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Education for Sustainable Development

The Strategic Alignment of Teaching and Learning Enhancement Funding in Higher Education (SATLE) is a National Forum and Higher Education Authority funding allocation which aims to drive teaching and learning innovation and enhancement across the Irish higher education sector. Current areas of focus are Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), Digital Transformation, and Academic Integrity. 

Trinity's ESD Ambition

In May 2023, Trinity Teaching and Learning (TT&L), in collaboration with Trinity Sustainability, appointed five Fellows in Education for Sustainable Development, as part of a SATLE-funded initiative. With established academic careers in their respective disciplines and with expertise and interest in ESD, the Fellows are working in partnership with the Centre for Academic Practice, TT&L and Trinity Sustainability to lead the development of an ESD Strategy and Implementation Plan for Trinity. 

The ESD Fellows will align their vision with UNESCO’s 2020 definition for ESD as it “…empowers learners with knowledge, skills, values and attitudes to take informed decisions and ...responsible actions for environmental integrity, economic viability and a just society. …It is holistic and transformational and encompasses learning content and outcomes, pedagogy and the learning environment itself." 

Trinity’s ESD initiative aims to empower Trinity students and staff to develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to act as agents of change, individually and collectively, in working for sustainable development within planetary boundaries.  

It will do this by:

  • Identifying relevant competencies for sustainability and the pedagogical approaches which support their development;
  • Co-creating a shared vision for ESD as part of Trinity undergraduate and postgraduate education;
  • Mapping existing ESD provision at Trinity: including integration of ESD concepts and pedagogical approaches across undergraduate and postgraduate program

In doing so, Trinity will deliver on Ireland's National Strategy on Education for Sustainable Development - ESD to 2030 which aims to:

  • Promote lifelong learning;
  • Balance social, environmental, and economic considerations;
  • Act as an agent for positive change;
  • Promote social equity, climate justice, anti-racism and interculturalism;
  • Promote active citizenship and inclusion;
  • Be locally relevant, while also linking to national and global contexts;
  • Be interdisciplinary, recognising interdependence and interconnectivities across disciplines and sectors;
  • Promote and use a variety of pedagogical techniques that support active and participatory learning, critical thinking and development of key skills and dispositions.

In parallel, it will support international ambitions by addressing Trinity’s commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals #4 focusing on quality education which aims to “ensure that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development…”