Postgraduate Course: Introduction to Learning for Sustainability (EDUA11316)
|School||Moray House School of Education
||College||College of Humanities and Social Science
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
|Course type||Online Distance Learning
||Availability||Not available to visiting students
|Summary||In this online course participants will work with and interrogate the breadth and complexity of the policies and practices that are understood to be learning for sustainability and education for sustainable development.
Where the course 'Education for Environmental Citizenship' focused on the learner - the 'who' of learning for sustainability - this course considers the practice of LfS and its evaluation (the 'why', 'how', 'whether', and 'why not').
The course provides for the needs and contexts of a wide range of UK and international teachers, professionals and practitioners in education, such as teaching staff in higher and further education, trainers working in the public, private and third sectors, community development workers, NGO staff and others. The course is also a response to the General Teaching Council for Scotland's (GTCS) Revised Professional Standards for qualifying and registered teachers, which include explicit and implicit references to Learning for Sustainability.
The course is designed to encourage participants to relate its themes and activities to their own experiences, contexts or professional practices.
The main sections of the course cover:
1. Sustainability and sustainable development.
This section will take a case study approach to briefly review the concepts of sustainability and sustainable development. There will be a critical emphasis on local environmental and spatial justice with a view to interrogating the usefulness of popular sustainability concept.
2. Learning for Sustainability and its discontents.
This section will examine the history and genealogy of learning for sustainability and education for sustainable development. The intention is to reveal its diversity and complexity, as well as a range of critiques.
3. Institutions and Educators.
This section asks to what extent institutions of education (from schools to national education policies to global non-governmental organisations) can promote or hinder teachers or educators or facilitators of LfS, within dominant professional, economic, political and institutional cultures.
4. Learning AS Sustainability.
This section considers the purposes and possible practices of LfS in contexts of complexity, radical doubt, the 'risk society', controversy and irreducible uncertainty. It considers various models and practices sometimes referred to a 'learning as sustainability', 'the evolutionary model' or 'post-normal environmental/sustainability education'.
5. LfS for knowledges and literacies
This section considers theory and practice in relation to the knowledges and literacies that might result from LfS. It will include emphases on cross-disciplinarity, creativity, embodiment and affect.
6. LfS for participation
This section considers theory in practice in relation to the capabilities and competencies that might result from LfS. It will include emphases on action competence, political literacies and participation.
7. Research agendas in LfS
This section attempts to identify current research agendas in LfS and related areas, with a view to developing strategies for on-going reflexivity in educational contexts.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
||Other requirements|| None
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2014/15, Not available to visiting students (SS1)
|Course Start Date
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
||The assessment is designed to allow flexible application to a diverse range of student contexts. In order to pass this course, students will be expected to:
- provide the course tutor with a mid-course outline of the intended theme of their planned research (300 words).
- complete an assessed mid-course reflective assignment on teaching for, or facilitating, sustainability, to be produced as a video, podcast, document or other on-line media for sharing with peers (25%);
- provide an overview of the key personal learning outcomes from their weekly reflective journal (25%) and incorporate the emergent themes from this to complete a research paper detailing an research project undertaken in a practical context (50%). (3000 words)
|No Exam Information
| Upon completion of the course, students should be able to:
critically evaluate a range of curricula, educational practices and pedagogies, in schooling and higher education, in Scotland and internationally;
critically analyse core concepts underpinning sustainability, learning for sustainability, and their articulation in a range of education policy contexts;
manage the complexity of learner engagement with global challenges and sustainability, including relativism, radical doubt, uncertainty, risk and learner helplessness;
apply ideas from research at the forefront of the study of the relationships between learning and socio-environmental change;
discuss theories, practices and cases of organisational change in relation to developing learning for sustainability in educational contexts;
plan and execute a research investigation in a practical context.
Barratt, R. & Hacking, E. B. (2008) A clash of worlds: children talking about their community experience in relation to the school curriculum. In: Reid, A., Jensen, B. B., Nikel, J. & Simovska, V. (eds.) Participation And Learning: Perspectives On Education And The Environment, Health And Sustainability. Springer.
Clarke, P. (2012). Education For Sustainability: Becoming Naturally Smart. Oxford: Routledge.
Gayford, C. & WWF-UK (2010) Learning For Sustainability In Schools: Effective Pedagogy. Reading: WWF-UK.
Hargreaves, A., & Fink, D. (2012). Sustainable Leadership, London: Wiley
Higgins, P., Nicol, R. & Somervell, D. (2013). The student experience: campus, curriculum and transition at the University of Edinburgh. In S. Sterling, L. Maxey, L. & H. Luna, The sustainable university (pp. 192-210). London: Routledge.
Jickling, B. & Wals, A. E. J. 2008. Globalization and environmental education: looking beyond sustainable development. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 40, 1 - 21.
Martusewicz, Rebecca A., Jeff Edmundson, and John Lupinacci (2013) Teaching for EcoJustice. Taylor & Francis.
Martin, S., Dillon, J., Higgins, P., Peters C. & Scott, W. (2013). Divergent evolution in education for sustainable development policy in the United Kingdom: Current status, best practice, and opportunities for the future. Sustainability, 5(4), 1356-1763.
Myers, J. P. (2010) 'To benefit the world by whatever means possible': adolescents' constructed meanings for global citizenship. British Educational Research Journal, 36, 483-502.
Sterling, S. (2010). Learning for resilience, or the resilient learner? Towards a necessary reconciliation in a paradigm of sustainable education. Environmental Education Research, 16(5-6), 511-528.
Stevenson, R. B., & Robottom, I. (2013). Critical action research and environmental education: conceptual congruencies and imperatives in practice. IN Dillon, J., Brody, M., Stevenson, R. B., & Wals, A. E. (Eds.) International Handbook Of Research On Environmental Education. Routledge.
Wals, A. E. & Corcoran, P. B. (2012). Learning For Sustainability In Times Of Accelerating Change. Wageningen: Wageningen Academic Publishers.
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
|Keywords||environment, education, development, ecojustice, ecopedagogy, futures, citizenship
|Course organiser||Dr Beth Christie
Tel: (0131 6)51 6031
|Course secretary||Ms Denise Watson
Tel: (0131 6)51 6265
© Copyright 2014 The University of Edinburgh - 12 January 2015 3:52 am