Innovation in Pedagogy Café
  • Room 212, Rolle Building

  • Room 207, Rolle Building

  • Venue tbc

  • Venue tbc

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The Centre for Sustainable Futures is hosting sustainability education workshops that will provide colleagues with the creative opportunity to consider innovative teaching and learning practice drawing from both internal and national/international presenters. These café styled events will provide participants contact with new resources and a supportive and dialogic learning space.

28 September 2017: Introducing Systems Thinking in teaching and learning

It’s obvious that we live in a highly connected world – also that many contemporary problems at local through to global level are complex and tricky, particularly those related to sustainability issues. The dominant way of thinking about issues is through analysis and looking at detail. But often, it’s important to look at the context of problems and appreciate relationships involved, if we are to understand and address issues competently. This is where Systems Thinking comes in – a holistic way of seeing and a set of tools that can help students cope more effectively in their personal lives. This participative workshop will introduce some key Systems Thinking ideas and concepts, and we will play with some methods that can be employed with students from any discipline. 

Systems Thinking is identified as one of the key skills in the new Plymouth Compass, and this workshop will give participants a fuller picture of what this can mean in practice.

This session facilitated by Paul Warwick and Stephen Sterling will enable you to:

  • Discuss contemporary thought around systems thinking approaches
  • Identify how this aspect of Sustainability Education and the Plymouth Compass can be put into teaching practice within specific disciplines 
  • Identify potential strategies for future innovation in this area.

For more information, contact Paul Warwick ( or Stephen Stirling ( 

A short introductory pack on systems thinking will be provided for all participants.

5 October 2017: Wicked problems - new challenges for teaching and learning in HE

The term ‘wicked problems’ has been around for some time but is only now gathering traction in higher education. How can we prepare students for a future which is constrained by insoluble challenges such as poverty, food security, climate change and biodiversity loss? 

This workshop facilitated by Justin Dillon, University of Bristol, will further help staff and students to reflect upon how the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals can be responded to within the curriculum and to consider the importance of developing attributes for resilience in our students as highlighted by the Plymouth Compass. Workshop participants will discuss contemporary thought around the global challenges our students face and what this means for our curriculum and pedagogy and identify potential strategies for future innovation in this area.

For more information, contact Paul Warwick (

13 December 2017: Students learning as changemakers in the community

Increasingly it is argued that from the perspective of sustainability, what is required is a radical new vision of higher education that embraces applied learning, with student centred and experiential problem based approaches, and greater use of flexible and place-based learning spaces (UNESCO 2012). 

This interactive workshop, led by Alun Morgan and Paul Warwick, shares a place-based approach to sustainability education being developed here at the University of Plymouth. It draws from the practice of service learning and seeks to engage students as change agents through partnership with community organisations. This workshop will highlight some of the key lessons learnt from research with staff and students who have taken part in the pilot projects and provide staff with information on a range of service learning opportunities that exist within the city and surrounding area that could be partnered with in the curriculum. Participants will come out with information on identifying principles for good practice when seeking to engage students in learning through service learning in the community and potential strategies for future innovation in this area.

For more information, contact Paul Warwick (

16 May 2018: Learning for the future: what does interdisciplinary teaching look like?

Major global issues, such as global sustainable development challenges, require expertise from more than a single field to resolve. Further, employers consider interdisciplinary collaboration skills essential to graduate employment. However, there is very little guidance for higher education staff about effective interdisciplinary teaching approaches and what interdisciplinary learning might look like in terms of student understanding and competency development. 

This workshop sets out to familiarise participants with a research-informed approach to interdisciplinary learning, making explicit the skills that students gain, and exploring the contexts in which they can be developed. It draws from a curriculum development project based here at the University of Plymouth that has partnered with colleagues from a range of arts and science subject areas. It has used the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals as a shared focus to bring students together and to engage in interdisciplinary learning projects. 

For more information, contact Paul Warwick (, Harriet Dismore ( or David Morrison (

6 June 2018: The Sustainable and Global Citizen - intercultural communication

This interactive workshop draws from the expertise of Ricky Lowes from the Plymouth Business School to practically explore how we can support students to develop intercultural communication. Using a range of activities and exercises participants will be given experience of approaches as well as information on key areas of consideration for their own professional development in this important area of global citizenship and sustainable development. This workshop will also help participants to consider the connections with the Plymouth Compass and also the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals initiative.

For more information, contact Paul Warwick ( or Ricky Lowes (

4 July 2018: Wild pedagogies for sustainable education

This one day event will provide staff with the opportunity for first hand immersion in nature and landscape in order to creatively consider the potential for incorporating outdoor learning elements into our sustainability education work with students.

Using this experiential approach participants will be able to consider together:

  • What are the core elements to a wild pedagogical approach?
  • What is there about wild learning experiences that our students could value? 
  • How can we incorporate this natural place-based approach into different disciplines in a way that is engaging and relevant?
  • What are the barriers and obstacles for us putting wild pedagogies into practice in higher education?

Participants will experience first-hand the nature, benefits and challenges for using outdoor learning environments, identify key elements behind a wild pedagogical and identify potential strategies for future innovation in this area.

For more information, contact Paul Warwick (

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