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Sustainable Development in the Curriculum Pauline Ridley Centre for Learning & Teaching.

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Presentation on theme: "Sustainable Development in the Curriculum Pauline Ridley Centre for Learning & Teaching."— Presentation transcript:

1 Sustainable Development in the Curriculum Pauline Ridley Centre for Learning & Teaching

2 Barriers Kingston University enquiry (Dawe et al 2003) into Sustainability in the Curriculum: Two-thirds of staff identified barriers to inclusion of more sustainability-related teaching. Five main reasons (interviewees were allowed to choose more than one): –existing curriculum overload (16%) –perceived irrelevance of sustainability issues to focus of curriculum (16%) –benchmark requirements of accreditation bodies (12%) –lack of immediate staff expertise (11%) –anticipated irrelevance by students/ inability of students to grasp issues (10%).

3 3 domains + fourth (intergenerational) dimension: ‘Humanity has the ability to make development sustainable – to ensure that it meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.’ Our Common Future (The Brundtland Report) – Report of the 1987 World Commission on Environment and Development

4 "... the crucial lesson about how we have ended up with unsustainable development [is that] it is pursuing our economic, social and environmental goals separately that has resulted in repeated trade offs between goals. Sustainable development is about progressing them together. We are not in the habit of thinking about the economy, the sort of society we would like, or the sort of environment we would like to live in at the same time. In higher education institutions, each is taught as different subjects, in different departments." (emphasis added) (Forum for the Future: Learning and skills for sustainable development: developing a sustainability literate society)

5 Education for SD Not just about adding in some appropriate topics about one or other aspect of SD Addressing the economic/ social/ environmental domains ‘at the same time’ is tougher than engaging with single issue campaigns – need to think in complex, multi- dimensional, multi-disciplinary ways But challenging problems and complex thinking skills are what we want for our students Need for interdisciplinary projects based on real world (local) problems – starting with the UoB’s own environmental, social and economic impact.....


7 HEA Subject Centres 18 SCs took part in pilot review of SD in the curriculum, to identify relevant work, share ideas and plans (For links, see CLT website ) eg: Languages, Linguistics and Area Studies –Overview and case studies eg 'The Greening of Germany' students focus on the subject of 'rubbish' as a cultural, intercultural, linguistic and historical phenomenon. Economics: Key concepts in economics for SD Computing: hardware/:longevity /efficiency; SD problems in teaching programming, data structures; networks and distributed systems; professionalism and ethics; “Information Systems has many analogies to the systems approach to SD” English – impact of eco-criticism (study of the relationship between literature and the physical environment, philosophy, pastoral genre Law “The skills needed to deliver sustainable development are generic, but.. the law curriculum is particularly well suited to their development since they include critical thinking, strong communication skills, negotiation and consensus building, the ability to design a strategic vision, and conflict resolution. It is not the case therefore that ESD will add to an already demanding curriculum - it offers a different lens through which to view the application and practice of law and legal principles.”

8 ESCALATE (SC for Education) Brighton bid: to identify, share and encourage the uptake of successful models and strategies for embedding sustainable development in the HE curriculum “In introducing sustainability into the curriculum, it is essential that students engage critically and explore moral and ethical dilemmas, to ensure students develop learning strategies that involve problem-solving, deep learning, metacognition, embedding in other work (e.g. in the personal development planning process), and that students carry their learning beyond the university curriculum into work and life.”


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