Tag Archives: sustainability

COP26 and Education: Change in the Making⤴

from @ @robin_macp

In a few days’ time, Scotland will play host to COP26. The eyes of the world will be on Glasgow, and the conference has been discussed in terms of being a last chance opportunity to create the change needed for human life on this planet to be sustainable. What is meant by sustainable development needs to be defined clearly, and the best definition I’ve come across goes back to the UNWCED in 1987. It stated that sustainable development was:

“development that meets the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” 

United Nations World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED)
OECD iLibrary

This has the beauty of simplicity, and also broadens the definition beyond purely environmental issues. It is also about the economy, political structures, education, culture and society. Whilst I am no expert on climate science, I am comfortable to talk about the role that education has to play in creating a sustainable future. In fact, I would argue that the single most important intervention we can make in the battle for a sustainable future is actually in education. Here’s why.

The Problem of ‘Peak Human’

Peak human is the moment when population growth plateaus. Population growth globally actually hit a high point in the 1960s and has been slowing ever since, but we have yet to reach peak human. There are two key issues here:

  1. The date at which we reach peak human – for this to be sooner is more desirable.
  2. The level at which we reach peak human – we want this to be lower. 

Projections on the date and level vary, as shown by this graph from the UN Population Division. 

The high variant shows the global population at over 15 billion people in 2100 and still climbing. The low variant shows peak human coming around the mid-point of the 21st century at around 9 billion and then a gradual decline following. Needless to say, the former projection will exhaust all resources no matter what we do, whereas the latter makes it much more likely that we can find solutions to the problems we currently face. The most recent projection published in the Lancet suggests that the peak will come in 2064 at 9.7bn which is more optimistic than we might previously have thought.

What will make the difference? Educating girls around the world. Where girls have access to secondary (and ideally tertiary) education they are less likely to be forced to marry early and have multiple pregnancies throughout their life. This leads to a natural reduction in population growth and makes the challenge of feeding, housing, and providing energy for the world much more feasible. In this respect, education – and SDG 4 – are of critical importance.

The New York Times Climate Hub – Educate on Climate Programme

I’ve been working with the New York Times, Summerhouse Media and Kite Insight on the Educate on Climate programme at COP26. The NYT has created a Climate Hub which is a brilliant venue (Es Devlin’s ‘Conference of the Trees, the featured image of this post, has to be seen to be believed). We’ve spent the past few months thinking about which issues to tackle. The NYT are looking at various strands so education is just a part of this, but on November 5th we have a programme which tries to explore as many core education issues as possible. Online tickets are still available and are free, with content being recorded and available to view later on. 

So what are looking at? Here are the debates that we’ve got lined up:

  • Forming Partnerships With Schools in the Global South
  • Creating a Research-Informed Manifesto for Environmental Sustainability in Education
  • How Schools Can Prepare Their Students for a Changing Climate
  • The U.N.’s Decade of Education for Sustainable Development: Is It Working?
  • From Climate Change to Change-Making: Firing Up Youth Activism
  • Future-Proofing Pupils: Preparing Students for Work in a Changing World
  • Teaching Critical Thinking in an Age of Misinformation
  • Reboot the Future: How Do We Move Faster, Together?
  • Climate Tech Will Be Bigger Than the Internet Revolution
  • Explore: Urban Nature Teacher CPD

The steer given to all speakers is that the audience should have practical takeaways from their session. The dynamic we are looking to create is a platform where students and educators can really put policy makers and those in power on the ropes. 

It’s impossible to be comprehensive when exploring the ways in which education can be the solution, and we were left with so many good ideas that we couldn’t fit into the time we had. We’ll think of how we can use these ideas to carry on the conversation long after the UN has packed up and left Glasgow.

What Do We Want to Achieve at COP26?

In the many meetings and discussions I’ve been involved in over the past year, it’s clear that we’re way past the point of raising awareness. What we need to do now is tackle two key things: attitude and behaviour. 

Many young people are left struggling with what to know and think about the crisis we are facing. ‘Climate anxiety’ is a term that has come into public discourse, and I think it’s unhelpful. A recent study led by Bath University found that 56% of young people believe that “humanity is doomed”. The narrative that underpins this makes it less likely that our students will feel motivated to tackle a problem if they are led to believe that it is futile. Self-fulling prophecies are not what we need or want.

Instead, what we need to do is persuade students that a) the problems we face do have solutions and b) that they have agency to make a positive contribution. It is not too late, it is not insurmountable, and it is something that every one of us can influence. That should then lead to a change in behaviour. It is not only about the behaviour of all school age pupils, but the positive impact that their action can have on older generations. Making everyday decisions, even at a very basic level, will affect change. 

I’ve written about this before, but Generation Z clearly cares about this issue more than any other. The Greta Effect has led many students to believe it is better to miss school and campaign for change than stay in a class and learn more about the issues. That is either a damning indictment of education on sustainable development (ESD), or evidence that it has energised young people and created a global call to action. The jury is still out on that, but we’ll be discussing it at the Climate Hub. 

What we definitely want post-COP is a paradigm shift, with change ranging from macro level policy to micro level behaviour, so that humankind has a future beyond this century. There have been many mass extinction events in earth’s history. Our species will either be the first to be the architect of their own demise, or the first to escape this fate. I hope that COP26 is looked back on as a significant turning point, for the better. 

Food for Thought Education Fund⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

Food for Thought Education Fund

Food for Thought Phase 5 application

The Food for Thought Education Fund gives financial support to develop Food and Health as a context for learning. The fund aims to improve practitioner confidence in providing progressive, high quality learning experiences which help to embed food education into the ethos of the establishment. It also provides an opportunity to plan and implement learning experiences which build sustainability and capacity for future development.

Now in its fifth year, the Fund allows Local Authority Schools and Early Learning and Childcare settings to apply for grants of up to £3000 to develop projects that support the aims of the Fund. (Note – ASN establishments in the independent sector are also eligible to apply). Establishments may apply individually or as part of a cluster of schools from their education authority.

It is essential that food based projects include a business or community link . Business in the Community Scotland is a partner in the Food for Thought Fund and can help establishments to find a business/community link if help is required.

What Are We Looking for This Year?

Scottish Government’s aspiration that Scotland is a Good Food Nation, means a country where people from every walk of life take pride and pleasure in, and benefit from, the food they buy, serve, and eat day by day. It also means that :

  • It is the norm for Scots to take a keen interest in their food, knowing what constitutes good food, valuing  it and seeking it out whenever they can.
  • People who serve and sell food (including schools) are committed to serving and selling good food.
  • Everyone in Scotland has ready access to the healthy, nutritious food they need.
  • Dietary-related diseases are in decline, as is the environmental impact of our food consumption.
  • Scottish producers ensure that what they produce is increasingly healthy and environmentally sound
  • Food companies are a thriving feature of the economy and places where people want to work.
  • Other countries look to Scotland to learn how to become a Good Food Nation.’

This year, we are particularly interested in bids which will to contribute to this vision by:

  • ensuring learners have gained understanding about food education and can apply that knowledge and understanding, including a knowledge of the wide range of careers that are available in the Food and Drinks industry;
  • improving outcomes for learners in ways which seek to eliminate the inequity that currently exists amongst learners from different backgrounds and from particular vulnerable groups;
  • demonstrate an impact on learners, with learners being able to reflect on their knowledge of food and associated issues;

In this phase, we also ask that projects incorporate some or all of the following themes:

  • Developing the Young Workforce
  • STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths)
  • Inequity / Attainment Gap
  • Digital Learning
  • Progressive Interdisciplinary Learning
  • Learning for Sustainability
  • Outdoor Learning
  • Working with Parents/Community

Projects may also relate to national events and/or Government initiatives including :

Fund PartnersEducation Scotland is building on its strong partnership with Scottish Government with a continued commitment to high quality learning in health and wellbeing, including food education, across educational establishments in Scotland.

Business in the Community Scotland (BiTCS) brings together businesses and partner organisations across sectors to more effectively play their role in a stronger, fairer, wealthier, healthier, and greener Scotland.

In order to enhance skills for learning, life and work it is essential that you work in partnership with a business for this funding. BiTCS’s role in the Food for Thought Fund will be to help schools to link to a business or community organisation that can fulfil this role for the fund. These partners are not required to be a food based business/community organisation. Schools can also work with existing partners or create their own new partnerships. Securing a financial contribution from this partner is not mandatory; however it may be beneficial to your project if you were able to find additional income or ‘in kind’ funding to develop your project.

The Scottish Government is committed to ensuring all schools in Scotland embed food education through the implementation of Curriculum for Excellence, and the Schools (Health Promotion and Nutrition) (Scotland) Act 2007. The Government supports good quality learning and teaching around food through funding a number of stakeholders to engage and work with schools.

Application Details

Food for Thought Phase 5 application

 To apply for Food for Thought Phase 5 funding, please complete the attached application form to arrive by 14.00 on Wednesday 31st May 2017.   Examples of completed application forms from earlier phases are housed in the ‘Resources’ section of the Food for Thought Glow Newsfeed . (Glow log-in required)

Practitioners from previous phases have also shared photographs, stories and information about their projects through the newsfeed conversation.

A Glow Meet has been organised for Tuesday 25th April at 3.45pm and this will be an opportunity to ask questions about the application process or the project you are planning. If you would like to join me, Sign up here.

Please send completed application forms to :

Foodforthought@educationscotland.gsi.gov.uk

**NEW** Better Eating Better Learning Award⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

**NEW** Better Eating, Better Learning AWARD

bebl

The BEBL award is a competition open to primary and secondary schools across Scotland who can demonstrate innovative ways to improve school food and food education.

Is your school using Better Eating, Better Learning to champion positive changes to school food and the food education experience?

To apply, please complete the following questionnaire by midnight on Friday 31st March. Following this, the committee will review all entries and select 8 schools to visit based on strength of    application. These visits will take place from April – June 2017.

https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/X3VPXCL

What are we looking for?

Projects will be assessed based on the following criteria;

  • How well are you are using school food as part of a whole school approach to support learning as an integral part of the curriculum?
  • Are you serving school food that drives dietary behaviour change and supports our health and environmental goals?
  • Does your school champion fresh, seasonal, local and sustainable produce?
  • Do you celebrate provenance and ethical sourcing?
  • How are you inspiring future generations who are proud of, and contribute to, Scotland’s ambition as the a Good Food Nation?
  • Do you ensure that school food provides affordable access to good nutrition for all children and young people and optimising the uptake of school meals, in particular for those children and young people receiving free meals?
  • How well are you supporting children and young people, their parents, teaching and catering staff, to enjoy and value school food for its quality, provenance and appeal and in doing so to enable them to understand the relationship between school food, culture, health and the environment?

ASSIST FM, who provide support for suppliers and delivery of school food have created the innovation awards with CRB Cunningham sponsoring the secondary prize and Spaceright sponsoring the       primary prize.

For further Information and details, please contact lorna.aitken@educationscotland.gsi.gov.uk

 

International School Meals Day 2017⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

International School Meals Day

ismd-2017

Thursday 9th March 2017

http://www.internationalschoolmealsday.com

ismd-2017-comp-flier

International School Meals Day encourages children and young people around the world to connect and talk to each other about the food they eat and the role that it plays in their lives.

In 2017 the theme is Food, Culture and Heritage

Share your food stories & be part of a global event

The way that food is cultivated, prepared and consumed is an expression of culture and heritage. This year’s theme provides an opportunity for pupils to express themselves through the food and associated traditions that form an important part of their identity.

In the run up to International School Meals Day we want pupils from around the world to share their food stories through whichever medium they wish

pictures / posters / videos / poems / stories / dance /drama

The approach that you take to getting pupils to think about their culture and heritage and its associated food traditions is up to each individual school and classroom. However, here are some quick ideas of how ISMD can be celebrated:

  1. Deliver one-minute talks or videos about favourite meals and national traditions
  2. Have an International Menu Day
  3. Have food tasting sessions or other fun food activities
  4. Fundraising activities for charities to support school feeding programmes in developing countries
  5. Incorporate global citizenship and food culture into classroom learning
  6. Have sessions on the theme of ‘food’, with extracts from favourite poems and stories
  7. Skype – teachers and students can skype with another school around the world to share their experience of food, culture and heritage.

Stories and pictures will be shared on the ISMD website and on Twitter so be sure and follow

@IntSchoolMeals and use the hashtag #ISMD2017.

 

 

Book chapter: Technology Strategies for Open Educational Resource Dissemination⤴

from @ Sharing and learning

A book with a chapter by Lorna M Campbell and I has just been published. The book is Open Education: International Perspectives in Higher Education edited by Patrick Blessinger and TJ Bliss, published by Open Book Publishers.

There are contributions by people I know and look up to in the OER world, and some equally good chapters by folk I had not come across before. It seems to live up to its billing of offering an international perspective by not being US-centric (though it would be nice to see more from S America, Asia and Africa), and it provides a wide view of Open Education, not limited to Open Education Resources. There is a foreword by David Wiley, a chapter on a human rights theory for open education by the editors, one on whether emancipation through open education is theory or rhetoric by Andy Lane. Other people from the Open University’s Open Education team (Martin Weller, Beatriz de los Arcos, Rob Farrow, Rebecca Pitt and Patrick McAndrew) have written about identifying categories of OER users.  There are chapters on aspects such as open science, open text books, open assessment and credentials for open learning; and several case studies and reflections on open education in practice.

Open Education: International Perspectives in Higher Education is available under a CC:BY licence as a free PDF, as very cheap mobi or ePub, or reasonably priced soft and hard back editions. You should get a copy from the publishers.

Technology Strategies for OER

The chapter that Lorna and I wrote is an overview drawing on our experiences through the UKOER programme and our work on LRMI looking at managing the dissemination and discovery of open education resources. Here’s the abstract in full, and a link to the final submitted version of our chapter.

This chapter addresses issues around the discovery and use of Open Educational Resources (OER) by presenting a state of the art overview of technology strategies for the description and dissemination of content as OER. These technology strategies include institutional repositories and websites, subject specific repositories, sites for sharing specific types of content (such as video, images, ebooks) and general global repositories. There are also services that aggregate content from a range of collections, these may specialize by subject, region or resource type. A number of examples of these services are analyzed in terms of their scope, how they present resources, the technologies they use and how they promote and support a community of users. The variety of strategies for resource description taken by these platforms is also discussed. These range from formal machine-readable metadata to human readable text. It is argued that resource description should not be seen as a purely technical activity. Library and information professionals have much to contribute, however academics could also make a valuable contribution to open educational resource (OER) description if the established good practice of identifying the provenance and aims of scholarly works is applied to learning resources. The current rate of change among repositories is quite startling with several repositories and applications having either shut down or having changed radically in the year or so that the work on which this contribution is based took. With this in mind, the chapter concludes with a few words on sustainability.

Preprint of full chapter (MS Word)

The post Book chapter: Technology Strategies for Open Educational Resource Dissemination appeared first on Sharing and learning.

International School Meals Day Competition⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

Why not take part in a competition for children and young people to enter to help decide the theme for next year’s International School Meals Day?

Your school or class could take part during Scottish School Meals Week 31st October – 4th November 2016.

https://blogs.glowscotland.org.uk/glowblogs/eslb/2016/10/13/scottish-school-meals-week-31st-october-4th-november/

The flyer/poster is attached, and it would be helpful if you could please distribute it as widely as possible within your school, learning centre and community.

international-school-meals-day

ismd-2017-comp-flier

There are three options to vote / choose:
• Food that reflects your heritage, culture or traditions
• Recipes that help make the most of the food you have at hand
• Completely open to suggestions!

There is a closing date of 7 November – and the chance to win an Amazon voucher!

 

Scottish School Meals Week 31st October – 4th November⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

Scottish School Meals Week

31st October – 4th November 2016

scottish-school-meals-week-2016

Each day will have a different food focus. Please see attached for further information.

scottish-school-meals-week-31-10-16

Planning on joining in?

Share your story with @EducationScot @SchoolMeals using #scotmealsweek #FoodEdFriday

Catering colleagues in schools will also have details regarding the week long celebration.

Monday : Scottish School Cook of the Year 2016, Maria Millar’s menu; delicious chicken enchiladas & coleslaw, followed by strawberry cheesecake.

What can you do? Talk about the journey of food in Scotland, undertake taste tests, create and make your own recipes, keep a food diary.

Tuesday : Meat Free Day : school meals will include Quorn based recipes meeting school meal standards such as Quorn mince in a spicy tomato sauce or Quorn tikka masala.

What can you do?  Discuss nutritional needs through exploring different dietary requirements. Taste test the meat free option offered in the school dining hall.

Wednesday : The Great Scottish Bake Off. Does your school cook have what it takes to join the best in Scotland for a bake off? Information and nominations can be found here; https://www.unileverfoodsolutions.co.uk/menu-support/baking-in-schools/big-school-bake-off-scotland.html

Make sure you nominate them no later than Friday 21st October!

What can you do?  Host your own class bake off with catering colleagues as your judges.

Thursday : Big Brakes Scot Pot Challenge.

What can you do? Can  learners  design a one pot meal containing locally sourced ingredients?

Friday : Charity Day:  Supporting Social Bitehttp://social-bite.co.uk/  or your own school nominated charity.

What can you do? Keep safe and hygienic when preparing food for a special school cafe event.

 

Sustainability and Open Education⤴

from @ Sharing and learning

 

Last week I was on a panel at Edinburgh University’s Repository Fringe event discussing sustainability and OER. As part of this I was asked to talk for ten minutes on some aspect of the subject. I don’t think I said anything of startling originality, but I must start posting to this blog again, so here are the notes I spoke from. The idea that I wanted to get over is that projects should be careful about what services they tried to set up, they (the services) should be suitable and sustainable, and in fact it might be best if they did the minimum that was necessary (which might mean not setting up a repository).

Between 2009 and 2012 Jisc and the HE Academy ran the UK Open Education Resources programme (UKOER), spending approximately £15M of Hefce funding in three phases. There were 65 projects, some with personal, institutional or discipline scope releasing resources openly, some with a remit of promoting dissemination or discoverability, and  there were some related activities and services providing technical, legal, policy support, & there was Jorum: there was a mandate that OERs released through the project should be deposited in the Jorum repository. This was a time when open education was booming, as well as UKOER, funding from foundations in the US, notably Hewlett and Gates, was quite well established and EU funding was beginning. UKOER also, of course, built on previous Jisc programmes such as X4L, ReProduce, and the Repositories & preservation programme.

In many ways UKOER was a great success: a great number of resources were created or released, but also it established open education as a thing that people in UK HE talked about. It showed how to remove some of the blockers to the reuse and sharing of content for teaching and learning in HE (–especially in the use of standard CC licences with global scope rather than the vague, restrictive and expensive custom variations on  “available to other UK HEIs” of previous programmes). Helped by UKOER, many UK HEIs were well placed to explore the possibilities of MOOCs. And in general showed the potential to change how HEIs engage with the wider world and to help make best use of online learning–but it’s not just about opening exciting but vague possibilities: being a means to avoid problems such as restrictive licensing, and being in position to explore new possibilities, means avoiding unnecessary costs in the future and helps to make OER financially attractive (and that’s important to sustainability). Evidence of this success: even though UKOER was largely based on HEFCE funding, there are direct connections from UKOER to the University of Edinburgh’s Open Ed initiative and (less directly) to their engagement with MOOCs.

But I am here to talk sustainability. You probably know that Jorum, the repository in to which UKOER projects were required to deposit their OERs, is closing. Also, many of the discipline-based and discovery projects were based at HE Academy subject centres, which are now gone. At the recent OER16 here, Pat Lockley suggested that OER were no longer being created. He did this based on what he sees coming in to the Solvonauts aggregator that he develops and runs. Martin Poulter showed the graph, there is a fairly dramatic drop in the number of new deposits he sees. That suggests something is not being sustained.

But what?

Let’s distinguish between sustainability and persistence: sustainability suggests to me a manageable on-going effort. The content as released may be persistent, it may still be available as released (though without some sort of sustainable effort of editing, updating, preservation it may not be much use).  What else needs sustained effort? I would suggest: 1, the release of new content; 2, interest and community; 3, the services around the content (that includes repositories). I would say that UKOER did create a community interested in OER which is still pretty active. It could be larger, and less inward looking at times but for an academic community it doing quite well. New content is being released. But the services created by UKOER (and other OER initiatives) are dying. That, I think , is why Pat Lockley isn’t seeing new resources being published.

What is the lesson we should learn? Don’t create services to manage and disseminate your OERs that that require “project” level funding. Create the right services, don’t assume that what works for research outputs will work for educational resources, make sure that there is that “edit” button (or at least a make-your-own-editable-copy button).  Make the best use of what is available. Use everything that is available. Use wikimedia services, but also use flickr, wordpress, youtube, itunes, vimeo,—and you may well want to create your own service to act as a “junction” between all the different places you’re putting your OERs, linking with them via their APIs for deposit and discovery. This is the basic idea behind POSSE: Publish (on your) Own Site, Syndicate Elsewhere.

Food security – Professional Learning for Practitioners⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

Small - Food SecurityJoin us on Thursday 19th November at 4pm for this event which will offer practitioners teaching both Higher Environmental Science and Higher Biology the chance to converse with Professor Pete Smith from the University of Aberdeen on this critical sustainability issue.

Professor Smith is the theme leader of ‘Environment and Food Security’ at the University of Aberdeen, as well as the Director of Food Systems of the Scottish Food Security Alliance-Crops (www.sfsa-crops.org). He has contributed a great deal to environment and food security research and this event provides practitioners an excellent opportunity to discuss this critical issue with an academic leader in the field.

This event has been organised in accordance with the mandatory key areas of both the Higher Environmental Science and Higher Biology Sustainability units.

Register now to take part live – Food security – Professional Learning for Practitioners

If you unable to join us for the live event you can always catch up with the recording at another time – Glow TV’s Watch Again.