Education for Sustainable Development: Towards the Sustainable University
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We planned this conference in anticipation of the end of the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (DESD), and the start of the next phase for those involved in ESD here and internationally. At Plymouth University, 2015 marks ten year anniversary since cross-‐institutional work on sustainability and sustainability education was spearheaded by the founding of the Centre for Sustainable Futures (CSF). Coincidentally, 2015 also marks a ten years since the influential HEFCE policy document ‘Sustainable Development in Higher Education’ was released. Holding the conference in January – named after the Roman god of doorways, of endings and beginnings – we sought to look at some of what has been achieved in sustainability education to date and explore its prospects as we move forward. Following an enthusiastic response to the call for abstracts, the conference featured a diverse range of research papers, posters, and roundtable presentations from academics and practitioners across the UK and beyond. The conference was arranged around three overarching themes: ESD Pedagogy: Criticality, Creativity, and Collaboration What are the teaching and learning processes that enable students to develop their own capacity to think critically and creatively in the face of global sustainability challenges and, secondly, to act collaboratively in ways that pursue more hopeful and sustainable futures? Innovative Learning Spaces for ESD What are the physical environments that provide opportunities for new forms of sustainability education to flourish? What lies beyond the lecture hall that is conducive to student learning through inquiry-‐based, active, participatory, interdisciplinary and experiential methods? Towards the Sustainable University What are effective approaches for leading institutional change, organisational learning, and staff CPD towards sustainability? This publication focuses on the last theme – Towards the Sustainable University. The previous PedRIO Occasional Paper 8 looks at the first theme ESD Pedagogy: Criticality, Creativity, and Collaboration.
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