TEESNet 2018

Teacher Education for Equity and Sustainability Network (TEESNet)

Eleventh Annual Conference

Getting to the Heart of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):

          The Role of Teacher Education in Prompting Critical Engagement and Action

Tuesday 11th September 2018, Liverpool Hope University

TEESNet pic collage 1

This conference built on the hugely successful  2017 conference ‘Making the SDGs Real’, by  focusing on Goal 4 and the role of teacher education in moving beyond awareness of the SDGs to critical engagement and action.

The conference explored critical perspectives on Goal 4.7  and the aim to for all learners to acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development through Education for Sustainable Development and Global Citizenship Education (ESD/GCED). This included questions about our responsibility and response to the SDGs and how we address societal challenges such as inequality, climate change and the rise of nationalism.

See below for information about presentations and further info from our keynote speakers, workshop leaders and paper presenters. If you would like to find out more about any of the below presentations, please contact us!


Julia Heiss & Lydia Ruprecht – UNESCO

Julia and Lydia provided an overview of UNESCO’s work on ESD from the Decade of ESD to the Global Action Program on ESD and beyond. Their presentation
highlighted the instrumental role of teachers in ESD and give examples of UNESCO’s support for teacher training for ESD. This will demonstrate the strong link and role of ESD in achieving the SDGs drawing upon examples of UNESCO’s work in this area, including the monitoring of SDG 4.7. Julia will also reflect upon the challenges UNESCO faces in pushing the ESD/SDG agenda forward.

Duncan Green – What Kind of the Change Are the SDGs Likely to Bring About_

Duncan Green is Senior Strategic Adviser at Oxfam GB and Professor in Practice in International Development at the London School of Economics. He is author of How Change Happens (OUP, October 2016) and From Poverty to Power: How Active Citizens and Effective States can Change the World (Oxfam International, 2008, second edition 2012).

Manju Patel-Nair – Creative Communities
Manju Patel-Nair is an independent trainer and consultant, active across various fields encompassing global learning, youth participation, race and resistance. As a global citizenship practitioner Manju’s work centers on pedagogies for ‘community building’, bringing diverse groups of people into shared spaces, to engage hearts and minds and create change within communities. As Associate at HEC Global Learning centre, Manju leads on ‘Creative Communities’ as well as ‘Tafahum’, an Erasmus funded project which gives young people the opportunity to become consultants to local policymakers. Manju also facilitates for Faith & Belief Forum, delivering interfaith dialogue workshops across schools. You can view the Creative Communities (COCO) Evaluation Report 2018

SDG Flashcards
May East from Gaia Education shared her work on developing SDG Flashcards, a practitioner resource aimed at collaboratively identifying actions and solutions for implementing the goals. May also invited participants to collaborate in developing a similar resource for early years contexts. Find out more about May here and access some of the resources created by Gaia Education through these links:

Teachers’ Guide to the SDGs

Kate Lea from Oxfam GB explored the relationship between education and taking action. She invited for thoughts and input to help prepare the new Teachers’ Guide to the SDGs. Participants also had the chance to hear briefly about two Oxfam programmes focussing on the SDGs:  the ‘Future Youth Schools Forums’ model that has supported young people to explore and take action in response to SDG5 (gender) and ‘Walk the Global Walk’ – an exciting new ten-country European project led by Oxfam Italy to mobilise European young people in support of the SDGs.

Teaching Controversial Issues
Clive Belgeonne from Development Education Centre South Yorkshire (DECSY) looked at strategies and activities for creating a learning environment where controversial issues can be addressed. In a time when we are bombarded by information from a range of sources, political discourse seems increasingly polarised and social media seems to amplify extreme opinions, teachers and other educators are often wary of engaging with what may be perceived as controversial issues. However, there are a number of reasons why educators need to help young people develop the critical thinking skills to make informed choices in an uncertain and rapidly changing world. See also the accompanying Teaching Controversial Issues handout

Climate Change and Migration – Engaging the public through creative arts and community partnerships
Creative producer and artist-filmmaker Kooj Chuhan presented and critically appraised work that attempts to engage and educate the public around the intersection between climate change and migration. Using examples such as the Footprint Modulation exhibition and the award-winning Climate Justice, Science and Refugees project, he suggested ways in which participants might adapt similar approaches within their own area of work. Use the following link for more information and to view a short documentary about the Footprint Modulation project: metaceptive.net/footprintmodulation


We are delighted to have received a large number of proposals for papers to be presented at this year’s TEESNet. We would like to thank presenters for agreeing to share their presentations here.

Decolonizing the Places, Spaces and Boundaries of Sustainable Development & Global Citizenship Education: a critical analysis of SDG 4.7
Fatima Pirbhai-Illich University of Regina, Canada / Fran Martin University of Exeter

Exploration of Send My Friend to School as a Practical Case Study of SDG 4.7 in Action and What Lessons Can Be Learned
Ema Jackson Send My Friend to School 

Developing Meaningful ESDGC Experiences for Early Years Education and Care Students
Glenda Tinney University of Wales Trinity Saint David

Early Childhood Education for Sustainability as a Scaffold for Transformative Learning in Higher Education
Nicky Hirst Liverpool John Moores University

Global Skills for Global Teachers
Douglas Bourn Institute of Education, University College London

Bringing the Outdoors Inside Education
Steven England The Art of Sustainability

SDGs in Secondary Education in the West Midlands
Elena Lengthorn University of Worcester

The Empathy Pedagogical Approach Contribution to GCE_ Kazakhstani Secondary Schools Context
Natalya Hanley Institute of Education, University College London

Achieving SDG4.7_ Sikkim and beyond…lessons from a small Himalayan state_
Ronald Johnston UNESCO Mahatma Gandhi Institute for Peace and Sustainable Development

Participatory Pedagogy in Practice: Using effective participatory pedagogy in classroom practice to enhance pupil voice and educational engagement
Jen Simpson Thinking Through Learning

Moving beyond the printed word of policy to practice: an exploration into the conditions in which learning for sustainability might flourish in Initial Teacher Education.
Robbie Nicol, Ann Rae, Rosa Murray and Pete Higgins Moray House School of Education, University of Edinburgh

A Common Good Curriculum for Change….walking the talk, lighting pathways towards better outcomes                                                                  John Patterson St Vincent’s School

A Bridge to the Future_ Making Sense of the SDGs
Stephen Scoffham Canterbury Christ Church University

SDG 4.7 and the Global Learning Programme in Northern Ireland
Gerard McCann, Queens University Belfast / Orla Devine, Global Learning Programme

Educating the Heart_ a curriculum based and holistic approach for cultivating compassionate global citizenship
Caroline Murphy and Donna McFeely Children in Crossfire, Northern Ireland

International Approaches to the Refugee Crisis
Chris Keelan, Dave Vernon, Jacqueline Neve Liverpool Hope University

A Duty to Resist_ Implementing Earth Education in English Primary Schools
Alan Pagden and Nicola Kemp Canterbury Christ Church University

Home is Where the Heart Is
Paula Owens, Educational Consultant / Stephen Scoffham & Peter Vujakovic Canterbury Christ Church University

Being-with Woodlands_ heartfelt wisdom for ESD
Sharon Witt and Helen Clarke University of Winchester

Artefacts, Attitudes and Agency: the Sustainable Development Goals as a focus for participatory and creative teaching, learning and assessment practice in higher education. 
Angela Daly Liverpool John Moores University

Global Learning in Primary Science Education
Amy Strachan St Mary’s University

Global Education_ where international migration and sustainable development meet
Karolis Žibas, Lithuanian Social Research Centre / Akvilė Kriščiūnaitė, Diversity Development Group, Lithuania

Educating Global Britain – The Perils and Possibilities of Promoting National Values Through Critical GCE
Phil Bamber Liverpool Hope University