8 May 2018

SPOTLIGHT ON.... Student Engagement with learning for sustainability at Dumfries and Galloway College

This ‘Spotlight On’ features work that is underway at Dumfries and Galloway College to address student engagement with learning for sustainability, both within the curriculum, and across the wider college campus. The project was originally presented at the November 2017 meeting of sparqs’ Academic Representation Co-ordinators’ network to significant interest from both college and university colleagues.

The drive to progress leaning for sustainability in Scottish Further Education first came to the fore in 2004 with the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development. Because of the ‘Decade’, the Scottish Government advised ‘by 2014 people in Scotland will have developed the knowledge, understanding, skills and values to live more sustainable lives’. One of the key tools to achieve this is through education.

There has now been further emphasis placed upon Scottish college education to progress learning for sustainability by the SFC College Regional Outcome Agreements 2018-19 to 2020-21, which includes requirements for leadership in environmental and social responsibility, including ‘ensuring students develop the understanding of environmental and social sustainability required for the workplaces of tomorrow’.

To try to meet these requirements, Dumfries and Galloway College have developed a range of workbook materials that can be used by students and staff to embed learning for sustainability into their learning and teaching. The materials also try to incorporate core skills teaching, wherever possible, so that sustainability and core skills are taught together, to try to eliminate adding to what could already be considered an overcrowded curriculum.

There are a number of activities within the workbooks, and students are encouraged to take classroom projects and make them visible across the college campus, to further spread the sustainability message. By utilising these tools, it is hoped that sustainability can become embedded not only within Estates management in colleges, but also across the campus and curriculum, and positively impact upon the wider community.

Further information and the workbook materials are available on the Environmental Association for Universities and Colleges website or by contacting Dr Elaine Crawford, Student Engagement and Climate Change Officer at Dumfries and Galloway College at crawforde@dumgal.ac.uk

The materials are also featured in the sparqs Resource Library.

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