I have just returned from a great conference in Dubrovnik with the Learning Teacher Network – a network of teachers, educators and academics from around Europe.
It was called ‘From Theory to Action – a creative response to ESD’.

As ever there was a lot of different approaches depending on the opportunities being made use of in each country. The diversity was fascinating. I really enjoyed the linking and critique of games as a way to engage students in more complex and systems wide sustainability topics. Especially when students created their own games.

I enjoyed hearing about the ‘flourish’ theory – an alternative way to describe well-being, and based on the work of the father of positive psychology – Seligman (2011).  I felt it really related to ESD and Simon Elsborg Nygaard from Aarhus University made some very good connections.

The theory is that people who flourish have 5 things in common:
Postive emotions – including body (outdoor activities?)
Engagement – with things where you can forget yourself in the activity or moment ( flow)
Relationships – positive
Meaning- belonging to something bigger than yourself
and Accomplishment (mastery or competence) – or PERMA

I wondered how we connect all these things up when thinking about ESD and designing learning activities? Do we tend to focus on one rather than try to integrate? And what do we often miss out in our designs? Too hard? Too controversial? Take too long? Can’t measure the learning outcome? These are the ‘elephants in the room’

So in my keynote, I added a section to elicit the ‘elephants in the room’. The photo shows what 100 people from around Europe thought. Do you agree with these? Anything you would add? How similar are we as europeans trying to embed and get ESD to scale?  Feel free to write to me with your thoughts

Meanwhile, I felt renewed and think for the 3 days I felt as though I was flourishing!