“advancing curriculum and faculty development
for sustainability in higher education”
SCC Update – May 2016
It is not too late to join the ongoing SCC pilot dialogue!
SCC May Update:
In April, SCC convened its first online dialogue on what sustainability educators need to know about UN Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) initiatives. The pilot online dialogue continues through May. Registration is still open and FREE.
The first 3 webinar recordings and slide presentations are available for review.
Please register in order to participate in the online facilitated Q & A and to co-create the synthesis document.
Webinar #1: Kim Smith, Coordinator of the Greater Portland Sustainability Education Network (GPSEN) and Instructor at Portland Community College, discussed recent developments in UN education for sustainability (EfS) initiatives at the international level, specifically Agenda 2030’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Ahmedabad Plan of Action, and the Global Action Programme (GAP) on ESD.
Webinar #2: Julia Heiss, ESD Team Leader at UNESCO, provided her perspectives on the outcomes of the UN Decade of ESD, and the agenda for UNESCO Global Action Programme on ESD endorsed by the UN General Assembly (2014), as well as exemplary climate change education and ESD programs for educators.
Webinar #3: Melissa Goodall, Associate Director of the Yale Office of Sustainability, discussed the role that higher education institutions (HEIs) can play in advancing more robust solutions to governing the global commons. In addition to summarizing her research which evaluated ESD activities across six UN entities, she described "smart partnerships" and the key benefits and challenges to UN/HEI collaborations.
SCC’s pilot online dialogue continues...
Current topic: What do sustainability educators at the college and university level need to know about relevant UN initiatives?
Since SCC convened its first online dialogue process in April, participants have been exploring the goals and outcomes of UN activities such as the UN Decade of Education for Sustainability and the UNESCO-led Global Action Programme (GAP). The expert presenters invited by SCC have been identifying actionable information and resources developed through these UN initiatives as a way to inform and support sustainability educators.
The six-week online dialogue process will continue through May with several integrated components: recommended readings, interactive posts, three scheduled webinars, and the co-creation of a synthesis document through our Collaborase platform. The recordings of the webinars are available on YouTube (see links in the box above), and the slide presentations are available on our Collaborase public page at www.collaborase.com/scconlinedialogue.
As the process continues in May, registered participants will continue to engage in a facilitated Q&A-based conversation on Collaborase that builds on the content of the three webinars. Then, later in May, the Q&A discussion will feed into an SCC synthesis document, co-created by participants on the Collaborase platform, for their own professional reference and use. The SCC synthesis document (crediting all participants) will be made available through the SCC website as our contribution to the field of sustainability education.
Registration for Online Dialogue
Registration for the online dialogue continues on a rolling basis through May.
What is SCC's process for online dialogues? We are developing a multi-part process that can be applied to any relevant theme or topic of interest to sustainability educators. Our approach combines key readings, expert-led webinars, interactive Q&A sessions on Collaborase, and the co-creation of a synthesis document into an integrated process. SCC's innovative approach offers sustainability educators a quick and credible means to become conversant with emerging trends, frameworks, and hot topics and to keep pace with developments in sustainability. We are facilitating this exchange of knowledge to bridge the gap between the sustainability practitioner/ policymaker and educator communities, and thereby advance faculty and curriculum development for ESD.
The next SCC webinar serieson sustainability pedagogy (planned for a June 2016 launch) will focus on ESD pedagogy, with sessions led by SCC Advisory Council member Susan Santone and SCC Director of Learning & Practice Jess Gerrior. Topics will include:
Framing sustainability with a transdisciplinary lens relevant to all disciplines
Designing courses as unfolding narratives: stories built around sustainability problem-solving
Language and inclusion: building sustainability discussions that encourage ecological identity, agency, and voice
Sustainability at the heart of learning: why aligning sustainability with institutional and community values makes for better outcomes
SCC online dialogue: Reframing Sustainability for 2030
The next SCC online dialogue (also planned for a June 2016 launch) will be facilitated by SCC Founder & Managing Director Ira Feldman and will explore three components of the 2030 Development Agenda - arguably the most significant sustainability accomplishment of 2015 and fundamental to sustainability curriculum development:
the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs);
the Paris Agreement on climate change; and
the Sendai Agreement on disaster risk management.
In this dialogue, SCC will provide the opportunity to interact with world-class expert presenters and locate resources to support teaching faculty to incorporate these new frameworks into their course offerings.
Please check out the SCC website to review our launch statement from AASHE 2015 in Minneapolis, including our mission and goals. The website introduces our leadership team, our advisory council and our partners. The SCC website is the best place for further details on our upcoming activities and services, including our planned SCC Master Classes and our new Sustainable Societies Academy which will provide a college-level experience for high school students committed to pursuing a sustainability-related career.
Our ongoing survey…
In order to be responsive to the curriculum and faculty development needs of sustainability educators, we are always interested in your response to two threshold questions:
What is the biggest challenge you face as a sustainability educator?
What do you need to support your work as a sustainability educator in terms of faculty and curriculum development?
Please use the form on the CONTACT US page of the SCC website to submit your responses.
Our closing note…
We have included you in our distribution of this SCC Update because we have identified you as a leader in higher education for sustainability. Many of you have either attended one of our sessions or spoken with us about curriculum and faculty development issues at recent sustainability in higher education events.
We believe institutions and their academic leaders must address the professional development and curriculum development needs of a dynamic, diverse, and intellectually rich community that is being called to step up to serve the greater global good. Moreover, we sense that despite institutions’ best efforts to embrace sustainability, curriculum development and faculty professional development have lagged behind other initiatives such as carbon/climate impact reduction, environmentally responsible purchasing, and campus greening.
We hope that if these messages resonate, you will join us and our partners as we proceed with a range of focused and responsive activities to advance the curriculum and faculty development state of play. Your views on the greatest challenges facing sustainability educators will continue to inform our path forward.