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Scotland's United Nations Recognised Regional Centre of Expertise on Education for Sustainable Development

Blog: How Open Education materials can enhance the practice of learning for sustainability practitioners

Ronald MacIntyre lives and works in the West Highlands with his family. He has a long term research education and social justice background and balances working for the Open University with voluntary work in the community and running a small croft. In 2016 Ronald developed the Open Education Practices task group with other interested members of the Learning for Sustainability Scotland network and is the current group convener. Here he talks about how the task group developed and what is in store for the task group’s first event, which takes place next month.

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Open Education Practice Scotland and Learning for Sustainability Scotland are co-hosting a workshop early next month which will explore the role of free open online learning material in supporting the work of Learning for Sustainability (lfs) practitioners in Scotland. The idea of the workshop arose after a meeting held in 2016 which brought together a broad range of lfs practitioners to discuss the use of open educational materials and how their practice could be enhanced by accessing and using them.

At the meeting we were all struck by the overlaps in our approaches to educational practice. On the surface there is a sense that questions of sustainability and open education are questions about practice itself, and about how that practice is changing. Our sense of educational practice as something social and situated, and then a broader sense of values, a commitment to equity and social inclusion informed our approaches at an even deeper level.

It is always pleasing to spend an afternoon with people who share similar interests and ideas about educational practice, but in the end one is left wondering – So What?

In this case ‘So What?‘ resulted in the development of a Learning for Sustainability Scotland Task Group – where members interested in open educational practices (OEP) can explore the topic further. For full information on the group and the workshop itself click here.

At the workshop next month we will – very briefly – share some experiences of working with free and open materials and our thoughts about those overlaps. However, most of the day will be given over to discussion and exploring the opportunities and challenges around free open online learning materials and to support learning for sustainability.

If you are interested in joining the discussion then we look forward to seeing you on the day, here is a link so you can book your place.


Photo details: [Walk in] Patrick Geddes Steps, Patrick Geddes was an Edinburgh based architect, planner, and early green thinker often cited as the source of the term “Think Global Act Local”.
Image Source, Jones Bob,https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Patrick_Geddes_Steps_-_geograph.org.uk_-_896501.jpg (CC BY-SA 2.0)