What should schools do as sustainability activities and why?

I just came across this great study by a teacher in British Columbia, Canada.

“The climate mitigation gap: education and government recommendations miss the most effective individual actions”

Seth Wynes1,2,3 and Kimberly A Nicholas1

Published 12 July 2017 • © 2017 IOP Publishing Ltd 
Environmental Research LettersVolume 12,Number 7

https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/aa7541/meta

Take a look at the video and graphics!

It analyses climate change actions and the ‘easy’ school based approaches that are typically taken. It begs the question ‘What should schools do as sustainability activities and why?’

Are we trying to have an impact?

Are we trying to teach about taking action( any action)?

Or are we saying anything little helps?

All are valid so long as you know what you have chosen and why BUT make sure students understand the other options.

But what is even more important is that students understand the systems within which these decisions and actions can be made. How often do we link a recycling project to nature and Biodiversity, social justice and economic systems?

That is why SEEd and the Sustainable Schools Alliance are revising the Sustainable Schools framework.

We have started with a new doorway with the help of RSPB and Doug Hulyer. The goal is to frame each doorway by the functional systems that control it as well as ( in this case) economic and social systems.

Our goal is to give teachers a really good grounding and conceptual framework so that whatever you choose as an activity you understand it’s context and can broaden your students understanding. You will then, as a teacher, be able to describe the competencies you are building with your students.

Beats going back and doing a sustainability degree! If you, your school or a school you know would like to be part of trialling this – let us know.

Meanwhile stay tuned for the launch at the National Sustainable Schools Conference end of October