Higher education didactics for sustainability (HEDS-241)


The course Higher Education Didactics for Sustainability (HEDS) aims to empower educators, pedagogical developers, and others involved in curriculum design in higher education to integrate sustainability into teaching practice. The course is designed using a problem-based learning approach, which engages learners in small groups to collaborate – through discussion, experience sharing, and collective learning – to explore tools and competencies needed to foster a more sustainable world through education.

The course is a collaborative effort of universities in Scandinavia & Europe, which allows for perspective and experience sharing. Thus, one benefit previous participants convey comes from the collaborative learning environment and extended network of teachers from universities around the world.

The course language is English and conducted entirely online, providing you with the opportunity to engage with course materials and collaborate with international peers. To fully participate, you’ll need access to a computer and a stable internet connection. The course primarily utilizes Zoom for virtual meetings and may incorporate other digital tools based on the needs of each group.


The course advances understanding of pedagogical frameworks like Education for Sustainability (EFS) and Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), by fostering a collaborative and collective learning environment that combines theoretical knowledge with practical examples. Through literature, discussions, and group work, you’ll explore how these frameworks can be effectively implemented in your educational settings.

The course contains four modules:

  • Making Sense of Sustainability: Explores foundational questions about sustainability, including underpinning principles and paradigms, aiming to deepen understanding of why the incorporation of sustainability is crucial in higher education curriculum.
  • Competencies, Frameworks, and Curriculum: Introduces key sustainability competencies such as systems thinking, values thinking, and problem-solving, which can be integrated into existing course or programme curriculum.
  • Didactical Models for Teaching and Learning Sustainability: Considers various didactic models – like holism, pluralism, and transdisciplinarity – relating these approaches to teaching and learning for sustainability in various disciplines.
  • The Future Role of the University: Prompts learners to reflect on the evolving role of universities in relation to future scenarios and grand challenges. Discussions will focus on how universities can prepare students to meet the needs of the future, while considering our ethical responsibilities as educators and academics.

We believe in the value of self-directed learning and encourage you to adapt and apply the course content to your unique context, considering your professional responsibility, teaching style, personality, and personal values.


The course is equivalent to 80-hours full-time work, approx. 6 hours per week, including one full-class seminar, two problem-based learning group meetings, and individual study.

The course embodies the values of presence, care, honesty, respect, and engagement. Given the nature of the course, attendance, active participation, and adherence to these values is a must for you and your peers to benefit from the collaborative problem-based learning approach.

The partner universities include: Karlstad University, Swe (KAU), Linköping University, Swe (LiU), Mid Sweden University, Swe (Miun) & Mälardalen University, Swe (MDU), Lund University, Swe (LU) and Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences, (Inn).


Course objectives

After the course, the participants should be able to:

  1. Critically analyse the paradigms and principles of educational practice in relation to a just transformation of society towards sustainability
  2.  Apply and evaluate sustainability competencies in the planning and/or implementation of teaching activities and assess their integration into existing curricula
  3. Critique and give suggestions for how to integrate didactical models like holism, pluralism, and transdisciplinarity in relation to education for sustainability,  understanding and challenging subject-area educational practices and norms
  4. Reflectively explore and assess possible roles of universities in relation to future scenarios, contemplating the ethical implications and responsibilities of higher education institutions in fostering sustainability
Course Literature
Target Group
All university teachers
Notice that participants are expected to work in their own learning groups a couple of times each week in addition to planned seminar times. Times for Introduction and Connecting webinar can be changed.
  • 2024-01-29		13:00-14:00		Introduction
  • 2024-02-05		13:00-14:00		Connecting webinar 
  • 2024-02-14		13:00-14:00		Connecting webinar
  • 2024-02-19		13:00-14:00		Discussion webinar
  • 2024-02-28		13:00-14:00		Connecting webinar
  • 2024-03-06		13:00-14:00		Discussion webinar
  • 2024-03-11		13:00-14:00		Connecting webinar
  • 2024-03-20		13:00-14:00		Discussion webinar
  • 2024-04-08		13:00-14:00		Connecting webinar
  • 2024-04-17		13:00-14:00		Discussion webinar
  • 2024-04-25		10:00-12:00		Final webinar
Contribute to SUHF:s guidelines
  • 1
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
Status: Closed
Course period: 2024-01-29 - 2024-04-25
Hours of commitment: 80
Limit of enrollment: 18

Anna Mogren


Teresa Berglund