Bill Scott's blog

Thoughts on learning, sustainability and the link between them

Will you be at the 2017 Student Sustainability Summit?

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Sadly, I cannot be at the Student Sustainability Summit on November 8th.  As such, I'll be missing inspiring talks on:

Connecting the dots – sustainability and liberation

Liberation and climate change are sometimes seen as completely separate issues. What has Black Lives Matter got to do with sustainable transport? What do lad culture and carbon emissions have in common?   Explore how sustainability and liberation go hand in hand, and discuss how to join up campaigns for maximum impact.

Refugees and climate change

Explore how the refugee crisis is linked with climate change, and hear about campaigns that help bridge social and environmental sustainability on campus and beyond.

Turning the curriculum green

Many universities & colleges have made progress in the last few years in greening their campuses and becoming more ethical though initiatives such as living wage, but are those values reflected in the education students are receiving?   Discuss why sustainability and social justice should be embedded through every course, and what support is available to help you create change at your institution.

Tackling coffee cups on campus

Discuss why the use of single use/non-recyclable coffee cups is an issue students should care about, find out what others are doing to tackle the issue and contribute to NUS’s upcoming coffee cup campaign.

and more ... .

And, as NUS notes, not to forget the keynote by ...

"inspirational University of Cambridge student, Esha Marwaha. Whilst still in secondary school, Esha ran a successful campaign against The Department of Education, who were threatening to remove climate change from the curriculum for under 14s. Through gathering support from over 31,000 people, victory was won and the government dropped their plans!"

Whilst I've no doubt that Ms Marwaha is as inspirational as NUS says, maybe even more so if that were possible, the notion that she was responsible for the DfE changing its plans is whimsical, mainly because there were no plans "to remove climate change from the curriculum for under 14s", as NUS puts it here.  The plan was to shift (at Key Stage 3) the curriculum location of climate change from geography to science, not to eliminate it altogether.  No doubt NUS knows all this, and that there were a great number of people and organisations (and not just the lone Marwaha as is implied, above) that successfully resisted this shift.  Never mind the facts, it's a great story ...

As for me, I still think it's a pity that science teachers and geography teachers don't collaborate more to help students get a rounded, nuanced and in-depth understanding of these complex issues.

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