ESD competency-building through innovative pedagogies: live practice examples

Tags: learning | teaching | students | skills | Learning and Teaching | values | pedagogy | attitudes | knowledge | CPD | teaching methods

We live in a world full of fast paced changes and social and environmental challenges and crises. Students need to learn how to deal with this complexity and these challenges – and for this, knowledge alone is not enough: We also need to support students to develop skills and values/attitudes that allow them to cope with the world's complexity and challenges. These need to be developed by the students themselves and can't be transferred – so we need pedagogies (teaching methods and approaches) to foster this development.

To empower teaching staff to use innovative teaching methods, the EAUC-Scotland Conference in February 2023 featured a workshop on pedagogies that support the development of the eight Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) competencies proposed by, among others, QAA and UNESCO. The workshop featured videos and clips of innovative pedagogies in action - see more below and in the workshop slides.

Please see the slides for context and guidance of the video and audio clips.

As this is an important area of staff development, and many staff could not attend the session due to strikes, EAUC-Scotland have decided to publish the resources from the workshop here. If you have any questions or queries, please get in touch with Kathrin by emailing – and join our next conference in 2024 to experience workshops like this live!

The workshop discussed:

  • Why is pedagogy important?
  • What is pedagogy and what frameworks are out there?
    • Education for Sustainable Development
    • Ecopedagogy
  • Examples of practice: Videos of pedagogies in action.
    • University of Leicester: Experiential learning reflection in the classroom. Dr Sarah Gretton, Alice Jackson, Asha Mistry
      • Using problem-based learning, Experiential learning, contemplative learning
      • Supporting Self-awareness competency, Collaborative competency, Interdisciplinary/integrated problem-solving competency, Anticipatory thinking
    • University of Stirling: Values and mindfulness during induction. Building self-awareness during student induction - Dr Carol Marshall & colleagues
      • Using learning through storytelling, contemplative learning
      • Supporting Self-Awareness competency, anticipatory thinking competency
    • University of St Andrews: Competency development through creative assessment - Dr Jane Pettegree (course leader), Lexie Dykes, Lucy Reynolds, Kirstin Spence (student case studies)
      • Using Learning through storytelling: variation of Learning through sounds, Enquiry-based learning, Place-based learning
      • Supporting Interdisciplinary / integrated problem solving competency, Self-Awareness competency, Normative Competency
  • Action Plan and Roadmap: Your next steps to support the integration of innovative pedagogies at your institution

Find the presentation slides, which include the video examples, to download on this page, as well as resources and further reading and guidance.

How can we support you and your institution to use and integrate innovative pedagogies that prepare your learners to cope with current and future challenges in a way that is beneficial for people and planet? Get in touch by emailing

A huge thank you to everyone who contributed to the pedagogy examples!