Compass Education Level 1: Sustainability Education

Course Description

During this course participants will explore the concept of sustainability with specific emphasis on the role of education and the use of systems thinking to enhance student learning. Systems thinking tools and methods will be demonstrated and participants will have the opportunity to explore their practical application. The aim of the course is for participants to leave with a deeper understanding of sustainability, a greater awareness of their own systems contexts, skill in using systems thinking tools and the ability to successfully incorporate and align sustainability with existing curriculum.

Upon evidence of use of tools introduced in this course, participants will be certified as a Compass Education level 1: Compass Practitioner.

 

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Learning Outcomes

As a result of taking this course, participants will participate in interactive learning that will instruct on how to:

1. Discuss the imperative for sustainability education
2. Identify sustainability dispositions and examine their compatibility with personal educational philosophy and institutional values
3. Understand the Compass as a whole system thinking tool supporting sustainability habits of mind.
4. Explore the educational uses of systems thinking tools (behavior over time graphs, closed loop diagrams and the Iceberg Model)
5. Examine how sustainability perspectives and systems thinking tools can be integrated into teaching and learning
6. Adapt unit/lesson plans to integrate sustainability perspectives and systems thinking tools

Enduring Understanding

Systems thinking enables educators to help their students develop the knowledge, skills and dispositions necessary to participate in a complex and interdependent world.

Instructor Feedback and Assessment

This course is assessed on a pass/fail basis. To gain Compass Education level 1 certification it is necessary to complete all activities to a satisfactory level.

The course instructor will provide brief comments (in the form of clarifying and probing questions) and a completion score after each lesson.

More detailed feedback will be provided on the first draft of the learning plan that forms the basis of the course summative assessment at the end of lesson 6.

Deadlines

This course must be completed within seven weeks of your start date.  For example, if you started the course on January 1, then all work needs to be completed by February 22.

Resources

Required Reading

  • Participants will be asked to create a personal workbook from a template provided as well as participate in an online platform to support discussions related to the content of the course.

 Recommended Reading

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Instructor

lm-150x150This course is facilitated by Laurence Myers, a Compass trainer and Sustainability & Service Learning Coordinator at the International School Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Email him at Laurence@compasseducation.org

For more information about Laurence and other Compass instructors, jump over to here.

 

 

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Lessons

Lesson 1: An Introduction to Sustainability (Preview)

Author: Laurence Myers

The transformation to sustainability will require a change from the take-make-dispose industrial world view. An ecological worldview based on an understanding of systems thinking is possibly the most desirable alternative. Transitioning to a systems thinking worldview will present education with serious challenges.

The transformation to sustainability will require a change from the take-make-dispose industrial world view. An ecological worldview based on an understanding of systems thinking is possibly the most desirable alternative. Transitioning to a systems thinking worldview will present education with serious challenges.

Lesson 2: Sustainability Dispositions & Learner Profiles (Preview)

Author: Laurence Myers

While there are strong arguments that contemporary education is driving unsustainability it is undeniable that existing education systems have been highly successful in meeting past socio-economic demands. Consequently, education systems and organizations are often very resistant to change.

While there are strong arguments that contemporary education is driving unsustainability it is undeniable that existing education systems have been highly successful in meeting past socio-economic demands. Consequently, education systems and organizations are often very resistant to change.

Lesson 3: Understanding the Compass (Preview)

Length: 4 minutesAuthor: Laurence Myers

The Sustainability Compass was created by Alan AtKisson and developed from the work of Herman Daly and Donella Meadows. It is a simple and yet academically robust tool that supports differentiated approaches to teaching and learning.

The Sustainability Compass was created by Alan AtKisson and developed from the work of Herman Daly and Donella Meadows. It is a simple and yet academically robust tool that supports differentiated approaches to teaching and learning.

Lesson 4: Systems Thinking Tools (Preview)

Length: 3 minutesAuthor: Laurence Myers

Deepen your understanding of systems dynamics and to learn how systems thinking tools can be introduced into specific aspects of their curricular learning plans to enhance learning and integrate sustainability.

Deepen your understanding of systems dynamics and to learn how systems thinking tools can be introduced into specific aspects of their curricular learning plans to enhance learning and integrate sustainability.

Lesson 5: Lesson Examples (Preview)

Author: Laurence Myers

The aim of this lesson is to provide participants with practical examples of how systems thinking tools are being used in a variety of classroom contexts. Participants will be provided with a video examples of the system thinking tools being used in MS/HS classes.

The aim of this lesson is to provide participants with practical examples of how systems thinking tools are being used in a variety of classroom contexts. Participants will be provided with a video examples of the system thinking tools being used in MS/HS classes.

Lesson 6: Unit Development (Preview)

Author: Laurence Myers

Participants to apply what they have learned about sustainability dispositions, the Compass and systems thinking tools in their own educational context. The unit/lesson that is developed will be summatively assessed.

Participants to apply what they have learned about sustainability dispositions, the Compass and systems thinking tools in their own educational context. The unit/lesson that is developed will be summatively assessed.