They do it differently; they do it better; …

Posted in: Comment, News and Updates

… and they’re doing it now.  Scotland’s Learning for Sustainability implementation group is up and running; its membership and terms of reference are here

Learning for Sustainability – the report of the One Planet Schools working group was published in December 2012 with the aim of embedding learning for sustainability in every school in a way that encompasses learning and teaching, professional development, leadership, ethos, buildings and grounds.  Learning for sustainability is viewed in this way:

A whole school approach that enables the school, and its wider community to build the values, attitudes, knowledge, skills and confidence to develop practices and take decisions which are compatible with a sustainable and equitable society

Whilst I could have a really enjoyable time pulling on all the loose conceptual threads [1] in this statement, such unravelling would risk belittling what has been already achieved in Scotland.  However, writing a (rather good) report, and getting (a radical) government to endorse it, were always going to be the easy bits.  Implementation is quite another matter, especially if ambitious goals in relation to learning are to be realised.

Implementation brings you fore-square against the conservatism of schools and teachers, the preoccupations of parents, and the interests of teacher professional associations.  Here, inertia is not just taught in physics, nor scepticism in philosophy.  All this takes you deep into questions of curriculum, responsibility and agency.  One issue to watch will be the development of the implementation group’s ideas around evaluation and strategic performance indicators, as these will reveal the group’s own ambitions and their sense of what is possible.


[1] For example, I wonder about the conceptual frame that holds sustainable and equitable together in a coherent and convincing fashion – a tension at the very heart of sustainable development, itself.

Posted in: Comment, News and Updates


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