Food for Thought: A University-Wide Approach to Stimulate Curricular and Extracurricular ESD Activity
Sustainability and Higher Education have been the focus of much recent academic and professional research as there has been a growing expectation that Higher Education institutions will produce ‘sustainability-literate graduates’ (Lacy et al. in A new era of sustainability. U.N. Global Compact-Accenture CEO Study, 2010; Sky in The sustainable generation: the sky future leaders study, 2011; Scott et al. in Turnaround leadership for sustainability in higher education, 2012) and a growing demand from students for future-proof skills (Drayson et al. in Student attitudes towards and skills for sustainable development. NUS/HEA, 2012). The process of embedding Education for Sustainable Development into curriculum is however challenging, and for some disciplines more than others. This paper examines how Nottingham Trent University has adopted a unique approach to centre the development of Education for Sustainable Development around the specific topic of food. The paper will share the model for engaging students and staff members across an institution with sustainability using a unifying theme which constitutes a critical global challenge of relevance to all disciplines. Details will be given of the process and challenges of the approach which has sought to facilitate personal, disciplinary and inter-disciplinary sustainability literacy. The approach has been largely successful in its aim of developing new processes and content to lead to the embedding of Education for Sustainable Development across the formal and informal curriculum as well as the institutional culture.
KeywordsEducation for sustainable development (ESD) Sustainability literacy Curriculum Online learning Virtual learning environment (VLE) Video Food
The authors would like to thank everyone who has contributed to the Sustainability in Practice Certificate in particular Professor Chris Pole, Grant Anderson, Laura Scott, Katie Wright, Charley Greening, James Lindsay, Seraphina Brown, Kelly Osborne, Amy Scoins, Kayleigh Smith, Trevor Welsh, Graham Thomas and the eLearning team from the NTU Centre for Academic Development and Quality and all the academics across the institution who researched and provided web links, supported the development of content and promoted the certificate to their students. We would also like to thank everyone involved in promoting and running the cooking classes in particular Beverley Lawe, Christine Walker, Fiona Dick and the Welcome Week reps.
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