Textbooks, the Curriculum and Experiential approaches to Education for Sustainable Development and Global Citizenship (ESDGC)

1st November, 2018

In June this year my friend and colleague Dr. Ron Johnston and I held our second annual workshop for The Art of Sustainability (AoS) themed Achieving the SDG’s within the Curriculum which built on our first workshop in September 2017: Achieving the SDG’s. https://medium.com/@stevenengland/re-wildling-the-academics-d8cae05918a

Based in Wales we are keen for the workshop to be attractive, though not solely, to those involved in the changes underway in the Welsh curriculum in response to the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015.

The workshop addressed the close association between the role of textbooks, the curriculum and experiential approaches to Education for Sustainable Development and Global Citizenship (ESDGC)

This year we welcomed our first overseas attendee from Ireland and it was very informative to compare the approach to ESDGC in both countries.

Ron began the workshop by presenting his on-going work for UNESCO: Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development on embedding education for sustainable development (ESD) in subject-specific textbooks: Textbooks for sustainable development — a guide to embedding. (see below)

Ron was lead author for the science chapter and a member of the editorial board for this publication.

[Johnston, R.A.S., Aligaen,J., Hale,A., Kim,M., Rampal,A. (2017) Building bridges between science textbooks and sustainable futures. In: Textbooks for sustainable development-a guide to embedding: New Delhi: UNESCO]

The paper cited below summarises the further development of these approaches to ESD.

Johnston, R. (2018) Achieving SDG 4.7 by embedding sustainability issues into subject-specific texts — a guide for textbook authors, Research in Action, Special Issue 2018 pp.51–60 Liverpool Hope University : TeesNet (ISSN 2515–9364)

BACKGROUND TO THIS PAPER

Research undertaken under the auspices of UNESCO: Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development on embedding education for sustainable development (ESD) in subject-specific textbooks resulted in the publication, Textbooks for sustainable development — a guide to embedding. This paper identifies the challenges and opportunities that authors may encounter in this pursuit and summarises the guidelines and recommendations developed to support textbook authors and curriculum designers engaged in this important aspect of formal education.

These are now being put into practice in collaboration with Sikkim Centre for Educational Research and Training in Sikkim, India in the form of revising current syllabuses and textbooks embedding ESD and will be reported on in this year’s workshop.

Ron Presenting in Sikkim, India

I followed this by presenting my developing work in Experiential ESDGC which draws upon aspects of the Guide.

This session consisted of an overview on how building a ‘Well Being Matrix’ with a lesson plan can be cross referenced to the Guide’s Criteria for selecting ESD Topics.

UNESCO 2017: UNESCO, MGIEP (2017) Textbooks for sustainable development: a guide to embedding. New Delhi: UNESCO http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0025/002599/259932e.pdf Page 26 (accessed 01/11/2018)

I went on to demonstrate by holding a session where the attendees started a fire and cooked their lunch while undertaking activities covering Well Being within the four dimension of Sustainability in line with the Guide.

Later in September Ron and I again presented our work at the Teacher Education for Equity and Sustainability Network (TEESNet) conference at Liverpool Hope University

In this session I again covered the AoS workshop session but this time the theme was Bringing the Outdoors inside Education demonstrating that the same approach can be used in classrooms and offices through the use of the arts, in this case video, in order to elicit similar affective (feelings, attitudes) as being outdoors alongside my small scale research into qualitative measurement through use of the arts.

Steve presenting at Teenet

We are already planning our next AoS Workshop for 5th June 2019 and hope you are able to join us at this growing event.

Email: AoS@TheArtofSustainability.co.uk

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