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Education for sustainable development and holistic curriculum change: A review and guide

14 June 2012

Education for sustainable development and holistic curriculum change: A reviewand guide.

"This Guide is aimed at educators and managers in HE institutions (HEIs) seeking to improve teaching and learning institution-wide in line with education for sustainable development (ESD). It is based on an international review and three UK case studies of work towards curriculum change in this area. This review complements the Higher Education Academy’s ‘Green Academy’ institutional change programme which ran in 2010-11 and involved eight institutions across the UK.

HE is ideally positioned to make a critical contribution to sustainable development through its core academic functions of research and teaching (HEFCE 2009). However, while sustainability research has accelerated in recent years, curriculum development to date has been limited in scope and impact, due to the complexities of sustainability when applied within the existing academic structures and processes of HE.
The field of education for sustainable development (ESD) has the strategic aim of reorienting entire educational systems, which in HE means the challenging goal of achieving large-scale shifts of curriculum priorities, policy and practice. This Guide was developed through an investigation into aspects of this strategic impulse to bring about institution-wide changes to teaching and learning."

Dr Alex Ryan Gloucester University for the HEA 2011