IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


New online course on educating for sustainable development opens

14 November 2022

IOE, UCL’s Faculty of Education and Society, has today launched a new online short course to support school and university educators in teaching about sustainability.

Looking up into a green tree canopy under a blue sky. Image by Stacey Gabrielle Koenitz Rozells / Pexels

Educators can play an important role in ensuring the sustainable future of our planet. But there is an ongoing and critical need for educators at all levels – from primary through tertiary education – to develop their knowledge and confidence to teach education for sustainable development. This need is particularly pressing in the context of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, with their prominent focus on global citizenship and education for sustainable development.

It was for this reason that Drs Nicole Blum and Fran Hunt at IOE’s Development Education Research Centre (DERC) have created a new short course,with support from Sustainable UCL, the team that drives forward the university's key sustainability aims.

The course aims to provide educators with an introduction to key ideas and practices related to education, learning and sustainable development, including issues such as climate change. Through online discussions and activities, participants engage with diverse perspectives and practices from around the world and also explore current international policy.

It is intended for both educators in higher education as well as teachers in schools, so that participants can talk to one another about their practice and share ideas with peers about how education for sustainable development might link across various levels of education. Participants also have an opportunity to reflect on how their learning from the course can be applied to their practice.

Dr Blum says: “Our new short course was designed to support educators at all levels and includes the opportunity to learn about a range of approaches to education for sustainable development, as well as the space to reflect on how these can be applied in diverse disciplines and subject areas. UCL staff may also find it helpful in addressing UCL’s commitment to ensuring that every UCL student will have the opportunity to study and be involved in sustainability."

Designed with a time commitment of around three hours per week over three weeks, the course is free to learners who enrol within the first five weeks. Participants can begin to work through the course ‘Educating for Sustainable Development (ESD) in Schools and Universities’ from 14 November 2022 onward.

Hosted on FutureLearn, the course was created with support from UCL Digital Education.

Find out more and register for the course


If you have a query about the course contact course leaders Dr Nicole Blum and Dr Frances Hunt at DERCMOOC@live.ucl.ac.uk



Stacey Gabrielle Koenitz Rozells / Pexels.