A Student-Centreed Appraoch: Bouncing to a Different Sounding-Board Beat

This week, we have had the great pleasure of catching up with Linda Lundmark and Erika Sandow at the Geography department at Umeå University. We have been testing out the Sustainability Competence Mindset mapping tool with students on two of the master programs at the geography department, and we will continue throughout the second year. After their first year on the program the students have been reflecting over their experience with sustainability in the subject, commenting that the integration of the sustainability perspective has opened a new and deeper understanding of the studies they had been working with so far.

It has been understood that following the sustainability competence approach helps to connect what the students are learning to their subject and their own development as they progress through the program. A sense of learning progression is felt and engagement in activities has been inspiring. For the teachers, there is a need to help each other like a sounding board to bounce ideas off, and so we have been meeting up with lecturers to better understand how we can support their needs for activity idea creation.

In order to better provide an idea sounding-board for activities to be used to address different sustainability competencies, we plan to offer a series of Sustainability Competence Activity hackathons. Teachers are invited to meet to provide experience and new ideas for sustainability in higher education activities, which will continue over several occasions leading to larger events where others can learn from what we create. The hackathons will not only exhibit presentations of activities that teachers have tried, but a chance for specific challenges to be addressed through idea creation workshops.

We are also planning to develop an online teacher’s course that can be taken at any time, at your own pace, wherever you are situated. The course will help guide teachers through the process of Sustainability Competence Mindset mapping by using our tool. A simple step by step approach, with fun tasks and support will be presented on the website, where we also provide tips and tricks of teaching through the sustainability competence perspectives. You will be guided through a professional platform to develop your work and network with like-minded ESDers across all disciplines.

We will keep you updated about these projects, so subscribe to this blog if you want to find out how you could apply to the hackathon or the online course. We have updated the website, so check out all the new activities that teachers have been sharing and watch out for more to come. What would you like to see in an online course for support to learn more about the sustainability competences, how to apply them in curriculum and adapt in activities with students? What would like to do in a hackathon event in activities for teaching sustainability?

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