Postgraduate Course: Ecosystems for Educators (EDUA11318)
|School||Moray House School of Education
||College||College of Humanities and Social Science
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
||Availability||Not available to visiting students
|Summary||An understanding of ecosystems (in the widest sense) must be central to Learning for Sustainability. Despite humankind¿s dependence on the biodiversity and bio-geochemical systems of the earth, their importance is far from a central theme in education, society and political decision-making. This is particularly pertinent to the global and interdisciplinary nature of the Learning for Sustainability policy field.
The main aim of the course is to engage participants in thinking about learning for sustainability by interrogating the influence of cultural understandings of the planet, specifically ¿as a provider of services¿, on their education thinking and practices. The course will examine a range of ecosystems as providers of ¿services¿, and in doing so it will challenge the idea that our species as being separate from the ecosphere and its processes.
The course addresses three closely inter-related themes:
Firstly: An understanding of the geophysical and biological processes that have shaped, and continue to shape, our living planet, and the ways in which ecosystems provide the foundations human life ¿ fresh water, food and shelter as well as contributing to infrastructure, industry, economy, human health and well-being and poverty alleviation. The many ways in which human activity impacts on these processes will also be addressed.
Secondly: A critical examination of both philosophical and educational perspectives the concept of ¿ecosystem services¿ and the ways in which we understand, manage and assign ¿value¿ to ecosystems, biodiversity and their products and services, with a particular focus on how the ways in which we conceptualise and communicate about ecosystems may affect our success in creating the conditions for humans and the rest of the natural world to flourish.
Thirdly: An examination of the practical implications for education, learning and teaching, including but not limited to the place of experiential education.
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
|Additional Information (Learning and Teaching)
Delivered at the Field Studies Council Centre in Millport and Kindroggan - add costs £150 approx
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
||The assessment will consist of:
- a 150 word proposal for what follows
- a student-designed 'public communication' or learning activity relating to ecosystem services (e.g. an information leaflet, poster or interpretative panel for the public; an educational resource for schools; a lesson plan; a workshop plan; a briefing note for professional colleagues) (40%)
- a critical evaluation of the public communication (above) (60%) (3,000 words)
|No Exam Information
| Upon completion of the course, students should be able to:
Understand and communicate to a range of audiences the main physical and biochemical cycles responsible for the evolution and maintenance of the current earth system at a global scale, as well as the ecological principles that govern the evolution and maintenance of ecosystems at regional and local scales, and the place of humans within these.
Critically evaluate cases of human impact on the functioning of ecosystems at local, regional and global scales, such as human settlement, energy use, water use, food production, population growth and aggregate demand.
Demonstrate critical understanding of the concept of ecosystem services and the ways in which we ¿value¿ and ¿manage¿ ecosystems, including both the potential benefits and risks that may arise from adopting such approaches.
Deal with complex issues and make informed judgements based on evaluation of the quality, validity and relevance of evidence and arguments grounded in qualitative and quantitative data.
Use a variety of ¿modern experiential¿ and ¿traditional¿ field studies techniques during practical investigations of a range of natural and managed terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems.
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Begon, M., Townsend, C. & Harper, J. (2005). Ecology: from individuals to ecosystems. Wiley.
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Wilson, E. O. (1992). The diversity of life. London: Penguin.
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
|Keywords||environment, nature, ecological economics
|Course organiser||Prof Pete Higgins
Tel: (0131 6)50 9796
|Course secretary||Ms Denise Watson
Tel: (0131 6)51 6265
© Copyright 2014 The University of Edinburgh - 12 January 2015 3:52 am