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Environmental and Sustainability Education

Progress on Actions 

OISE's Sustainability & Climate Action Plan

Click on the strands below to see the details of each strategy.

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Governance & Institute Supports

Vision

Prioritize Sustainability & Climate Action by ensuring Institute supports and practices are in place to embed these into OISE’s governance structure and institutional culture.

Actions & Strategies

1:  Prioritize Sustainability & Climate Action at OISE

  • Make a declaration of climate emergency at OISE that aligns with those of federal and municipal governments and universities in Canada completed
  • Establish OISE as a ‘Living Lab for Education into Sustainability & Climate Action’ in alignment with other Living Labs across the university in progress
  • Embed Sustainability & Climate Action into the governance structure and institutional culture of OISE

2:  Establish a Dean’s Advisory Committee on Sustainability & Climate Action

  • Ensure representation from OISE’s academic departments and main business units on a Dean’s Advisory Committee to inform the implementation of the Sustainability & Climate Action Plan completed
  • Hold regular meetings of the Dean’s Advisory Committee to provide feedback to the Dean on how best to prioritize Sustainability & Climate Action at OISE completed

3: Embed Sustainability & Climate Action into OISE roles and responsibilities

  • Consult with the OISE community as to where and how Sustainability & Climate Action is best embedded into staff, faculty and students’ roles and responsibilities
  • Formalize and enact roles and responsibilities in relation to Sustainability & Climate Action completed

4:  Advocate for Sustainability & Climate Action policies

  • Support the development and deepening of sustainability policies at the University of Toronto in progress
  • Engage with with key educational partners and advocate for the development of sustainability policies in their jurisdiction (e.g. Ontario school boards, the Ontario Ministry of Education and other provincial & federal ministries, the Ontario College of Teachers, the Ontario Association of Deans of Education, the Association of Canadian Deans of Education, etc.) completed

5:  Initiate an OISE fund for Sustainability & Climate Action

  • Set up an OISE fund dedicated to supporting Sustainability & Climate Action initiatives for students, staff and faculty in the Institute completed
  • Establish terms of reference for allocating funds to support Sustainability & Climate Action initiatives in progress
  • Identify and secure sources of funding for this fund in progress

6:  Create a new community hub for Sustainability & Climate Action at OISE

  • Investigate the pathway to establishing a new community hub to prioritize and embed Sustainability & Climate Action in OISE’s governance, facilities & services, curriculum & teaching, research, and community engagement & outreach in progress
  • Establish terms of reference, financial supports, and space for the community hub in progress

 

Facilities & Services

Vision

Minimize the environmental footprint and support the health and wellbeing of OISE’s community by bringing the lenses of Sustainability & Climate Action to the forefront of the building’s operations and procurement practices.

Actions & Strategies

1:  Develop campus partnerships to support Sustainability & Climate Action at OISE

  • Investigate, establish and deepen opportunities for campus partnerships focused on embedding Sustainability & Climate Action in conjunction with OISE’s Space Planning, Facilities & Services team in progress

2:  Establish baseline data and targets to minimize OISE’s environmental footprint

  • Collect baseline data related to OISE’s environmental footprint (e.g. energy, water, waste, recycling, indoor air quality, etc.) in progress
  • Explore how to establish and work towards targets that minimize OISE’s environmental footprint in progress

3:  Develop resources to support sustainable procurement practices at OISE

  • Review procurement processes at OISE to identify opportunities for enhancing sustainability practices in progress
  • Develop a resource guide to support sustainable procurement practices at OISE

4:  Develop supports for sustainable transportation

  • Monitor bike parking utilization at OISE and advocate for additional capacity as needed
  • Establish an advisory committee to identify strategies to educate and encourage OISE students, staff and faculty  to use sustainable forms of transportation for travelling to and from OISE 
  • Identify ways that staff and faculty can minimize CO2 emissions on OISE-related travel in progress

5:  Amplify a culture of conservation at OISE

  • Develop educational campaigns to support the OISE community in growing awareness and taking action on conservation practices in progress
  • Deepen a culture of conservation at OISE in relation to the use of energy, water, and waste

6:  Improve OISE spaces to support well-being

  • Support the revitalization of the 5th floor patio to create new community space, a garden, and an Indigenous education and learning space in progress
  • Follow principles established by the OISE’s academic leadership and Space Planning Committee to foster the health and wellbeing of OISE community members in progress

 

Curriculum & Teaching

Vision

Broaden and deepen curricular and co-curricular learning centred on Sustainability & Climate Action at OISE to enhance education’s critical role in creating a more just, equitable and sustainable future.

Actions & Strategies

1:  Develop Community-Engaged Learning opportunities related to Sustainability & Climate Action for OISE students

  • Conduct an inventory to identity how the SDGs and CEL (community-engaged learning) are being supported in OISE courses in progress
  • Encourage OISE’s academic departments to review course offerings to potentially expand course-based opportunities for real world, experiential learning (e.g., ‘Agent of Change’ learning) connected to Sustainability & Climate Action in progress
  • Increase opportunities for Community-Engaged Learning connected to Sustainability & Climate Action through course work, teaching practica and internships in progress

2:  Support curricular innovation towards sustainability

  • Infuse Sustainability & Climate Action into a variety of existing courses in each OISE department
  • Explore new curricular pathways and programs for OISE students related to Sustainability & Climate Action (e.g. collaborative programs with the School of the Environment; etc.)
  • Construct a community of practice to support the development of critical, transformative, culturally-responsive pedagogy in relation to Environmental & Sustainability Education
  • Develop programming to support teachers’ professional learning related to Sustainability & Climate Action completed

3:  Expand professional learning opportunities for students

  • Secure funding for paid professional learning opportunities for OISE students that develop knowledge and skills related to Sustainability & Climate Action (e.g. Graduate Assistantships, Research Assistantships, Work-Study Positions, etc.) in progress
  • Connect OISE students with educational partners for professional learning opportunities related to Sustainability & Climate Action in progress

4:  Strengthen staff and faculty capacity in relation to Sustainability and Climate Action

  • Provide professional learning opportunities identified by staff and faculty in their shift to sustainability
  • Help to build understanding about climate justice, particularly in relation to Indigenous communities, Indigenous environmental practices and sovereignty
  • Consider sustainability expertise as an asset in the hiring of new staff and faculty

 

Research

Vision

Enrich OISE’s capacity for and mobilization of educational research related to Sustainability & Climate Action while raising awareness about the sustainable management of research projects.

Actions & Strategies

1:  Provide supports for OISE research in Sustainability & Climate Action

  • Encourage OISE’s academic departments to review their capacity for educational research focused on Sustainability & Climate Action and pedadogy
  • Establish a new community hub that provides a supportive environment for transdisciplinary, participatory educational research into Sustainability & Climate Action
  • Initiate and support research partnerships related to Sustainability & Climate Action with educational partners across the university and in the community in progress

2:  Support knowledge mobilization of OISE research in Sustainability & Climate Action

  • Mobilize Sustainability & Climate Action research in the OISE community and with its educational partners in progress
  • Promote Sustainability & Climate Action research from OISE through publications, events, conferences, celebrations and social media in progress

3:  Take action to address the environmental impacts of educational research at OISE

  • Raise awareness about the environmental impacts of research activities (e.g. research-related travel) in progress
  • Advocate for Sustainability & Climate Action to be considered as part of the university’s and the Tri-Council’s ethics applications for research studies
  • Raise awareness about minimizing CO2 emissions related to OISE research projects in progress

4:  Expand OISE’s capacity for educational research related to Sustainability & Climate Action

  • Secure funding for graduate student involvement in research studies related to Sustainability & Climate Action (e.g. graduate and research assistant positions, work-study positions) in progress
  • Provide supports for a university-school board action research team related to Sustainability & Climate Action in progress
  • Encourage the hiring of research-stream faculty at OISE to expand capacity for educational research related to Sustainability & Climate Action

 

Community Engagement & Outreach

Vision

Engage the OISE community and its partners in the collaborative development of Sustainability & Climate Action praxis to share through local and global outreach.

Actions & Strategies

1:  Improve communications about Sustainability & Climate Action across OISE

  • Share ongoing information about events, curricular/co-curricular learning and resources related to Sustainability & Climate Action with students, staff, faculty and OISE partners completed
  • Create an OISE Sustainability Guide to welcome students to OISE during Orientation by raising awareness about sustainability-related practices, courses, resources, and co-curricular learning in progress
  • Develop an OISE Sustainability Guide for staff and faculty to raise awareness about sustainability & Climate Action practices, guidelines, and resources

2:   Deepen connections between OISE priorities and Sustainability & Climate Action

  • Collaborate with the Dean’s Advisory Council on Indigenous Education (DACIE) to ensure that the voices of Indigenous staff, students and scholars are integral to Sustainability & Climate Action at OISE
  • Develop and expand connections between Sustainability & Climate Action and the existing priorities of OISE’s Academic Plan (Indigenization, Equity, Diversity & Accessibility, Wellbeing & Mental Health, Transformative & Innovative Pedagogy, Scholarship, and Collaboration & Internationalization) in progress
  • Ensure that Sustainability & Climate Action reflects the diversity of the OISE community and its long-standing commitments to equity, anti-racism and inclusion in progress

3:  Embed opportunities for community engagement in Sustainability & Climate Action across OISE

  • Provide multiple access points for students, staff & faculty to become involved in Sustainability & Climate Action at OISE in progress
  • Host an annual event to share OISE’s ongoing progress on Sustainability & Climate Action in progress

4:  Strengthen outreach related to Sustainability & Climate Action within and beyond the OISE community

  • Build and leverage campus and community partnerships to support Sustainability & Climate Action at OISE in progress
  • Support and deepen the collaboration between OISE and the TDSB and other school boards to support Sustainability & Climate Action across the education sector completed
  • Extend OISE’s impact on Sustainability & Climate Action with educational partners locally, regionally, nationally and globally in progress