In this course you will learn concrete strategies for how sustainability can be integrated in education, on programme level as well as in individual modules. You will learn about key competences for sustainability; how to design learning activities and assessment for sustainability education; how to make training elements around sustainability relevant for YOUR students; and also gain some inspirational tips on how sustainability has been introduced at various universities.
Expect to allowing at least 5 hours of your time, and up to 15 hours to make the most of this course.
1. About the course
The 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Agenda 2030 are crucial to address for our society. But how does education meet up to prepare students of today for the challenges they will meet in the world of tomorrow? Sustainability challenges are intrinsically complex and associated with conflicting values and perspectives. In this course, we address those challenges in the context of modern higher education, in order to assist teaching staff at universities to address suitability in their courses.
After this course, the participants will be able to…
- reflect on why and how a sustainability perspective should or could be integrated in their domain of teaching,
- identify strategies for integrating a sustainability perspective in their courses, and
- design and evaluate appropriate learning activities and assessment methods for sustainability.
- Motivate why sustainability is imperative to teach in higher education,
- Strategies for how sustainability can be integrated in education, on programme level as well as individual modules,
- Key competences for sustainability,
- Designing learning activities and assessment for sustainability education, and
- Inspirational tips on how sustainability has been introduced at other universities.
Preparations and prerequisite knowledge
A basic understanding of the concept of sustainable development is recommended. However, there is a non-mandatory training material included as a preparatory self-study unit, for participants to go through before the training if they feel the need of a brush-up.
2. Course layout
The course is structured around three parts (Part I-III), and each part consists of five sections (Sections 1.1-3.5). Each section contains a video lecture recorded by the course instructor (circa 10-20 minutes long); lecture notes; one or several reflection assignments; and a list of references/material that the participant may find useful to dig deeper into, depending on their specific challenges.
Part I: Foundation to teaching sustainability in higher education
- Teaching sustainability – why, how and what?
- The nature of sustainability and how that affects what we should teach
- Teaching for Agenda 2030 – the 17 Sustainable Development Goals in your teaching
- Common trap: choosing one or a few 'star goals' among the Sustainable Development Goals
- Be mindful of different views – there is not necessarily a 'right' or 'wrong' answer
Part II: Key competences for sustainability
- Key competences for sustainability
- Systems thinking competence
- Values thinking/normative competence
- Futures thinking & strategic competences
- Self-awareness and critical thinking
Part III: Practical considerations when teaching sustainability
- How to make learning sustainability relevant for the student
- Designing learning activities and assessment for sustainability education
- Using games to create an active learning experience
- Fulfilling the purpose – making sustainability an integral part of higher education
- Inspirational examples from sustainability education at various universities
Here is a sneak-peak into two of the course lectures:
Lecture 1.2 in Part I of the course: The nature of sustainability and how that affects what we should teach
Lecture 1.4 in Part I of the course: Common trap: choosing one or a few 'star goals' among the Sustainable Development Goals
The course is run on the Snowflake Education online platform, for which you will be given a account during the course.
3. About the course instructor
Jon-Erik Dahlin holds a PhD in fusion plasma physics and has devoted his professional life to Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). He has taken a leading role in the integration of sustainability across programmes as a university lecturer at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm (KTH), and is now working internationally with faculty training and in an advisory capacity.
Dr. Dahlin has been appointed a programme director for several education programmes including the development of several completely new engineering programmes. At KTH, he was co-responsible for developing and delivering the faculty training course Learning for Sustainable Development (LH215V) in 2013. In 2016, he founded Snowflake Education, with the objective to assist educators and leaders in education worldwide with integrating sustainable development into education.