College launches strategic initiative aimed at integrating sustainable development education into curriculum

Five academic fellows have been appointed to develop Trinity’s programme of Education for Sustainable Development

College has announced a new strategic initiative aimed at incorporating Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) throughout the curriculum. Under the initiative, five members of academic staff from all three faculties have been appointed Fellows in ESD.

The appointed fellows, Dr. Carlos Rocha, Dr. Sarah-Jane Cullinane, Dr. John Gallagher, Dr. Felix Mezzanotte, and Dr. Cicely Roche, will work with Trinity Teaching & Learning and Trinity Sustainability to develop a programme which aims to “empower students and staff to develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to act as agents of change for a sustainable future”.

Through the initiative, College aims to identify relevant competencies for sustainability, create a shared vision for ESDs as part of undergraduate and postgraduate education, and map existing ESD provision at Trinity. 

Dr. Pauline Rooney serves as programme director, with Nicola Byrne serving as the programme manager and Trinity Vice President for Biodiversity and Climate Action, Professor Jane Stout serving as programme sponsor. 

Commenting on the programme, Professor Stout said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for us to advance our sustainability goals and embed education for sustainable development in the curriculum for all Trinity students.”

“By building upon the incredible work already taking place across all three faculties, this project allows us to consolidate and enhance our sustainability education, ensuring that all Trinity degrees become sustainability degrees in the future,” she added.

Trinity’s Academic Secretary Patricia Callaghan said: “Empowering our students and staff to tackle the complex challenges of sustainable development is a strategic priority for Trinity. Teaching and learning innovation will be a key enabler of this, equipping our College community with the knowledge and skills required to take action for a more sustainable future.”

Trinity’s efforts in developing the programme are in alignment with the government’s  national strategy on sustainable development education “ESD to 2030”. The initiative also aims to support international efforts in sustainable development by addressing Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG 4) which aims to “ensure that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development”. 

The funding for the ESD Fellows is provided by the Strategic Alignment of Teaching and Learning Enhancement Funding in Higher Education (SATLE), a National Forum and Higher Education Authority (HEA) led initiative designed to “drive teaching and learning innovation and enhancement across Irish higher education”.