Unit 2: Learning sustainably through care and compassion


Welcome to Unit 2 of Sustainable pedagogies.

This unit will invite you to consider compassion as a pedagogy to position learners to understand their role in sustainability. Scholars such as Stephen Sterling (2012) in the United Kingdom and David Orr (2011) in the USA have called for education to pursue a new and sustainable paradigm; one which blends concerns for social justice with those of wise environmental stewardship. Sterling’s (2012) The Future Fit Framework will be discussed as it allows institutions to assess their current status and to consider how to work towards using more sustainable pedagogies.

Education for sustainable development is defined by the Quality Assurance Authority (QAA) in Higher Education as:

The process of equipping students with the knowledge and understanding, skills and attributes needed to work and live in a way that safeguards environmental, social and economic wellbeing, both in the present and for future generations.

(QAA, 2014, p. 5)

Students of all ages can understand and work towards developing the skills needed to act and live in ways that safeguard the environment and their own and others’ wellbeing. It is this active concern for the wellbeing of themselves, others both locally and globally and the environment, that Paul Warwick (2016) sees as at the heart of energising and enthusing learners to actively take part in education for sustainability. He sees pedagogies of compassion for all – human and non-human – as where learners can begin to understand their place and responsibility in acting to ensure the future of our planet.

Remember that, to obtain your digital badge, you must have posted a contribution to at least one forum discussion in Units 1–7 and one in Unit 8. You must have also completed the quiz at the end of Unit 5 and scored at least 80%.

The items labelled ‘Explore’, which have the binoculars icon beside them, are optional and are offered for those who want to explore the ideas being discussed further.

Next go to Unit 2 learning outcomes [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] .

Unit 2 learning outcomes