“The climate and ecological emergency should be seen as the greatest creative challenge of our time and this recognition must inform what we do in every area of university life.” – UAL Citizen assembly
In November 2021 UAL shared its Climate Action Plan which spoke of the role UAL must play in achieving climate justice. Integral to this commitment is creating institutional change and this will be realised through our pledges to change the way we teach, research and work with others.
As a University, we need a curriculum which empowers our students, across all programmes and levels, to take action in response to the imperatives of the climate and ecological crisis and to engage their work, practice and research in making change for a better world.
In order to bring to life a curriculum underpinned by climate justice we know that we must equip students and staff with the tools, skills and resource to support the development of a new type of curriculum. Changing not only what we teach – but how UAL approaches the development of learning, teaching and practice for our community.
This key area of the Climate Action Plan is being delivered by the Academic Discourse and Action Learning (ADAL) Working Group – one of four working groups within UAL’s Climate and Environmental Action Group (CEAG).
The ADAL Working Group is committed to three key aims:
Embed climate justice, and its intersectionality, in all UAL courses through foundational science-based learning and teaching and discipline-specific critical exploration, contextualisation and pedagogies.
Provide all UAL staff will have opportunities to develop their knowledge and skills to contextualise their discipline and transform their teaching to advocate for and take action on climate, social and racial justice.
Create flexible and collaborative conditions and actively support students and staff to live change and work together as advocates, partners and activists to achieve the above.
Work is already underway with a co-created set of guiding Principles and a toolkit of Baseline Knowledge and Skills for climate, racial and social justice.
A programme of staff development opportunities to support staff in transforming their teaching to deliver climate, racial and social justice in the curriculum is available to access via UAL’s Teaching & Learning Exchange.
The group is also providing opportunities for student and staff voice and activism through a roll-out of student Climate Advocates across all programs at UAL.
Climate, Social and Racial Justice in the Curriculum at UAL
As part of UAL’s Climate and Environment Action Group, Centre for Sustainable Fashion is working with staff and students from across UAL to ensure every course is committed to teaching and learning to pursue shared values for Climate, Social and Racial Justice.
Dilys Williams, Director, Centre for Sustainable Fashion
Nina Stevenson, Head of Education (Sustainability), Centre for Sustainable Fashion
Laura Knight, Educational Developer - Climate and Social Justice, UAL
Niamh Tuft, Climate Action Manager, UAL