Sustaining all week

Posted on December 2, 2007


My diary is full of sustainability this week.

Most of Monday is being taken up with meetings to pull together our institution’s Education for Sustainability strategic plan. We have several strands – I’ve been reporting on the curriculum (teaching and learning) here, but there is also much happening in both compost (operations) and community. By the end of tomorrow it should all be coherent. This is important. Willard‘s fourth and fifth stages are focused on doing the right thing:

Stage 4 companies “do the right things” so that they are successful businesses. Stage 5 companies are successful businesses so that they can continue to “do the right things.”

this is even more important for education where how you teach is perhaps as important as what you teach. This hidden curriculum is recognised on both the NACCQ and Otago Polytechnic statements:

Creating a philosophy of Computer Education for Sustainability will be enhanced if undertaken within a context of institutional operational practice. We will then be seen to be modelling good practice.

Also on Monday I’m running a 2 hour workshop for Dunedin’s Sustainable Business Network (5-7 Town Hall). I have three goals. First to let them know what we’re up to, second to put plans in place for a DOTT-like sustainability festival in Dunedin. I think we need something like this to raise the level of sustainability above greenwash. I’m hoping not to run into resistance – people wanting to sell their green-branded heatpump – but think the response if I do is one of raising the critical awareness of consumers so that truly sustainable products can stand out above the weakly washed products. Third, I’m promoting the idea of Regional Centre of Expertise for sustainability education.

On Tuesday we’re spending the day at Kaikorai Valley College helping with Simon McMillan’s field-day. Vicky, Leigh and I spent most of last Wednesday collecting stories from people in the Kaikorai area. We’ve set up a website StreamingKaikorai (demo data only at present), which we’ll get our 10 lots of visiting kids to populate on Tuesday. I’m quite excited about this, it is looking like great way of providing a vehicle for kids to connect with their community and landscapes.

On Wednesday Kerry Shephard and Richard Morgan are holding a workshop for Otago University staff Education for Sustainable Development. Kerry and Nell met with Phil and I a couple of weeks ago and I’m so pleased that they’ve been able to arrange this workshop. The stated aims are to look at setting up a Special Interest Group and to explore the notion of Regional Centres of Expertise within the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development.

On Thursday I’m working with Heads of School on their action plans. And on Friday I turn into a beautiful butterfly (with a red gown) – graduation day.