Sustainable Teaching & Learning in Higher Education: Principles & Practices

Seminar Series Autumn Semester 2022

Education is one of the ’paths’ in Agenda 21 towards a sustainable society. Education alone cannot achieve a more sustainable future; however, without education and learning for sustainable development, we will not be able to reach the sustainability goals. The seminar series at AHU broadly deals with principles and practices of sustainable education.  


Four seminars with specific themes

Click on each box to read more about the different seminairs, and to register your attendance.

Wednesday 28 September 2022, 13:00 - 16:00

Place: LUX, room C121

Sustainability in teaching and learning is both about how to learn and what to learn. This seminar focuses the ‘what’. What content do all student need to learn about sustainability? Is there specific ‘key competencies’ and facts all students should learn? What should these key competencies be? Or are the sustainability competencies subject specific? UHÄ has decided that all students should learn about sustainability sometime during their time at university.

On the other hand, is the talk about key competencies making learning instrumental? Should we instead promote bildung and generic skills and approaches or holistic perspectives?

UN’s Education for sustainable development argues we need to reorient education globally towards a central goal: to learn to live and work sustainably. For example, they argue there are special benefits of interdisciplinarity education.

Speakers 13.00-15.00

Barry Ness – ‘Key competencies in sustainability education’
Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies (LUCSUS), Lund University. 

Marco Riekmann – ‘Sustainability in Curriculum – The relevance of academic staff development’
Educational Research, University of Vechta. 
Dr. Marco Rieckmann is Professor of Higher Education Development at the University of Vechta, Germany. His research focuses on higher education development, education for sustainable development, global learning and sustainable development of higher education institutions.

Interactive seminar 15.00-16.00

A workshop or discussions, practicing the pedagogy of the theme, when suitable.

Register your attendance here

Thursday 27 october 2022, 13:00 - 16:00

Place: MNO, room O104

There is a long European tradition, following the 18th century philosopher Rosseau, of nature as inspiration and site for learning. What theories and practices are valid in contemporary higher education? Does experience in/of nature improve caring for nature and sustainability?

Contemporary scholars explore the relationship between experiences in nature and taking care of the environment as well as improvements in mental and physical health.

During the seminar, we will discuss for example outdoor pedagogy and walk-and-talk- seminars.

Speakers 13.00-15.00

Ola Uhrqvist
Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning (IBL), Linköping University. 
Ola Uhrqvist works with environmantal and sustainability education at the Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning (IBL), Linköping University. He also do research on the use of narratives and storytelling in pre-school as well as on how serious games can enhance understanding and participation in the transformation to sustainable energy systems. 

Johanna Alkan Olsson 
Centre for Environmental and Climate Sciences (CEC), Lund University. 

Interactive seminar 15.00-16.00

The seminar will be a walk-and-talk-seminar.

Register your attendance here:

Monday 21 November 2022, 13:00 - 16:00 

Place: MNO, room O104

Sustainability in teaching and learning is both about how to learn and what to learn. This seminar focuses the ‘how’. Within the framework of Education for Sustainable Development, UN promotes specific pedagogies that has proven particular conducive to promote sustainable development and sustainability in the participants. These pedagogies are interactive, learner-driven pedagogies: Participatory learning processes, critical thinking and problem-based learning. Although more evidence is needed, research is beginning to suggest that students who learn through these methods, together with the content of sustainable development, develop greater awareness of and responsibility for the world around them. Educators at all levels are central to this process.

In this seminar we discuss some participatory/inclusive pedagogies and why they would be suitable to promote sustainability. One example is Universal Design for Learning (UDL).

Speakers 13.00-15.00

Louise Sund -  Teaching for sustainable development through ethical global issues pedagogy. 
School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences, Örebro University. 

Louise Sund is an associate professor in Education, a teacher educator and started her career as an upper secondary school teacher. Her research draws on postcolonial and decolonial theoretical resources to examine productive pedagogical tensions in the intersections between environmental and sustainability education and global citizenship education. In her research she seeks to understand the challenges that teachers face when addressing global equity and justice issues in their classrooms and identify how this work can be developed and supported. Moreover, she is currently the Principal Investigator of a research project funded by the Swedish Research Council:  A decolonial approach to teaching global justice issues (DecoPrax) (2022-2026).

Maria Wolrath Söderberg - Critical thinking for wicked problems - how to design learning?
Culture and Education, Södertörn University. 

Maria Wolrath Söderberg is docent in rhetoric at Södertörns University. Her research have been in the crossroads between teaching in higher education and reasoning in sustainability issues. 

Håkan Eftring - UDL Context cards for inclusive e-learning and social sustainability
Design Sciences, Lund University. 

Håkan Eftring is director of studies at the Department of Design Sciences at Lund University and a teacher and researcher at the Certec division of Rehabilitation Engineering and Design. Håkan has a PhD in Rehabilitation Engineering and is doing research in Universal Design. At Lund University, he collaborates with the Accessibility Officers for students with disabilities and the Division for Higher Education Development. Together, they arrange seminars in Universal Design for Learning for directors of studies, teachers, librarians etc. Håkan teaches industrial design and engineering students in Universal Design, Cognitive Ergonomics and Rehabilitation Engineering.

Interactive seminar 15.00-16.00

A workshop or discussions, practicing the pedagogy of the theme, when suitable.

Register your attendance here

Thursday 19 January 2023, 13:00 - 16:00 
Place: MNO, room O104

More and more demands are put on teachers to convey democracy, gender equality etc. How do we deal with sustainability, so it does not become just another demand that depresses teachers? How do we make and keep teachers sustainable? How do we practice what we preach? How does the university show authenticity in its sustainability ambitions?

The focus is on principles that can lift the discussion to a general actionable level, rather than on administration such as allocation of hours to courses, scheduling, etc.

Speakers 13.00-15.00

Robert Frodeman - ‘Making Knowledge Sustainable (zoom) 
Robert Frodeman (PhD Philosophy, MS Geology) writes on environmental philosophy and public policy, science and technology policy, and the future of the university. Founding Director of the Center for the Study of Interdisciplinarity at the University of North Texas, he has also held academic positions at the University of Colorado and the Colorado School of Mines, and is the author and/or editor of 16 books and 130 articles. He is now an independent writer based in Wyoming.

Jessika Richter and Frans Libertson - 'A Sustainable Teacher? Reflections from the Field'
The International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics (IIIEE), Lund University.

Jessika Richter is an Associate Senior Lecturer. She started teaching sustainability as a secondary school teacher in Australia and New Zealand before completing her MSc and PhD at Lund University. In addition to her research focusing on environmental policies, she regularly researches and reflects on higher education teaching practices for sustainability.

Frans Libertson is a PhD student at IIIEE. Before starting his studies at Lund University, he worked as a sustainability educator for Sida. His current teaching include environmental studies and sustainability science at master’s level. In addition to his thesis work on sustainable energy systems and just transitions, Frans also researches the role of mindfulness in education for sustainability.

Register your attendance here: 

Seminar Format

A three-hour seminar: Two or three invited speakers introduce the topic for 30 minutes, followed by 5 minutes questions (2 x 45 minutes). After a 15-minute break follows 45 minutes a workshop or discussions, practicing the pedagogy of the theme, when possible.

On campus meetings with elements of active participation. Learning by doing – the seminars should preferably practice the format or pedagogy which the theme appraoches.

Target group: teachers, researchers, and staff responsible for education at LU and beyond.


Course with Credits

There is an opportunity for participants to write a paper afterwards and receive a certificate for one week of work. Participation in three out of four seminars are needed. 


Documentation & Resource

Recordings of the presentations are uploaded on AHU’s homepage and can afterwards be used as a pedagogical resource.

Sidansvarig: caroline.cabotuvet.luse | 2023-11-02