Monthly Archive for November, 2018

What’s already known about my possible enquiring approach?

Last year I undertook an online course with the British Council and Edinburgh University that began to develop my thinking around Learning for Sustainability. This year I am leading the school improvement plan focus on Learning for Sustainability. I have done quite a bit of reading around theory and policy in this area in Scotland and further afield and have seen multiple themes arising which have created ‘my itch’. One of the key themes that arises within the literature surrounding Learning for Sustainability is the need to shift from a knowledge based method of Learning for Sustainability to a skills based method. Moray House’s Learning for Sustainability: Issues for Education Election Briefing (2016) emphasises the need to focus on skills as well as knowledge, values and attitudes. It is thought that by equipping pupils with flexible and sustainable knowledge, skills and values, they will be prepared for work and life in a future that cannot be fully predicted. The British Council document, Unlocking a World of Potential: Core skills for learning, work and society, breaks down some of the core skills that can be achieved through Learning for Sustainability and explores why they are important and how they might be achieved. It was through considering the importance of skill development that I came to the decision of focusing on techniques to develop these skills. As part of the SIP focus that I’m leading, I’m introducing Loose Parts Play across the school. Simon Nicholson’s Theory of Loose Parts explains that our structured environments for learning reduce the potential for flexible skills to be developed. With this in mind, I have decided to look at how Loose Parts Play can help to develop sustainable skills for life, learning and work.

‘My itch and what I might do about it’

Initially, during Task 2C, I had shared this diagram to highlight my understanding of Learning for Sustainability.

I had initially thought that I might focus on Outdoor Learning and integrating this into the curriculum as opposed to seeing it as an add on. Whilst I still think this has purpose and will endevour to develop this within my practice, my thinking has now developed to a further point of focus for my enquiry.

I recently shared my learning by leading a CAT session for colleagues on Learning for Sustainability and in my preparation for this came across this TedTalks Video that summed up my way of thinking perfectly. Whilst considering the task at the beginning of this video I reflected on the purpose of education and this linked me to the four capacities in Curriculum for Excellence and how they support the overall purpose of education. The four capacities sit at the heart of CfE and equally LfS link with these and support education from the core to provide our learners with the skills they need for a sustainable future.

In order to achieve LfS at the heart of the curriculum there needs to be a shift in mindset from seeing Sustainability as simple switching the light out and recycling some scrap paper. It needs to be ‘lived’ and pupils need to develop sustainable skills for life that can apply to jobs and problems in the future which currently don’t exist. I aim to focus my enquiry on creating a sustainable mindset for pupils to enable them to live in a way to attempt to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 and beyond. This will link the Children’s Rights in the Sustainable Goals to their responsibilities in achieving them and look at how this develops their skills for life.

My Process for Enquiry




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