RCE Scotland - 2018

Addressing SDG 4.7 : Values and Learning for Sustainability in Initial Teacher Education
Basic Information
Title of project : 
Addressing SDG 4.7 : Values and Learning for Sustainability in Initial Teacher Education
Submitting RCE: 
RCE Scotland
Contributing organization(s) : 
General Teaching Council of Scotland
Teaching staff from all initial Teacher Education institutions in Scotland(Universities of Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Highlands and Islands, Strathclyde, Stirling, West of Scotland),
24 newly qualified teachers based in schools across Scotland
Focal point(s) and affiliation(s)
Name: 
Betsy King, Development Manager
Organizational Affiliation: 
RCE Scotland
Format of project: 
Microsite, webinars and online course, research publication
Language of project: 
English
Date of submission:
Update
Additional resources: 
Two webinars and online course
Scottish Educational Review publication expected November 2019
This project is a contribution, in Scotland, to UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4.7 and Global Action Programme Priority 3
At what level is the policy operating?: 
International
General Teaching Council for Scotland Professional Standards for educators
At what level is the policy operating?: 
National
How Good is Our School Self evaluation framework (version 4), Scotland
At what level is the policy operating?: 
National
Geographical & Education Information
Region: 
Europe
Country: 
United Kingdom
Location(s): 
Across Scotland
Address of focal point institution for project: 
RCE Scotland, Charteris 1.17 Moray House School of Education, The University of Edinburgh, Holyrood Road, Edinburgh, EH8 8AQ
Ecosystem(s):

Level of Education for intended audience:
Socioeconomic and environmental characteristics of the area : 
Scotland is a country within the United Kingdom with a population of approximately 5.4 million. The natural environment of the region is diverse; from large urban areas to uninhabitable islands, and from highlands to lochs (lakes) and lowlands. However, even in very urban areas, there is an appreciation for the region’s natural beauty with the majority of inhabitants directly exposed to the natural environment regularly. This exposure is likely to contribute to a general appreciation for and desire to preserve natural resources, embedded within the Scottish psyche.

In 2011, the rate of population growth was indicated at 0.54%, with net migration at 4.1 migrants per 1,000 population. Immigration from other UK countries to Scotland is the highest migrant contribution, with 'White British Other' contributing to 7.34% of the total population of Scotland, second highest ethnic group after 'Scottish' (88.09%). The region also has a 99% literacy rate (2010 estimate).

Scotland has partial self-government within the UK with devolved legislative powers over matters such as education, health and transport, as specified in the Scotland Acts 1998 and 2012.
Description of sustainable development challenge(s) in the area the project addresses: 
The policy framework in in place in Scotland to address SDG 4.7 and for schools ESD is embedded within Scotland’s Curriculum for Excellence. However implementation in schools requires that all educators are able to address sustainability in their practice. This starts with the teacher educators in Universities who are responsible for programmes for trainee teachers. This strategic project convened by RCE Scotland aimed to promote collaboration that would support the embedding of ESD across all teacher education programmes in all the 8 Universities responsible for teacher training, thereby having a positive impact on both the skills and knowledge of teachers and ultimately on young people.
Contents
Status: 
Completed
Period: 
January, 2015
Rationale: 
The aim of this project is to help educators in Scotland’s Universities to respond to the imperative to address ESD in their programmes as a contribution to SDG 4.7. The project contributes to Global Action Programme Objective 1 “to reorient education and learning so that everyone has the opportunity to acquire the knowledge, skills, values and attitudes that empower them to contribute to sustainable development”, with a focus on Action area 3 Priority Action Area 3: ‘Building capacities of educators and trainers’.

The policy framework in in place in Scotland to address SDG 4.7 and for schools ESD is embedded within Scotland’s Curriculum for Excellence. However implementation in schools requires that all educators are able to address sustainability in their practice. This starts with the teacher educators in Universities who are responsible for programmes for trainee teachers. This strategic project convened by RCE Scotland aimed to support the embedding of ESD across all teacher education programmes in all the 8 Universities responsible for teacher training, thereby having a positive impact on both the skills and knowledge of teachers and ultimately on young people.
Objectives: 
This project, working to promote collaboration between all eight Universities involved in initial teacher education (ITE) in Scotland, focused on supporting teacher educators to embed Values and Learning for Sustainability in their ITE courses and programmes. In the third year of the project a group of newly qualified teachers from each of the ITE institutions were supported to develop a school-based Practitioner Enquiry around a values and learning for sustainability theme. The aim was to help them to interrogate and improve their practice to have a positive impact on the learning of their students.
Activities and/or practices employed: 
Collaboration between partners (GTCS, educators from the eight initial teacher education Universities, 24 teachers) developed and piloted a reflection and development tool that is fit for purpose, and built universities’ commitment to its use.
Collaboration has led to the development of inter-University research and conference papers (Scottish Educational Review special issue).
Teachers were supported through webinars, online collaboration and a seminar to develop an ESD practitioner enquiry in the classroom, demonstrating the positive impact of University course programmes on practice and learner outcomes
Size of academic audience: 
Teacher educators in all 8 Universities in Scotland, and their students. 24 newly qualified teachers
Results: 
The impact was:
1. Initial Teacher Education Courses and Programmes
The Reflection and Development Tool microsite on the GTCS website is an ongoing significant support to all of Scotland’s ITE institutions. During the period of the project there has been an increased integration of Values and ESD in University courses and programmes that have been submitted for GTCS accreditation.

2. University Staff
There has been an increased level of collaborative thinking and discussions on Values Education and ESD within and across the ITE institutions sharing approaches and practice. This has resulted in a research focussed publication.

3. Student teachers
Student teachers are being inspired to address the values and Learning for Sustainability requirements of the GTCS Professional Standards and those involved in practitioner enquiries reported considerable positive benefits for their students.

4.Wider Education System
We expect Values and Learning for Sustainability to be strengthened in the upcoming review of the Standards and further support for ESD has also been included in the upcoming Scottish Government Vision 2030+ Action Plan.
Lessons learned: 
It is evident that leadership is required in the teacher training Universities to ensure that the principles and practices of ESD are embedded in all courses and programmes. The project engaged both ‘champions’ of ESD and senior managers to ensure success.

Teacher educators are potentially powerful agents of change in the educational response to sustainable development, but themselves require considerable support in acquiring the necessary knowledge, skills, values, motivation and commitment to introduce ESD into their teaching and institutions.
Key messages: 
The aim of this project was to help teacher educators in Scotland’s Universities to work together to respond to the imperative to address ESD in all their courses and programmes,as a contribution to SDG 4.7, thereby having a positive impact on the values, skills and knowledge of teachers and ultimately on young people.
Relationship to other RCE activities: 
This project is closely related to RCE Scotland’s professional development programmes for teachers.
Funding: 
Gordon Cook Foundation

Pictures:

File Name Caption for picture Photo Credit
Image icon First page GTCS microsite.png (176.8 KB) Learning for sustainability microsite GTCS
References and reference materials: 
UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
(https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdgs) and other themes of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)
SDG 1 - End poverty in all its forms everywhere 
Indirect
SDG 2 - End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture 
Indirect
SDG 3 - Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages 
Indirect
SDG 4 - Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all 
Direct
SDG 5 - Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls 
Indirect
SDG 6 - Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all 
Indirect
SDG 7 - Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all 
Indirect
SDG 8 - Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all 
Indirect
SDG 9 - Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation, and foster innovation 
Indirect
SDG 10 - Reduce inequality within and among countries 
Indirect
SDG 11 - Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable 
Indirect
SDG 12 - Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns 
Indirect
SDG 13 - Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts 
Indirect
SDG 14 - Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development 
Indirect
SDG 15 - Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification and halt and reverse land degradation, and halt biodiversity loss 
Indirect
SDG 16 - Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels 
Indirect
SDG 17 - Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise the global partnership for sustainable development 
Indirect
Theme
Disaster Risk Reduction 
Indirect
Traditional Knowledge  
Indirect
Agriculture 
Indirect
Arts 
Indirect
Curriculum Development 
Direct
Ecotourism 
Indirect
Forests/Trees 
Indirect
Plants & Animals 
Indirect
Waste 
Indirect
Global Action Programme (GAP) on Education for Sustainable Development – Priority Action Areas
Priority Action Area 1 - Advancing policy 
Indirect
Priority Action Area 3 - Building capacities of educators and trainers 
Direct