“advancing curriculum and faculty development
for sustainability in higher education”
SCC Update – April 2016
Sustainability Curriculum Consortium
announces pilot online dialogue
For those who have been following our progress, you are aware that The Sustainability Curriculum Consortium™ represents an opportunity to catalyze the next phase of the sustainability movement in higher education: a cohesive, aligned, and integrated approach to sustainability scholarship, supported by curriculum and professional development across the disciplines.
For those who are new to the Sustainability Curriculum Consortium (SCC), we envision a robust consortium that
activates our collective capacity as educators and change agents, administrators and stakeholders;
serves as a generator of principles, practices, and shared resources;
improves the ways sustainability is perceived, taught, and modeled in our institutions and professional communities;
elevates the educational aspect of sustainability in higher education up to and beyond campus operations.
Please check out the SCC website to review our launch statement, including our mission and goals, and to learn about 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, such as SCC Master Classes and our Sustainable Societies Academy.
We are continuously adding content to the SCC website, including a new section on recommended resources. The resources listed on this page have been identified by SCC leaders and advisors as relevant to the challenges faced by sustainability educators. Listings include both recommended works and other items expressing controversial but noteworthy perspectives. Your additional suggestions for inclusion are welcomed.
Announcing our pilot online dialogue…
What do sustainability educators at the college and university level need to know about relevant UN initiatives?
SCC will facilitate an online dialogue through our Collaborase platform beginning in April. The 6-week online dialogue includes recommended readings, interactive posts and three scheduled webinars.
In this online dialogue, participants will explore the lessons learned from such UN initiatives as the UN Decade of Education for Sustainability and the UN SD Education Caucus. Participants will gain a better appreciation of the purpose and the outcomes of these UN activities, as well as insight into the themes and pedagogy at their core.
The goal will be to identify actionable information and resources developed through these UN initiatives that can inform advances in sustainability in higher education. In the final 10 days of the online dialogue, participants will co-create a synthesis document for their further reference and use, and for posting on the SCC website as a contribution to the sustainability education community of practice.
The online dialogue process will also include webinars with invited presentations from the leaders of and US participants in these activities.
The webinar schedule:
Wednesday, April 13, 1PM Eastern -- Session leader Kim Smith of Portland Community College will discuss her experiences at recent UN-sponsored education for sustainability events at the international level.
Tuesday, April 19, 1PM Eastern (tentative)-- Session leader Julia Heiss, ESD Team Leader at UNESCO, provides her perspectives on the outcomes of the UN Decade of ESD, and the current UNESCO Global Action Programme on ESD, endorsed by the UN General Assembly in 2014.
Thursday, April 28, 1PM Eastern (tentative) -- Session leader Melissa Goodall, Associate Director of the Yale Office of Sustainability, will discuss the role that higher education instructions can play in advancing more robust solutions to governing the global commons, including through UN initiatives.
To register as a participant in the online dialogue, which will allow you to co-author an online document with a group of experts and to participate in the scheduled webinars, please go to the SCC public page on Collaborase and enter your email in the box at the bottom of the page.
Our ongoing survey…
As we did at our launch event at AASHE 2015 in Minneapolis, we are always interested in hearing your response to two basic threshold questions we posed:
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 the sustainability in higher education space. 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.