Sustainable Teaching & Learning on 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

1. Sustainability in Curriculum

28 September 2022, 13:00 - 16:00

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.


2. Pedagogy for Sustainability – outdoor pedagogies 

End of October 2022

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, walk-and-talk- seminars.

The workshop discussion following the seminar with presenters will be a walk-and-talk-seminar.


3. Pedagogy for Sustainability – classroom pedagogies

End of November 2022

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, for example Universal Design for Learning (UDL). 

4. Sustainable Teachers 

Mid-January 2023

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 not on allocation of hours to courses, scheduling, etc., but on principles that can lift the discussion to a general actionable level.)


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 credits. 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: ingrid.bosseldaluvet.luse | 2022-06-23