Sustainability, including its leading theme of climate change, is currently considered the world's most urgent threat to the resilience of societies, economies, cultures and the environment. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) was nominated in 2002 as the lead agency for implementing Sustainability Education worldwide. UNESCO describes this global endeavour as a process, which allows "every human being to acquire the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values necessary to shape a sustainable future". The United Nations Implementation Scheme (2004) directs that teaching and learning of Sustainability addresses 15 key issues and the interactions between them. These issues include topics such as climate change, sustainable urbanisation, market economy, poverty reduction, natural resources, biodiversity, sustainable consumption, cultural diversity, and human rights. This unit has a focus on the teaching of Environmental and Sustainability Education across curriculum areas in secondary schools and will allow you to; (a) develop a broad understanding of major Sustainability issues; (b) develop a deep understanding of systems' interdependence and complexity; and, (c) develop the required skills to teach Sustainability through diverse pedagogies, including involving school students in active participation in their local community sustainability issues. University students will build upon their abilities to document, reflect, analyse and critique their contribution to a collaborating team of teachers, focusing on participation in, and evaluation of, the professional discourses which enable teachers to respond constructively to students and their learning needs.

Unit details

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Unit code:


EEE3008 - Sustainability in the Primary Curriculum

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Debate major world sustainability issues;  
  2. Articulate complexity and system approaches for dealing with sustainability issues;  
  3. Design environmental education units for secondary school students, including teaching modules;  
  4. Integrate Sustainability Education into various disciplines and contexts, across school curriculum; and  
  5. Plan and exhibit diverse approaches and pedagogies for teaching sustainability.  


Assessment type Description Grade
Report A critical assessment of a local Sustainability Education program. 30%
Project Design and trial of a Sustainability Education activity for secondary school students. 70%
Effective word limit of 3000 words in total, or equivalent.

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