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Learning for Sustainability: Connecting Classrooms ONLINE Course April 2018

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Facilitated Online Course

United Kingdom

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Learning for Sustainability: Connecting Classrooms through critical thinking and problem solving

A facilitated online professional learning course

"Education must fully assume its central role in helping people to forge more just, peaceful, tolerant and inclusive societies. It must give people the understanding, skills and values they need to co-operate in resolving the interconnected challenges of the 21st century". (UN Secretary General 2014)

Are you interested in Learning for Sustainability and implementing it in your school?

Do you need practical help and support?

Would you benefit from sharing your ideas with other professionals?

Are you interested in developing or extending a British Council Professional Partnership with a school overseas?

If you have answered ‘yes' to these questions, then this course is for you!

This professional learning initiative by the University of Edinburgh, in partnership with the British Council, is a timely opportunity for teachers to grapple with what Learning for Sustainability means, what existing and new skills and knowledge are required, and how this might all look in the your school context. The10-week active learning course takes a Learning for Sustainability approach, which involves critical thinking and problem solving, participation, and practitioner enquiry.

Course Elements:

Resources: Online materials, videos, and texts provide the content and stimulus for the course. Tutors will support your learning.

Activities: Interactive and practical activities are designed to help you understand what you learn and apply it to your own experience and practice.

Discussions: Participation is at the heart of this course. Throughout the course, you will have the opportunity to get involved in online group work, networking, discussion, and debate.

Take action: Create your own practitioner enquiry, relevant to your work, to be discussed with your tutors and peers. Before the course, you are asked to work with your mentor/co-learner to identify a practical outcome you would like to achieve as a focus for your work on the course. You will be required to share your progress as the weeks go by. At the end of the course, we ask for a brief report of the learning process you have followed.

Course participants will:

  • critically consider the nature of teaching and learning within the context of Learning for Sustainability, which includes Sustainable Development Education, Outdoor Learning, and Global Learning.

  • in the context of the British Council’s ‘core skills’, reflect critically on developing the skills and dispositions required of teachers and learners related to Learning for Sustainability.

  • apply in practice, and reflect upon the impact of, principles and practices of and approaches to Learning for Sustainability.

  • work together towards the development of a Learning for Sustainability professional network for practitioners to support teacher learning and practice in Learning for Sustainability.

Benefits of the course

Scotland is unique internationally in having a requirement for all teachers and education professionals to address Learning for Sustainability (LfS) in their practice. This fully funded professional learning has been developed by experts in online learning and is based on the most up-to-date methodologies. It will:

  • support you to create an enabling environment for pupils’ Learning for Sustainability, with a focus on critical thinking and problem solving and citizenship;

  • help you to meet the GTCS Professional Standards, contributing to Professional Review and Development and Professional Update and contributing to a whole school approach to learning for sustainability;

  • offer the opportunity to meet and share ideas with other like minded professionals across Scotland

  • offer flexibility for you to participate at a time that is convenient to you

  • give access to an international network of like-minded teachers

  • provide support for British Council Professional Partnerships with schools overseas.

Teachers who successfully complete the programme will be eligible to apply for British Council Professional Partnerships grants of £3000 towards overseas study visits to partner schools in other countries. Learning can be used to strengthen international links at your school, enriching teaching and learning through partnerships and joint projects.

This is a GTCS accredited programme and your engagement in the programme could, in time, lead to Professional Recognition from the GTCS. It has also been endorsed by The Scottish College for Educational Leadership (SCEL).

What is asked of you?

This 10-week programme involves 2-3 hours per week, during which time you will be expected to participate in online discussions and activities. We will ask you to make a clear commitment to participate throughout the programme. It is best to plan your time to take part several times a week. Discussions take place over a fortnight, not in ‘real time’, so you can join at times that are convenient for you.

You will be supported by skilled facilitators with a background in Learning for Sustainability and online learning and do not need any advanced technical expertise to take part.

Before starting, we recommend you find a learning partner who can offer you support and advice throughout the course. This could be an existing colleague who you meet with regularly to discuss your progress.

We will ask you to create an action plan, to try out some activities and ideas with your learners during the ten week period and to share your learning with others throughout the course and through a brief concluding assignment report.


Week 1-2: Introduction to Learning for Sustainability (LfS)

Week 3-4: LfS: Values & Questioning

Week 5-6: LfS: Considering perspectives and evaluating evidence

Week 7-8: LfS: Tackling non-routine problems

Week 9-10: Looking to the future.

Course Details

Dates: Friday 20 April 2018 - Sunday 29 June 2018

Cost: The professional learning is fully funded

Registration Please complete the registration here on Eventbrite. For further information contact Abi Cornwall, Development Officer, Learning for Sustainability Scotland.

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