A common refrain over the weekend of the clocks going back is that we can have “an extra hour in our bed.” As we prepare for the transition from autumn to winter, pictures emerging from Associated Press’ twitter feed show drone photography of a continuing stream of refugees heading through the Balkan countryside. For them, just one hour in their own bed in the face of dropping temperatures and increasingly complex arrangements for finding sanctuary, is a forlorn hope.
Meanwhile, the UNHCRC are warning of an increasing polarisation in the views of Europeans in their response to the refugee crisis. The head of the EU, Jean-Claude Juncker, has spoken out on the distinct possibility of refugees “freezing to death”.
Many educators will already have found ways of engaging pupils with the refugee crisis (See previous post on IDEAS network resources). For others, however there may not yet have been the time or opportunity.
This Thursday, SCOTDEC is offering a practical session aiming to provide ideas, methodologies and resources for teachers to explore the refugee crisis . This session will be co-delivered with the British Red Cross. You can sign up here.
Christian Aid have also produced an assembly resource with speaker notes and accompanying PowerPoint that may provide a helpful way in to discussing the issue as a whole class/ school. You can access the resources here.
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Research and reflection
Research from the National Union of Students (NUS) shows that 80% of students want their institutions to be doing more on sustainability, while 60% want to learn more about it. The research is accompanied by a parallel study on employer attitudes towards sustainable development.
A number of schools have started learning about the newly agreed Global Goals for Sustainable Development. Scotland was one of the first nations in the world to sign up to the Global Goals, building on the Scottish Government’s existing commitment to the learning for sustainability agenda.
One of the key commitments on education in Global goal 4.7 is that our children and young people are fully involved in building a more sustainable and equitable future. It states that by 2030 we must “ensure all learners acquire knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development, including among others through education for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship, and appreciation of cultural diversity and of culture’s contribution to sustainable development.”
One school in West Dunbartonshire has stolen a march on the 2030 deadline and is already out tackling Global Goal #2 – No Hunger. You can read more about St Eunan’s Primary 7’s learning on food justice and food inequality in their class blog.
Well done to all involved and good luck with your ongoing activities at West Dunbartonshire Community Food Share. If any other classes are blogging about the Global Goals or any other LfS activities, please email Anthony.Hutcheson@educationscotland.gsi.gov.uk or let us know on Twitter @EdScotLfS .
Click here for a short animation, created by Sir Ken Robinson, on the 17 Global Goals for Sustainable Development.
Additional places available for practitioners and leaders with a passion for LfS
Are you passionate about learning for sustainability (LfS)? Do you have experience of leading on one or more aspects of LfS in your educational setting? Are you willing to share what has worked for you and be inspired by other committed practitioners across Scotland?
Additional places have become available on the LfS national practitioner network. Offers of places have already been made through the LfS local authority network. However, if you have not registered an interest through your local authority and would like to be considered for one of the additional places, please email Anthony.Hutcheson@educationscotland.gsi.gov.uk .
The network will be convened by Education Scotland in partnership with the Forestry Commission Scotland. The first meeting took place on Friday 30th October 2015. The second meeting will take place on Friday 11th December 2015. The third meeting has been arranged for Thursday 4th February 2016. Venues tbc.
The purpose of the network is to create time and space for a cross-authority group to:
- share practice and successes
- work in a coordinated way to identify gaps in the system and co-create new resources and approaches
- disseminate these resources immediately to all practitioners through Glow
- work in partnership with national LfS providers to build capacity in the system
- share successes and impact through a range of digital platforms.
To contribute effectively to the national network we are looking for individuals with skills and expertise across the following areas:
- passionate about learning for sustainability
- excellent knowledge of CfE and a range of LfS themes and approaches. These may include some or all of the following areas: global citizenship, sustainable development education, international education, outdoor learning and children’s rights
- experience of leading and/or contributing to effective change, development and improvement in LfS at school/local and/or national level
- proven track record of planning and delivering high quality learning experiences
- ability to take a flexible, creative and collaborative approach to working with a range of other practitioners and partners
- excellent written communication and IT skills to explain the values of sustainability to a range of audiences, while consistently reflecting upon and modelling those same values
- awareness of emerging research and policy developments and how they relate to LfS
- ability to disseminate resources, approaches and understanding to peers across their authority.
Did you know the Global Learning Programme Scotland (GLPS) has a dedicated events page? This online hub provides information and booking details for all upcoming professional learning programmes offered by the six regional Development Education Centres (DECs).
Forthcoming events include Learning for sustainability: developing global citizens 1st to 3rd level (WOSDEC, East Ayrshire) , Rights and Global Citizenship: a cross curriculum approach (SCOTDEC,West Lothian) and One Day Conference on National Qualifications and Learning for Sustainability (Conforti Institute, Coatbridge).
The IDEAS network has also provided information in response to the refugee crisis. Information on events, resources and support for teachers is available here.