free July)
- Collaboration between different classrooms and departments
- Debates on issues surrounding sustainability
- Project based that encourages critical thinking, ethical practices and consumption, and self-reflection
- Co-learning activities that encourages learners to discover what influences behaviour and attitudes towards sustainability; how to enable change in values and attitudes; practical elements that require independent learning; and finally self-reflection.
- Learning through external partnerships e.g. working with the John Muir Trust, The Orchard Project
- Assessing practices within your own department, for example:
Estates – opportunities to adopt circular economy (reuse/ recycle/ reduce)
Science – energy and chemicals being used; sustainability of experimental procedures; disposal of items.
Resource: Education for Sustainable Development
A number of resources are available to learn more about the teaching and learning opportunities provided by Education for Sustainable Development. A small selection of these are provided below, but further information can be accessed through the NUS and UNESCO sites at https://sustainability.nus.org.uk/responsible-futures and https://en.unesco.org/themes/education-sustainable-development respectively.