Education for Sustainability

Education for Sustainability

Action Group

Overview: An action group formed to share ideas, information and opportunities related to education for sustainability and its support at the educational developer, instructor, curriculum, institutional and national levels.

Team Members:  Alice Cassidy (lead), Alice Macpherson, Vivian Neal, Sandra Neill, Gavan Watson and Renée Gendron.

Timelines: Formed 2013. Closed 2016. 

Join us: 

The listserv associated with this action group now has almost 50 members. We encourage you to share the word about the group and the list. We continue to consider ways to increase numbers and seek your help to spread the word

Anyone is welcome to join the listserv  (https://listserv.uoguelph.ca/cgi-bin/wa?SUBED1=EDUCATIONSUSTAINABILITYACTIONGRP&A=1 ). 

You may also wish for us to add your name to the team list noted above. To do so, please email Alice Cassidy. We started this group to help bring together people interested in sustainability education and leadership at the post-secondary level. We see all three ‘pillars’ of sustainability being equally important:   economic, environmental and social; maybe there are even more?

We welcome everyone and anyone. The goals of the listserv are:

            Share:  examples of your work and resources

            Help:  by providing guidance to each other

            Network:  to meet like-minded colleagues for possible project, conference, paper or other collaborations

We feel that sustainability education and leadership are central to the work of all educational developers as sustainability pedagogy is important to any discipline or level. For example, experiential learning, flexible learning, learning innovation, linking class activities and assignments to learning outcomes (a large-scale initiative at some of our institutions), as well as complex, real-world, hands-on learning, and other aspects of good pedagogy.

Recent activity on the listserv has included:

  1. An example from Simon Fraser University, where student teams tackle complex environmental problems in an interdisciplinary course (http://www.sfu.ca/tlc/blog/multidisciplinary-student-teams.html),
  2. Reflections on work in Kenya (see https://vneal.wordpress.com/), an international perspective on sustainable development, supported by Academics Without Borders (http://www.awb-usf.org/,)
  3. An update on a large-scale audit at George Brown College to quantify all teaching and learning relating to environmental, social and economic sustainability, including an overview of results and a link to the framework used to do the audit (http://hdl.handle.net/10299/318),
  4. A discussion of economic and social outcomes of, and possible solutions to industry closing up shop in many parts of Canada, especially Ontario.
  5. Presentations at conferences (Council of Ontario Universities 2014 Learning Outcomes Symposium in October in Toronto, and the Curriculum Developers’ Affinity Group (CDAG) Annual Conference in November in Ottawa),
  6. Discussion of possible connections to Global Universities Partnership on Environment and Sustainability (GUPES) http://www.unep.org/training/programmes/gupes.asp 

What might you add to the mix when you join the group and post to the listserv?

We also maintain links with some other groups, helping spread the word about the action group and its work, such as to the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) mainly in the US and the HEA-ESD-News listserve in the UK

Other recent or upcoming work of the Action Group members includes:

  • A special sustainability-themed issue of the peer-reviewed online journal Transformative Dialogues is up and running. Check out the articles, including two, plus editorial, written by action group members Sandra Neill and Alice Cassidy. Read all the articles at http://www.kpu.ca/td/current-issue

    A project funded by an EDC small grant to action group members Vivian Neal, Alice Cassidy and Sandra Neill has reached a new milestone, with ethics approval granted to all three institutions. Best Practice Cases of Education for Sustainability in Educational Development is an interview project with connections to Sustainability Centres on our campuses. We three have sent emails to several listserves explaining the project and asking for expressions of interest to be interviewed. Results to date are encouraging.. 

Resources from the EDC Community

Cassidy, Alice, Yona Sipos and Braydon Walker © 2013 Resource Repository for Sustainability Education and Leadership, Educational Developers Caucus, Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education

Email the Vice Chair Communications to post your resources here.