New article titled “A Critical Reflection on Online Teaching for Sustainability” by Rosalyn McKeown and Lorna Down

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A Critical Reflection on Online Teaching for Sustainability by Rosalyn McKeown and Lorna Down.

Lorna Down and Rosalyn McKeown are part of the faculty of the Earth Charter Center for Education for Sustainable Development and our UNESCO Chair on Education for Sustainable Development with the Earth Charter. Since 2017, they have been offering the first course of the Online Programme on Education for Sustainable Development (which involve four courses over a six-months period). They periodically reflect on their own teaching practice and learnings are incorporated in the following course offering.

Herewith we share the latest article they have written reflecting on their work and practice on teaching for sustainability which was published by MDPI, a pioneer in scholarly open access publishing supporting academic communities since 1996.


By practicing the scholarship of teaching, the authors examine their own practices in teaching online applied to in-service teacher education and education for sustainable development as part of ongoing quality improvement effort and annual course revision. This study focuses on “Planetary Perspectives: Toward a Culture of Peace, Sustainability, and Well-Being” which is the first in a four-course Online Certificate in Education for Sustainable Development organized by the Earth Charter Education Center and the University for Peace. The course explores principles of sustainability and the seventeen Sustainable Development Goals and then goes deeper into the environmental, social, and economic spheres of sustainability. The course emphasizes pedagogical practices, such as systems thinking and developing a sustainability worldview. The course also invites students to be involved in their communities, talking to neighbors and colleagues about sustainability issues like climate change and poverty. This community focus is important to ground participants in the communities where they live and work and make progress toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Working in the local community can be transformative to both students and communities.

McKeown, R.; Down, L. A Critical Reflection on Online Teaching for Sustainability. Sustainability 2022, 14, 13905. https://doi.org/10.3390/su142113905

Lorna Down, has lectured in the School of Education, University of the West Indies, Mona. She has published widely in the areas of Education for Sustainable Development, Literature and Teacher Education and has also co-authored a number of language textbooks. Her research focus is Teacher Education, Education for Sustainable Development and Literature.

Rosalyn McKeown, is Coordinator for the Online Global Forum on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) for Teacher Educators. She is an ESD advisor for Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society in Education. She served for three years as a Programme Specialist in the ESD Section at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris and has over 60 publications of which 25+ are in peer-reviewed journals. Rosalyn is the primary author of the Education for Sustainable Development Toolkit. She primarily taught teacher-preparation courses and was a high school teacher.