Climate Change, Environment and Sustainability: Teaching Resources

The 26th UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow is a critically important intergovernmental meeting of world leaders and scientists if irreversible climate change is to be avoided. It is also part of a much greater and broader long-term challenge of mitigating wider environmental degradation world-wide that threatens the sustainability not just of humanity but of all life on Earth. These challenges and related opportunities are all deeply interdisciplinary in nature.

Learning and teaching resources on these and related topics spanning most curriculum areas and many facets of climate, environment and sustainability have been collated from various sources in our recently updated resources page.


Featured Image © UK Met Office, University of Reading #showyourstripes CC-BY-4.0

Should future learning be problem-based?

Carl Gombrich, co-founder of the new London Interdisciplinary School, calls for an interdisciplinary, networked curriculum as a step towards a more problem-based education closer to the interests of students.

It is now widely recognised that, from both theoretical and practical perspectives, the old ways of structuring knowledge in a curriculum by dividing learning into academic subjects or disciplines can look antiquated. 

From the theoretical perspective, the internet – with its hyperlinks and networked knowledge – has made us all aware of the historically conditioned or even arbitrary nature of dividing subjects into discrete units like English, Sociology and Biology. Knowledge, in the phrase popularised by Peter Morville, is intertwingled and its categorisations contingent. From the practical perspective, when 86% of graduate employers ‘do not care’ what degree students studies at universities, why do we insist that they continue to study almost exclusively in such disciplinary categories. Is there a better way? 

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Has the time to connect finally come?

Ken Muir, former GTCS Chief Exec and previously HM Chief Inspector of Education, asks: will IDL feature in the post-pandemic re-imagining of the Scottish education system?

Three recent events, which at first seemed totally unconnected, prompted me to think about where we are with interdisciplinary learning (IDL) in our schools. 

The first was my re-reading of notes I took at a pre-Covid RSE lecture given by Prof. Ian Goldin of Oxford University.  In it he said “Today is the best day of our lives because tomorrow will be much more complex.  There is no historical precedent for where we are now.”  Prof. Goldin’s words at the time struck me as being prophetic and have proved to be just that with the clear exposure of the complex connections we have at a global level shown by the devastating impact of the Covid pandemic over the past year.

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Is IDL just another Educational initiative?

The education system is notorious for its ‘new initiatives’. Understandably, we repeatedly aim to raise attainment by motivating the less than enthusiastic learner, but instead produce short-term solutions that rarely fulfil this expectation. Each decade or so we find that success in engaging the disengaged continues to elude us. Many documents are written, many person hours engaged and much funding provided to resolve this issue but frequently it is patchy, any success is short lived, and verifiable analysis of the given initiative unclear and lacking in concrete and measurable results.

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