• University of Glasgow

Introduction to Teaching Sustainability and Climate Action

Discover the role that learning for sustainability and climate action has to play in tackling the climate crisis.

836 enrolled on this course

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Introduction to Teaching Sustainability and Climate Action

836 enrolled on this course

  • 4 weeks

  • 3 hours per week

  • Digital certificate when eligible

  • Introductory level

Find out more about how to join this course

Explore new teaching and learning approaches to climate change education

On this four-week course from the University of Glasgow, you’ll delve into the role of education in addressing the current climate crisis.

You’ll be introduced to the concept of ecopedagogy, and examine how this approach can transform Education for Sustainable Development (ESD).

Using innovative strategies, you’ll discover how to develop a curriculum that encourages socially responsible learners who actively engage with climate action.

Examine the need for climate action

Beginning with a look at the social context of climate change, you’ll develop your understanding of the climate crisis and the need for systemic and individual change to climate responses.

You’ll learn the causes and consequences of climate change and understand the call for new educational approaches to climate action.

Explore the role of education in addressing the climate emergency

Mainstream educational models have often left little space for addressing environmental issues within the curriculum.

Using ecopedagogy as your overarching approach, you’ll explore how to raise ecological awareness and help propel a cultural shift that addresses the climate crisis in and beyond your classroom.

With this knowledge, you’ll be able to help your learners become ecologically literate, active agents in the fight against climate change.

Develop course materials that address the climate emergency

Reflecting on real-world examples of ecopedagogy, you’ll discover the additional benefits of eco-capabilities development on student mental health and well-being.

You’ll finish this course with an awareness of ecopedagogy and developed strategies to use its principles in practice to engage your students and drive social responsibility for sustainability and climate action.


  • Week 1

    Course introduction

    • Welcome!

      In this introduction to the course, Dr Ria Dunkley from the University of Glasgow will describe the outcomes of the course and provide a course overview.

    • Perspectives on climate change

      In this step, we explore different perspectives on climate change and reflect on our own thoughts that influence our teaching practice.

    • Climate change's social context

      Within this step, we explore the social context of climate change, highlighting issues of inequality and the disconnection between nature and culture.

    • Week 1 summary

      Congratulations! You have completed your first week of Teaching sustainability and climate action in schools. Join us next week when we will look at what needs to be done about climate change and who needs to do it.

  • Week 2

    Understanding climate action

    • Week 2 introduction

      This step introduces you to what will be covered during week two of the course and invites you to share how hearing about climate change makes you feel.

    • Climate Action Spheres

      In this step, explore the spheres of action on climate change and hear about the framing of arguments about individual behaviour change, systems change and community action.

    • Climate Actors

      In this step, we look at who the actors are in addressing climate change, highlighting the importance of equity in participation.

    • Week 2 summary

      Congratulations! You have completed your second week of this course on Teaching sustainability and climate action in schools. Join us next week when we turn our focus to the principles of ecopedagogy.

  • Week 3

    Introducing Ecopedagogy

    • Week 3 introduction

      This week we’ll explore ecopedagogy as an approach to learning for sustainability and climate action in schools. We will look at a range of approaches to ecopedagogy, including learning beyond the classroom.

    • The Purpose Education

      Here we explore the purpose of education in the 21st Century, focusing on the demand for ecopedagogy that is coming from learners.

    • Enacting Ecopedagogy

      Here we will explore some of the fundamentals of enacting ecopedagogy.

    • Week 3 summary

      Congratulations! You have completed week three of this course on Teaching sustainability and climate action in schools. Join us next week when we will be taking a deeper look at ecopedagogy in practice.

  • Week 4

    Ecopedagogy in practice

    • Week 4 introduction

      Welcome to the fourth and final week of this Education for Sustainability and Climate Action in Schools course. This week, we’ll explore some real-world examples of ecopedagogy in action.

    • Ecopedagogy in Action

      During this week we will explore the real-world examples of learning for sustainability and climate action in schools.

    • Real-world Ecopedagogy

      Within this section, we share examples of projects that might be considered to be ecopedagogic, though they may not necessarily be labelled as such.

    • Week 4 and course summary

      Congratulations! You have reached the end of this course on Teaching sustainability and climate action in schools. Please complete the final reflective activities and keep in touch to tell us about your efforts going forward.

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

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...

  • Explore Climate Change: causes, consequences and the social context
  • Discuss the need for action (IPCC latest report; youth calls for action – moral imperatives)
  • Assess education as an effective route for action
  • Debate the spatial contexts of Climate Change Education: institutional changes; shaping cultural shifts; population-scale influence
  • Explore moving beyond traditional Education for Sustainable Development modes towards more ecologically conscious learning modes (ecopedagogy)

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for teachers at all levels from early years to upper secondary who wish to learn how to embed climate literacy and education into their curriculum.

It will also benefit activists, environmental education professionals, NGO managers, school governors, and home-schooling parents who wish to engage with ecopedagogy principles.

Who will you learn with?

Dr Ria Dunkley is a Senior Lecturer in Geography, Environment & Sustainability within the School of Education & Associate Director of the Centre for Sustainable Solutions at the University of Glasgow.

Who developed the course?

The University of Glasgow

Founded in 1451, the University of Glasgow is the fourth oldest university in the English-speaking world. It is a member of the prestigious Russell Group of leading UK research universities.

  • Established

  • Location

    Glasgow, Scotland, UK
  • World ranking

    Top 70Source: QS World University Rankings 2020

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Ways to learn

Choose the best way to learn for you!

Subscribe & save


Automatically renews

Develop skills to further your career

  • Access to this course
  • Access to 1,000+ courses
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Digital certificate when you're eligible

Cancel for free anytime

Buy this course

$134/one-off payment

Fulfill your current learning need

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

Limited access


Sample the course materials

  • Access expires 16 May 2024

Find out more about certificates, Unlimited or buying a course (Upgrades)

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  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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