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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Moray House School of Education : Education

Postgraduate Course: Introduction to Learning for Sustainability (EDUA11316)

Course Outline
SchoolMoray House School of Education CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
Course typeOnline Distance Learning AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryIn 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.

Course description 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)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2018/19, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 1
Course Start Date 17/09/2018
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 196 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 75 %, Practical Exam 25 %
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:

- 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 (500 words or 2.5 mins) (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 case study investigation in a practical context. This investigation can be carried out or it can be hypothetical. (50%). (3000 words)
Feedback There is an opportunity for mid-course feedback.

Students are invited to provide the course tutor with a mid-course outline of the intended theme of their case study investigation (300 words). The feedback can be used to inform their final assessment.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Critically evaluate a range of curricula, educational practices and pedagogies, in schooling and higher education, in Scotland and internationally.
  2. Critically analyse core concepts underpinning sustainability, learning for sustainability, and their articulation in a range of education policy contexts;
  3. Manage the complexity of learner engagement with global challenges and sustainability, including relativism, radical doubt, uncertainty, risk and learner helplessness;
  4. Apply ideas from research at the forefront of the study of the relationships between learning and socio-environmental change;
  5. Discuss theories, practices and cases of organisational change in relation to developing learning for sustainability in educational contexts;
Reading List
There is not a set core text but we do encourage students to engage with this book either before the course begins or during the early stages:

Murray, P. (2011). The sustainable Self. London: Earthscan.

Indicative Reading:
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, R, Edmundson, J , & Lupinacci , J. (2013) Teaching for EcoJustice. London: 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.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Additional Class Delivery Information Online distance learning.
Course organiserDr Beth Christie
Tel: (0131 6)51 6031
Course secretaryMrs Susan Scott
Tel: (0131 6)51 6573
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