Sustainable Education

Thursday 15th July 2021

  • #UKEdChat session 561
  • Teachers should aim for best balance of good results and sustainable efforts to reach them.
  • Learning is a marathon, not a sprint.
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As a runner, I understand the importance of ‘just keep going’. Because often, if you stop you won’t start again. There are many parallels to teaching. Many teachers survive on adrenaline and caffeine to get through the ‘finish line’ of the end of term. But one does not sprint in a marathon. The pace is tempered to the requirements of the race to ensure that one finishes in one piece, but with the best result possible. In education, we can always do more, but is that sustainable over the long term?

It is not just teachers who need to think about educational sustainability. While an exam season ‘sprint’ of extra workload is common for pupils, this needs to come after one’s reserves are full, or at the very least, not depleted. Our young people need guidance to get this balance right, and teachers can assist and model sustainable practices to ensure the best balance of good results and sustainable efforts are reached. It doesn’t matter how hard a pupil is pushed if they crumble under overbearing pressure.

The sustainability of the environment is the type that we encounter most in everyday life and the type which is most talked about in our classrooms. Considering that environmental chaos will likely have a bigger impact on the lives of our young people than a grade boundary in a given school subject, are schools doing enough to educate about and directly impact the future for the better with regards to the environment and climate sustainability?

In this #UKEdChat session, which took place on Thursday 15th July 2021 at 8pm(UK), we discussed three distinct varieties of sustainability in education: of the teacher; of the student; and of the planet. We discuss how teachers develop practices to improve sustainable learning in the classroom, how schools can develop a culture that celebrates and promotes sustainability, and how to achieve the best balance between results and sustainable effort.


  1. What does sustainable education mean to you?
  2. How do you ensure that you achieve sustainability in your teaching?
  3. What does a sustainable school culture look like?
  4. What can senior leaders do to make your teaching more sustainable?
  5. Does technology make your teaching more or less sustainable? How and why?
  6. How can we help our student develop sustainable learning habits?
  7. How does your school model and promote environmental sustainability?
  8. What are your tips for teaching environmental sustainability in your subject area and/or age group?

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About @ICTmagic 780 Articles
Martin Burrett is the editor of our popular UKEdMagazine, along with curating resources in the ICTMagic section, and free resources for teachers on UKEd.Directory

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