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11 October 2019

Award-winning sustainability champions at ECS

School of Education, Communication and Society

ECS is committed to sustainability

Waterloo Bridge Wing

ECS is committed to embedding sustainability across its teaching, operations and community, and at the KCL Sustainability Awards 2019 we were thrilled to win ‘Outstanding Contribution to Sustainability’.

Sustainability and the teaching curricula

This academic year ECS sustainability champions – Dr Melissa Glackin, Dr Heather King, Dr John Owens and Kate Greer – introduced three new teaching modules which support students to critically engage in ideas of environment and sustainability as they pursue degrees in STEM Education and Social Sciences.

Our new degree course, BA Social Sciences led by Dr John Owens, embeds themes of sustainability, climate and environment across its curriculum, including through the Environment and Society module that focuses on understanding and addressing the complex social, cultural, political and economic facts that underpin environmental problems.

Swapping disposable items for reusable

ECS Technical Manager Angela Casey and School Manager Ben Day worked with King’s Food, and Estates and Facilities to create a kitchenette in the Waterloo Bridge Wing to enable crockery used for events to be washed and stored on site. Previously, due to a lack of step-free access between the Franklin Wilkins Building and the Waterloo Bridge Wing, disposable crockery had been used to avoid breakage during transportation.

Researching environmental education policy

Two research reports, led by Dr Melissa Glackin and Dr Heather King, examining the current state environmental education policy and practice in England’s secondary schools, continue to build momentum – not least in the light of student strikes for climate change.

The reports found that England’s environmental education policy lacks intention and ideological vision. As a result, environmental education in schools is without a defined home and is ‘falling through the gaps’ in curriculum provision.

Two PhD students who are part of the Environmental Education Research Group co-authored the reports. Rachel Cook is investigating how family culture shapes pupil engagement in learning in outdoor settings and Kate Greer is examining perspectives of policy influencers on the role of education in response to climate change.

Our portfolio of environmental education research has expanded in 2019-20, as Shirin Hines begins her PhD investigating how Forest School can support socially just environmental education.

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In this story

John Owens

Senior Lecturer in Ethics and Public Policy

Melissa Glackin

Reader in Science & Environmental Education

Heather King

Professor in Science Education