Small Steps-Big Changes- the Learning for Sustainability dimension of Community learning and Development

The Small Steps-Big Changes? Seminar on 27 February 2014, organised jointly by Education Scotland and Learning for Sustainability Scotland attracted over 60 participants from across Scotland interested in how those working in Community Learning and Development and those with sustainable development experience and expertise could work more closely together.

The seminar heard about learning for sustainability through Scottish Government policies, Education Scotland initiatives and local projects.

Aileen Campbell MSP, Minister for Children and Young People set out the policy context for this work. Ms Campbell highlighted the opportunities offered by the Children and Young People’s Bill, the National Youthwork Strategy, the CLD (Scotland) Regulations, the Community Empowerment Bill and the recent Adult Learning Statement of Ambition. She said that ‘Learning for Sustainability is a Scottish Government and international priority for every type of learning’.

Professor Pete Higgins, Professor of Outdoor and Environmental Education at the University of Edinburgh and Director of Learning for Sustainability Scotland said, ‘Through learning together we’ll ensure that people and communities in Scotland have opportunities to understand more about the sustainable development issues that concern them, and to use their learning to help them shape their future as members of a nation that takes these responsibilities and opportunities seriously’.

Learning for sustainability is not just about One Planet schools but also involves the wider community. The links with Curriculum for Excellence and communities were ably illustrated as were empowerment approaches in partnership with Malawi and through community development in Scotland.

The showcase sessions provided eight examples of learning for sustainability in action and stimulated lots of discussion. The presentations and filmed clips of the seminar will be made available through i-develop.