Tag Archives: teaching for sustainability

Currently reading Högfeldt et al. (2023): “Leadership, support and organisation for academics’ participation in engineering education change for sustainable development”

Implementing education for sustainability throughout an institution is a huge challenge, so I am currently reading up on what we might be able to learn from other places. Högfeldt et al. (2023) report on how since 2011, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, has gradually implemented sustainable development in their programs and culture.

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Recommended reading: “Structure Matters: Twenty-One Teaching Strategies to Promote Student Engagement and Cultivate Classroom Equity” (Tanner, 2013)

Teaching for sustainability is about so much more than teaching the content and skills described in the SDGs, or even the cross-cutting sustainability competencies. Today, I talked with teachers who asked what they could do in their courses where the curriculum does not mention anything related to sustainability, and if they should even do anything. Do all courses always need to connect to sustainability? In my opinion, everything is connected to sustainability, and even if you don’t want to explicitly address it in every course and all the time, there are so many things you can do to use your teaching on any content and skills for sustainability.

One article that I find super helpful is “Structure matters: twenty-one teaching strategies to promote student engagement and cultivate classroom equity.” (Tanner, 2013). It is not about sustainability, but it is contributing to it anyway by giving super simple teaching tricks that help teachers to pay attention that all students are invited to participate and to personally connect to the topic. In a nutshell (but go read the original article, since it not only provides a checklist but also explains why each of the strategies is important and why they work): Continue reading

Currently reading Part III of the book “Sustainable Development Teaching – Ethical and Political Challenges”, edited by Van Poeck, Östman, Öhman (2019)

Following up on “PART I: Education and the challenge of building a more sustainable world” that I summarized here, and the first part and second part of the summary of “PART II: Choosing teaching content and approaches”, and my first part of a summary of

PART III — Designing and implementing teaching and learning practices

here comes my last bit of summary of this book!

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Currently reading Part II of the book “Sustainable Development Teaching – Ethical and Political Challenges”, edited by Van Poeck, Östman, Öhman (2019)

Following up on “PART I: Education and the challenge of building a more sustainable world” that I summarized here, and the first part of the summary of part II, here comes the second summary post on

PART II: Choosing teaching content and approaches

Currently reading Part I of the book “Sustainable Development Teaching – Ethical and Political Challenges”, edited by Van Poeck, Östman, Öhman (2019)

I am teaching the course “teaching sustainability” again in March, and while my course has a very applied focus on the questions teachers bring themselves into it, I have been looking around at how other places teach similar courses. I saw that the course in Stockholm assigns the book “Sustainable Development Teaching – Ethical and Political Challenges”, edited by Van Poeck, Östman, Öhman (2019). The book is supposedly focussed on teaching practice, translating educational research into something that is directly useful for teachers, and  I recognized one of the names from my favourite Head-Hands-Heart framework, so I decided I had to make time to read the book. Below my summary of their

PART I: Education and the challenge of building a more sustainable world
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Applying the Head-Hands-Heart framework to my “teaching sustainability” course

As we are getting ready to officially launch our new blog on “teaching about sustainability”, I am revisiting posts on this blog and rewriting them for the different outlet. And one of the first ones I wrote was about the “head-hands-heart” framework. I’m reposting what I wrote for the other blog below, but then I am adding a reflection on how I am actually applying this framework in planning my own course on “teaching sustainability”, starting this spring. Jump to NEW NEW NEW if you are only interested in that part! :-)

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Currently reading about how appealing to fear is effective in positively influencing behavior, and hardly ever backfires (Tannenbaum et al., 2015). Who would have thought?

Fear can lead to fight, flight, or freeze responses — or so we often hear. So far, I was under the impression that fear was generally not a good emotion to create in students since from what I had read, it hinders learning. But my colleague Léa recently sent me the meta-analysis by Tannenbaum et al. (2015), and it turns out that fear appeals can and do actually positively influence behavior under almost all conditions, and they hardly backfire! Who would have thought?

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Facilitating the Biodiversity Collage and reading more about serious games in teaching about sustainability

Last week I had the pleasure to work with “real” students (“real” in contrast to the teachers that I typically work with) and it gave me so much energy* to meet such wonderful young people (wow, I feel old). But it’s true! I facilitated the Biodiversity Collage and that gave me new motivation to read some more articles on how other people use serious games in teaching about sustainability.

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