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Learning for a Sustainable Future

Join a personal and professional global learning journey towards a sustainable future. What on Earth could be more important?

2,536 enrolled on this course

Learning for a Sustainable Future

Grow your knowledge of sustainability

Climate change, gender equality, health, social equity, and inclusion are issues that affect us all, impacting human well-being and economic stability. How to live a sustainable life affects – and connects - us all.

On this five-week course, you’ll develop an informed personal response to these major challenges as you’re supported to take positive actions towards a sustainable future.

You’ll learn more about current global issues and consider how we can all take action, personally or locally.

The course has an additional strand for those working in formal or informal education, who want to bring some of the activities and issues covered in the course into their own teaching.

Take action

You’ll learn practical ways to explore values and empower people to examine the ways in which they could take local action on global-scale problems.

Working in this way, starting from where you are within your own context, and sharing this with others throughout the course helps us all to develop a new and collective way of thinking for a sustainable future.

Discover how to work towards a sustainable future

You’ll build your understanding of and knowledge of sustainability and the global challenges that we face and experience within our lives, as you learn from experts at the University of Edinburgh, Learning for Sustainability Scotland and other participants on the course.

By the end of the course, you’ll be more confident and ready to take steps towards a sustainable future.

You may also be interested in our 2-week Learning for a Sustainable Future: Live at COP26 course.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 6 seconds What on Earth could be more important than understanding and tackling the big issues that shape our world? Climate change, gender equality, health, social equity, and inclusion affect us all wherever we live and impact on human well-being and economic stability. Join us on this free online course, and we’ll help you develop an informed personal response to these major challenges and support you to take positive action towards a sustainable future. Over five weeks, we will work together to learn more about current global issues and consider how we can all act to make a difference, personally or locally.

Skip to 0 minutes and 54 seconds The course also includes discussions and resources for those working in formal or informal education who want to bring some of the activities and topics that we will cover into their own teaching. How to live a sustainable life affects and connects us all. Take action by enrolling today.

Syllabus

  • Week 1

    Examining thinking

    • Getting Started

      In this section, you can learn more about the course structure and the community learning approach. You will also have the opportunity to meet the course team and one another.

    • Examining thinking

      This week, we invite you to reflect upon understandings of the range, scope and contested nature of 'sustainability'.

    • Behind the scenes: learning starting points

      In this section, we will reflect on the teaching and learning approach and content of this week and invite you to share your thoughts and own approaches.

  • Week 2

    Values and frameworks

    • Values and frameworks

      This week we reflect upon the role of personal values and frameworks for thinking when moving towards action.

    • Behind the scenes: learning starting points

      In this section, we will reflect on the teaching and learning approach and content of this week and invite you to share your thoughts and own approaches.

  • Week 3

    Systems and connections

    • Systems and connections

      This week we will consider systems and connections.

    • Behind the scenes: learning starting points

      In this section, we will reflect on the teaching and learning approach and content of this week and invite you to share your thoughts and own approaches.

  • Week 4

    Moving to action

    • Moving to action

      Moving to action within our sphere of influence.

    • Behind the scenes: learning starting points

      In this section, we will reflect on the teaching and learning approach and content of this week and invite you to share your thoughts and own approaches.

  • Week 5

    Futures thinking

    • Futures thinking

      Now it's time to reflect on our learning and consider how we may move on from here.

    • Behind the scenes: learning starting points

      In this section, we will reflect on the teaching and learning approach and content of this week and invite you to share your thoughts and own approaches.

    • Summary

      Now that we have reached the end of this course, we invite you to read information on next steps to take your learning further.

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and learn at your own pace. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

You can take this self-guided course and learn at your own pace. On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Critically reflect upon understandings of the range, scope and nature of 'sustainability'.
  • Consider the role of personal values and frameworks for thinking when investigating sustainability issues.
  • Explore the way in which systems, connections and factors such as intersectionality influence the impact of sustainability issues.
  • Investigate how we might move towards action within our own spheres of influence.
  • Identify and investigate a sustainability issue and share possible next steps towards taking action.
  • Examine educational approaches that may help to develop a response to global challenges.

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for anyone with an interest in sustainability – and that should be all of us, of course!

You may find the course particularly useful if you are involved in education at any level but no formal experience is required.

Who will you learn with?

Beth is a Senior Lecturer in Learning for Sustainability and Programme Director for the MSc Learning for Sustainability at the Moray House School of Education, University of Edinburgh.

I am online learning facilitator focussed on Learning for Sustainability, and passionate about participatory and transformative approaches to learning.

Peter is Professor of Outdoor, Environmental & Sustainability Education at Edinburgh University, Director Learning for Sustainability Scotland, and Trustee of several national environmental charities.

I am a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Edinburgh, where I investigate how/whether social media influences residential outdoor learning spaces.

I worked for several years as a Geography teacher, and now I divide my time between motherhood and working with Learning for Sustainability Scotland to deliver online courses on LfS for educators.

Kirsten is a project manager with Learning for Sustainability Scotland. She has a background in secondary education and has worked on sustainability-related initiatives for over fifteen years.

Who developed the course?

The University of Edinburgh

Founded in 1583, the University of Edinburgh is one of the world’s top universities and is globally recognised for research, innovation and high-quality teaching.

Learning for Sustainability Scotland

Learning for Sustainability Scotland is Scotland’s Regional Centre of Expertise on Education for Sustainable Development – acknowledged by the United Nations University.

British Council

The British Council builds connections, understanding and trust between people in the UK and other countries through arts and culture, education and the English language.

We work on the ground in more than 100 countries. In 2019-20 we connected with 80 million people directly and with 791 million people overall, including online and through our broadcasts and publications.

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Upgrade this course for extra benefits, or buy Unlimited to access this course and hundreds of other short courses for a year. Or, join this course with free basic access, limited to 7 weeks (excludes certificates).

Upgrade this course

$49

Learners who upgrade are 5x as likely to complete the course!*

  • Access to this course
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Printed and digital certificate when you’re eligible

Unlimited

$15.83/month

Billed at $189.99 for a year

Endless possibilities!

  • Access to this course
  • Access to ALL eligible short courses with additional benefits, for a year
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Digital certificate when you're eligible

Basic access

Free

Try before you buy

  • Limited access to course content for 7 weeks

Find out more about certificates, Upgrades or Unlimited.

Sale price available until 6 December 2021 at 23:59 (UTC). T&Cs apply.

Join this course for free with basic access. Access to this course only limited to 7 weeks. Excludes certificates.

*FutureLearn considers a short course complete when a learner has engaged with 90% of the content. For enrolments to short courses with the possibility of Upgrade in the year of 2020, enrolments with an Upgrade are completed 5.31 times as often as enrolments with basic access

*FutureLearn considers a short course complete when a learner has engaged with 90% of the content. For enrolments to short courses with the possibility of Upgrade in the year of 2020, enrolments with an Upgrade are completed 5.31 times as often as enrolments with basic access

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps, but you can complete them as quickly or slowly as you like
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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