Developing learning for sustainability

Developing learning for sustainability: participatory action research on food sustainability at the University of Edinburgh

Team Members: Niamh Moore, Ann Bruce, Isabelle Darmon, Isabel Fletcher, Alexis Herren, David Somervell, Marisa Wilson


‘Learning for Sustainability’ (LfS) is a growing agenda which has emerged in UK and international contexts, and all education levels, yet much work is to be done if the concept, and practice, of ‘learning for sustainability’ is to be well-embedded in universities. This project seeks to support the embedding of LfS in the curriculum, and ultimately more widely in teaching (and research) culture at the University of Edinburgh, through a participatory action research project which will run alongside a new honours course, ‘The Social Life of Food’, offered in Sociology for the first time in 2015-2016.

Students on the course will be offered the opportunity to join a participatory action research (PAR) project, and to carry out action research on a range of topics related to food sustainability, with the University of Edinburgh as the main site, and ultimately to plan and carry out an intervention aimed at improving sustainability around food on campus.

The project will be supported by a team of academics from a range of disciplines, an RA, and involvement of the Social Responsibility and Sustainability (SRS) Office. The project aims to provide students with an intense experience of LfS, and through assessment of the PAR project, to produce a toolkit or model of how this project might be transferable to other sustainability topics. This latter aim will in particular be facilitated through the input of the Co-Is, and the SRS.