What is Educational sustainability mean to me and how do I embed Flexible learning into a sustainable teaching practice?
The Oxford dictionary states that the definition of Sustainable is:
· Able to be upheld or defended
So to me sustainability must be the “ability to sustain” whatever subject is being discussed e.g. the environment, the economy.
When you look at the word Sustainability it suggests that we are trying to just sustain what we are doing. In a teaching context that is implying to me that as teachers we only want to create a practice that sustains a current level of education that is “able to be maintained at a certain rate or level”.
But I would a say we also need to include “growth” into our sustainable practice and encourage creativity, diversity, technology and always make sure that this practice reflects on its design to maintain a sustainable future in the teaching, financial, social economic, environmental and political context.
Reading through and watching the resources for module six, I had one a question that kept popping into my head.
Does sustainability encourage growth or restrain it?
I would like to think sustainability is like the anchor that keeps modern practices on the straight and narrow, like a big brother that makes you think of the ramifications of what you are doing and how it affects everything around you.
How does sustainability influence my teaching practices?
When I design, implement, consider, and adapt any material or class resources both now and into the future, I must reflect and take into account how what I am doing is going to be sustainable in context with my practice.
What are the influences that govern how sustainability affects my teaching context?
The above diagram shows how I see what factors have to be taken into account when creating learning experiences. All of the above factors can be expanded upon in more detail and as I learn/experience more I am sure the factors and influences that I take into account will grow as well.
In some ways the above factors could be seen as restraints to the creativity of the course, student or teacher. But I prefer to think of them as a “necessary evil” that keeps the material focused and relevant to a modern society and maintains a high quality of standard in my workmanship.
P.S. If you haven’t watched Sir Ken Robinson discuss Do schools kill creativity? I strongly recommend watching it. Not only does it get you thinking but is a good laugh as well. He talks about how a modern teaching society is constraining creativity and how higher qualifications are becoming main stream and losing their value.