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Change the way we teach

Inside a round building with lots of windows and doors and a bumpy grass-like floor.
Inside a round building with lots of windows and doors and a bumpy grass-like floor.
Mayyadah Hameed, 2021 MA Interior and Spatial Design, Camberwell College of Arts, UAL

Leading change with a curriculum underpinned by climate justice.

Across all subjects and levels, our students' work, research and creative practice can contribute to a better world. We must not only change what we teach, but our approach to teaching and learning too. We give our staff the tools, skills and resources they need to develop a new type of curriculum.

What we've done so far

Delivering on changing the way we teach

The Academic Discourse and Action Learning (ADAL) working group is delivering on changing the way we teach and leads our work on embedding Education for Sustainable Development. The ADAL Working Group is committed to 3 key aims (PDF 79KB) and wants to deliver on them before 2026.

So far, we have:

  • developed a set of guiding principles for climate, racial and social justice (PDF 105KB)
  • developed a framework for embedding climate, racial and social justice into all our courses (PDF 528KB)
  • developed a toolkit for climate, racial and social justice – including a glossary of terms, teaching and learning resources, case studies and library guides
  • developed and is piloting a programme of staff development to support them to deliver climate, racial and social justice in their teaching - this includes Carbon Literacy Training which over 160 staff have completed
  • provided opportunities for student and staff voice and activism, helping to mobilise models of co-production, rapid adaptation and student climate advocacy
  • created a Climate Advocate scheme which works across all academic programmes and courses, supporting curriculum co-design and auditing course handbooks to understand how the principles for climate, racial and social justice are being embedded
  • piloted experimental approaches to change the way we teach in a 'living lab' model, for example, a project exploring what it means for students and staff to spend time in nature within their teaching and learning
  • recruited an educational developer based in our Teaching and Learning Exchange to lead and coordinate these activities.

To find out more about the ADAL Working Group’s commitments, email Nina Stevenson, Co-Chair of the working group

Staff networking, training, and support

Our staff development programme helps all academic staff to integrate our principles for climate, racial and social justice into the curriculum. We support staff to embed Education for Sustainable Development through:

  • Carbon Literacy Training accredited by the Carbon Literacy Project
  • workshops and bespoke staff development support
  • Facing Climate Fears, a staff development workshop and resource which addresses eco-anxiety.

Our staff induction explains our approach to sustainability and how to support our climate action objectives. Every staff member takes our online carbon literacy training module (PDF 1.33MB) during their induction.

Tools and resources

Our research centres and academics have developed tools and resources to integrate sustainability into the curriculum.

FashionSEEDS was developed by the Centre for Sustainable Fashion at LCF. It includes a:

The Collections Action Group began to think about what a sustainable collection might look like and how it might operate.  A set of evolving resources were developed by the group.

Plastic Justice is a pan-European educational collaboration between 5 art and design academies. It's focused on the long-term impact of invisible micro-plastics on the human body. The Plastic Justice teaching guide explores how we teach environmental issues to graphic design students. It's supported by references related to the topic and relevant to arts educators.

The TEN was developed by the Centre for Circular Design to explore sustainable product lifecycles.

The Responsible Design Framework (PDF 122KB) was developed by the Design School at London College of Communication. It guides staff in embedding responsible design approaches and principles within the curriculum, while sharing this knowledge with students. They have produced case studies of teaching practice (PDF 8.22MB).

Frameworks for sustainable learning, teaching and research

We have developed a set of Principles for Climate, Racial and Social Justice and a framework for embedding climate, racial and social justice (528KB). This is the framework we use for integrating Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) into our teaching and learning. Our Climate Advocates have conducted a course handbook audit (308KB) to assess all courses against the framework and will continue to audit them on an annual basis.

Climate Advocates

Climate Advocates are students led by climate advocate leads in each College. They promote environmental awareness and sustainability in teaching. All Climate Advocates are paid through Arts Temps, our social enterprise recruitment agency.

Their primary role is to support the work of embedding climate, social and racial justice into the curriculum, working closely with course leaders and programme directors. Climate Advocates can also propose projects in a 'living lab' model to change the way we teach. They’re also taking part in events like Earth Day and staff development activities.

Climate Advocates will also regularly meet with Climate Advocate Staff Leads to share good practice and to create and empower this community.

Read more about the Climate Advocates scheme.

What we'll do next


  • embed climate justice in all our courses through a set of teaching principles and a framework to apply these in the curriculum.
  • provide staff development and training on climate justice, so our staff have the knowledge and skills to transform the curriculum.
  • pair a student Climate Advocate with every academic programme, to ensure student input in the development of a new curriculum