This blog post was written by Sophie Ball.
One of the King’s Climate Action Network (CAN) projects this year aims to develop an Education for Sustainability (EfS) strategy that addresses the barriers in place to embedding EfS into the curriculum at King’s. My name is Sophie Ball and in addition to being a first-year international relations student at King’s, I am the project team coordinator for this project. In this role, I have the opportunity to work with students, staff, and academics at King’s to help shape the direction of Education for Sustainability (EfS) in the university and work on developing various resources for it. As a student with a long-term interest in sustainability, I have seen how enriching knowledge of sustainability has been in many of my academic pursuits. In a world where unsustainable actions are negatively impacting every area of people’s lives, it is vital that every student has the ability to understand and help combat this complex issue. By joining this project, I hoped to help all students at King’s, regardless of their field of study or their capacity to seek it out on their own, gain a solid understanding of sustainability to apply throughout their lives.
To encourage dialogue, collaboration, and participation in this project, the Education for Sustainability (EfS) project conducts monthly meetings where academics who are currently implementing ESD in their curriculum are invited to pitch their ideas and discuss them with the meeting participants, including students and other academics. Additionally, a brand-new series of networking events led by King’s Climate & Sustainability brings together researchers, staff and students engaged in the climate and sustainability field to share knowledge and foster connections. On 6 April, the event featured pitches from the King’s community including King’s Sustainability Team, the Institute for Responsible Business, the Leverhulme Centre for Wildfires, Environment and Society, Enactus (KCLSU), and King’s start-ups. The second event on 24 May had a special focus on sustainable healthcare innovations.
Furthermore, to support the development of resources for EfS, the CAN EfS project team is gathering case studies of best practice examples of ESD at King’s to be shared publicly on the sustainability blog. Along with this, King’s Academy has been conducting a comprehensive Advance HE literature review about (Higher) Education for Sustainable Development, led by Mira Vogel and Maria O’Hara.
Finally, the EfS project adopts a community organising approach and the team is working on training materials to empower students to conduct 121 conversations with their academics to identify examples of and barriers to EfS implementation at the university. Using the information gathered from the 121s, the toolkits to assist academics in EfS implementation will be better tailored to their specific subject needs. Furthermore, the project is gathering survey information from students on the current state of EfS at the university to identify where the biggest gaps lie. By engaging students, the project aims to bring together bottom-up and top-down EfS efforts and give students a bigger say in shaping their sustainable curriculum.