RCE Scotland - 2019

College Learning for Sustainability Champions programme
Basic Information
Title of project : 
College Learning for Sustainability Champions programme
Submitting RCE: 
RCE Scotland
Contributing organization(s) : 
EAUC Scotland
College Lecturers from all 24 departments, Dundee and Angus College, Scotland
Focal point(s) and affiliation(s)
Betsy King
Organizational Affiliation: 
RCE Scotland (Learning for Sustainability Scotland)
Rebecca Petford
Organizational Affiliation: 
EAUC Scotland
Format of project: 
Professional development - blended face to face and distance learning
Language of project: 
Date of submission:
Friday, October 25, 2019
UN Sustainable Development Goals
At what level is the policy operating?: 
Scotland's National Performance Framework
At what level is the policy operating?: 
Scottish Funding Council Outcome Agreement Guidance for Colleges
At what level is the policy operating?: 
Scottish Government’s Vision 2030+ Action Plan June 2019
At what level is the policy operating?: 
2018 College Development Network Professional Standards for College lecturers
At what level is the policy operating?: 
Net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045
At what level is the policy operating?: 
Geographical & Education Information
United Kingdom
Address of focal point institution for project: 
Dundee and Angus College, Gardyne Campus Gardyne Road, Dundee, DD5 1NY Scotland

Dundee and Arbroath (covering staff working across 3 Dundee and Angus College Campuses)
Target Audience:
Socioeconomic and environmental characteristics of the area : 

Dundee is Scotland’s 4th largest city. A former manufacturing town with challenges around unemployment it has recently undergone a great deal of regeneration, although teenage pregnancy and child poverty remains a large issue for the city. In 2017 Dundee City Council had the highest rate of teenage pregnancy across Scotland at 51.8 per 1,000 (32.4 is the Scottish average), with one in four children under living in poverty in Dundee (1/5 is the Scottish average), with resulting effects on physical and mental health and attainment. Dundee and Angus College has a large part to play in supporting the population to raise their aspirations and develop the skills required for successful employment. Their mission is "To generate regional economic growth and social well-being through the provision of skills and education for individuals, employers and the wider community”.
Description of sustainable development challenge(s) in the area the project addresses: 
As a nation Scotland recognises that behaviour change towards sustainable development is a complex and major challenge and that education must play a key role in this process. Scotland has demonstrated a formal commitment to addressing this issue, particularly in the schools sector, but there is a recognition that further progress is required in further education, which will require training to support teaching staff to embed sustainability in the curriculum.

Momentum for education for sustainable development has been re-invigorated by a Scottish Government commitment to address the UN Sustainable Development Goals 2015-30 and contribute to tackling the global climate emergency.
January, 2019 to June, 2019
Aligned to the new requirement in the Professional Standards for College Lecturers to address sustainability in teaching and learning, the purpose of the College Learning for Sustainability Champions Programme is to
• Support College teaching staff in their understanding and application of sustainability values, skills (how) and knowledge (why)
• Build upon and strengthen approaches to Learning for Sustainability, bringing together staff from all College Teaching Departments as well as Estates to promote a whole institution approach
• Encourage and celebrate personal efforts of staff members towards the development of Learning for Sustainability across the institution
• Equip students with the values, skills, and knowledge to take action on sustainability in their learning, life and work
The overall learning outcomes for the programme are to enable participants (teaching staff, one from each Department) to:
• Understand the importance of sustainable behaviours on personal, institutional and global levels
• Reflect critically on developing the skills and values required of college lecturers and students related to Learning for Sustainability
• Critically consider appropriate teaching and learning approaches within the context of Learning for Sustainability
• Apply in classroom practice, and reflect upon the impact of approaches to Learning for Sustainability
• Identify their scope of influence in developing a whole college approach to Learning for Sustainability.
Activities and/or practices employed: 
A Learning for Sustainability ‘leader’ was identified in each of the 24 Departments in Dundee and Angus College. The ‘Champions’ committed to:
• Attend a 4 hour introductory face to face session delivered collaboratively by Learning for Sustainability Scotland (RCE Scotland) and EAUC-Scotland;
• Collaborate with other D&A Learning for Sustainability Champions online over a ten week period, facilitated by LfS Scotland and EAUC Scotland;
• Engage with online materials (approximately 1 hour per week) developed by Learning for Sustainability Scotland and EAUC Scotland
• Try out some activities and ideas with students during the ten week period and select one significant project or activity to deliver with students;
• Reflect on their experiences and share them during a second short face to face session delivered collaboratively by Learning for Sustainability Scotland (RCE Scotland) and EAUC-Scotland;
• Continue to embed sustainability ideas and teaching approaches into their own courses;
• Work with Department colleagues to encourage and support them to do the same.
Size of academic audience: 
24 Department ‘Champions’ (all with teaching responsibilities) working with colleagues to have an impact on all 500 college staff with a potential impact on all 14000 College students
Dundee and Angus College have developed a network of Learning for Sustainability Champions with the values, skills and knowledge necessary to embed sustainability within their own curricula, and support colleagues to do the same. Dundee and Angus has become the first College in Scotland recognised by EAUC Scotland and Learning for Sustainability Scotland to be working towards a whole-institution approach to sustainability in the curriculum.

The College Learning for Sustainability Champions are recognised in their Departments and the College as leaders in Learning for Sustainability, with the formal remit to support others to develop their own practice.

Connecting directly with courses, the practice of the Learning for Sustainability Champions has benefitted from new knowledge and skills and approaches which has influenced their own teaching.

Students have become more engaged with their classes as Learning for Sustainability ideas and approaches have been applied across all subject areas.
Key messages: 
The College Learning for Sustainability Champions professional learning programme addresses the need for sustainability to be embedded in all courses. The participating LfS Champion from every Department supports others, beyond the course, to enable all College students to gain skills and knowledge to help make the world a better place.
Relationship to other RCE activities: 
This activity relates to the work of RCE Scotland’s Further and Higher Education ESD Task groups
RCE Scotland is worked with the University of Edinburgh to develop a ‘Be Sustainable Advanced’ online programme for all University staff
Part-funded by Scottish Government


File Name Caption for picture Photo Credit
Image icon 20190315_100137.jpg (2.17 MB) Ststems thinking and Learning for Sustinability Betsy King
Image icon 20190315_112245.jpg (1.84 MB) Mapping learning activities against SDGs Betsy King
UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
(https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdgs) and other themes of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)
SDG 1 - End poverty in all its forms everywhere 
SDG 2 - End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture 
SDG 3 - Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages 
SDG 4 - Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all 
SDG 5 - Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls 
SDG 6 - Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all 
SDG 7 - Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all 
SDG 8 - Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all 
SDG 9 - Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation, and foster innovation 
SDG 10 - Reduce inequality within and among countries 
SDG 11 - Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable 
SDG 12 - Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns 
SDG 13 - Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts 
SDG 14 - Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development 
SDG 15 - Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification and halt and reverse land degradation, and halt biodiversity loss 
SDG 16 - Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels 
SDG 17 - Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise the global partnership for sustainable development 
Disaster Risk Reduction 
Curriculum Development 
Plants & Animals 
Global Action Programme (GAP) on Education for Sustainable Development – Priority Action Areas
Priority Action Area 2 - Transforming learning and training environments 
Priority Action Area 3 - Building capacities of educators and trainers