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New practical guide to support active learning in Education for Sustainable Development by Dr Alastair Smith

Advance HE and QAA have launched a series of practice guides designed to support institutions to enable Education for Sustainable Development. Dr Alastair Smith, Senior Teaching Fellow in the GSD Department and Education for Sustainable Development Officer for the School for Cross-faculty Studies, is the author of one of the 18 practice-based guides.

The practice guides are informed by current practice and have been provided by colleagues from across the sector to support and inspire others. The guides cover a range of activities in terms of scale, scope and audience from single staff development workshops through to longer-term community engagement projects.

Education for Sustainable Development within the core curriculum and beyond: A living lab approach

Alastair's practice guide explores the GSD Department's commitment to creating learning opportunities for students that offer real-life challenges that develop competencies, skills and preparing students for challenges beyond their studies.

"The guide showcases our philosophy of treating learners with respect, beginning with thinking about what active contribution that they can make to the creation of collective knowledge, while at the same time learning themselves; rather than being primarily concerned with what knowledge can do for them, as the more traditional individualistic approach to education goes. This chimes with wider research-led teaching on the value of collective organisation, coordination and action, necessary for transformational change in our world.

The Certificate of Sustainability Consultancy (Auditing) and the MASc Practice-Based Project are used as examples to highlight how we have used this philosophy as part of a living laboratory pedagogy."

Dr Alastair Smith