Student Sustainability Guide
As you progress through your studies, know that the OISE community is committed to addressing the climate crisis through its work as a faculty of education. Our Sustainability & Climate Action Plan shares our commitment to actions and strategies to support positive environmental change. OISE students are at the forefront of this movement - you are part of a powerful collective of faculty, staff and students that is united in working towards a more just, equitable and sustainable world. This important work is informed by Indigenous ways of knowing and diverse perspectives that make up our community. In solidarity, we aim to enact the tenets of the Dish with One Spoon Wampum Belt Covenant in this work and embed interconnected responsibility for climate justice and climate action into our individual and collective work at OISE.
Did you know that OISE…
- has had an active Environmental & Sustainability Education Initiative since 2009?
- is the first Canadian Faculty of Education to have its own Sustainability & Climate Action Plan?
- made a Climate Emergency Declaration in 2021?
Curriculum & Teaching
Courses - Expand your understanding of theory and practice through OISE courses focused on sustainability, climate change, and climate action.
Programs - Undertake interdisciplinary learning through OISE’s collaborative graduate programs with U of T’s School of the Environment & departments of Leadership, Higher and Adult Education or Social Justice Education.
CCR Designation with ESE - Add to your UT transcript with an OISE Co-Curricular Designation focused on sustainability. Join in the Environmental Learning Circle meetings to share your progress and achievements.
Learning Opportunities - Attend workshops, webinars, conferences, and other events. Check out the webinar archive for recordings of past events.
Partnerships - OISE has many partners in this work, including the TDSB’s Sustainability Office, Natural Curiosity, and EcoSchools Canada. OISE’s conferences with TDSB EcoSchools offer a great opportunity to connect with professional educators dedicated to sustainability and climate action. There are also numerous U of T student organizations focused on sustainability to join.
Community Engagement and Outreach
Indigenous Education - Indigenous traditional and ecological knowledge is central to understanding how to live sustainably on Earth. Join OISE’s Indigenous Education Network.
Experiential Learning - Take part in Campus as Living Lab (CLL) learning opportunities by volunteering for on-campus sustainability projects, or join in Community Engaged Learning (CEL) and gain valuable professional experience. Check out past student projects in action!
Sustainable Wellness - For a sustainable future, we must commit to the wellness of all living beings. Learn about individual and collective well being through OISE Wellness.
Community Partners - Learn about some of OISE’s partners in sustainability and support or volunteer for their organizations’ initiatives: these include EcoSchools Canada, Natural Curiosity, Evergreen, Learning for a Sustainable Future, and FoodShare.
Research Opportunities - Many faculty members at OISE are involved with ESE. Check out available Research Assistant opportunities, which are updated periodically.
Work Opportunities - Get involved in opportunities available for student training & professional development. Check out available work-study positions, internships, and ESE volunteering positions.
Sustainability Action Checklist
A sustainable world starts with each of us. Begin by learning how to challenge systematic barriers to equity and sustainability and live in ways that are beneficial to humankind and the more-than-human species around us. While we await a return to in-person learning at OISE, here are some actions to consider as personal and collective starting points in Environmental & Sustainability Education (ESE).
- Take an OISE course related to ESE
- Sign OISE’s Climate Emergency Declaration
- Attend one of OISE’s ESE webinars
- Attend OISE’s annual ESE conference
- Add ESE to your Co-Curricular Record by getting involved with sustainability at OISE
- Listen to Indigenous voices with the IEN
- Learn about how sustainability and wellbeing are interconnected with OISE Wellness
- Enact the actions found in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report
- Vote in elections to support positive action to address racism, equity & climate action
- Support action against Indigenous and Anti-black racism and other societal injustices
- Hold elected officials, political leaders and corporations accountable for addressing the climate crisis and environmental injustice
- Contribute to collective action on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
- Know where your water comes from and goes, and reduce your water use
- Reduce use of paper and single-use plastics, and learn about where your garbage goes
- Re-think your consumer habits: purchase fair trade, ethically made items when possible
- Reuse & recycle paper, glass bottles, aluminum cans and plastics
- Align your dietary choices as best you can with your values
- Turn off your digital devices after OISE classes and/or not in use
- Take steps towards sustainable transportation such as cycling, walking or public transit
- Consider online options for classes, meetings, & conferences to reduce travel when possible
- Carpool or use car-sharing services to reduce carbon emissions
- Learn about the significant impact of air travel and minimize when possible