UWTSD Home  -  Institutes and Academies  -  Institute of Sustainable Practice, Innovation and Resource Effectiveness (INSPIRE)  -  INSPIRING Education  -  An INSPIRED Education

An INSPIRED Education

At University of Wales: Trinity Saint David the focus is on the embedding of a framework for education for sustainable development (ESD) in our Faculties.

Definition of 'Education for Sustainable Development' (ESD)

The University defines ESD broadly; deliberately and consciously recognising the need for balance between society, economy and environment to contribute towards individual and community well-being and a reduction of our ecological footprint.

Using a holistic and integral approach ensuring that the emphasis is not merely on the content of the different modules and programmes of study offered within each Faculty, we aim to provide an entirely sustainable learning and teaching experience. Our moto is:

It is not what we teach but how we teach!

INSPIRE supports the development of degree and college programmes throughout the UWTSD group by holding regular workshops on Education for Sustainable Development and Global Citizenship (ESDGC), and reviewing course validation documents on an annual basis in order to ensure their consistency with the University’s sustainability commitments.

You can find more information about how our faculties are embedding the sustainability agenda here and ESD activities in our annual reports;

Education for Sustainable Development Report 2016-17
Education for Sustainable Development Activity Summary 2015-16

If you would like more information on how sustainability is being embedded in to our programmes at UWTSD please contact us.

The UNESCO Five Essential Pedagogic Approaches:

  • Futures Thinking

Futures thinking engages people in imagining preferred visions for the future. It involves the exploration of assumptions and of meaningful understandings and interpretations of sustainable development. This process of envisioning futures leads people to take ownership and responsibility for more sustainable futures.

  • Critical and Creative Thinking

Critical and creative thinking enables people to explore new ways of thinking and acting, make informed decisions and create alternatives to present choices. It involves reflecting on how people interrelate with one other, understanding cultural differences and creating alternative ways to live together.

  • Participation and Participatory Learning

The engagement of people is needed to build sustainable futures collectively. Engaging diverse stakeholders and communities is essential, as they value and include differing knowledge systems and perspectives. The process of participation is also important for creating ownership and empowerment.

  • Systemic Thinking

Thinking systemically is essential to sustainable development, as piecemeal approaches have proved not to work - instead resolving one issue while creating other problems. Sustainable development requires approaches which go beyond analysis in terms of ‘problem-solving’ and/or ‘cause-effect’.

  • Partnerships

Partnerships are a motivating force towards change. They empower people and groups to take action, to take part in decision-making processes and to build capacity for sustainable development. Intercultural and multi-sectoral partnerships in particular are often highlighted as critical in Education for Sustainability approaches.