ASTRALS (Assuring Transformative Learning for Sustainable Development in Higher Education) is a key outcome of our last CA conference – a truly collaborative project proposal that is being developed by CA members and friends. ASTRALS aims to initiate and support a transdisciplinary research agenda that will inform teaching practice as well as the crucial issues of assessment and quality assurance. If you are interested in joining this COST Action proposal, drop us a line!
Sustainable development demands an intrinsic appraisal of how activities are planned, undertaken and evaluated. Education underpins such a sustainability paradigm shift and will drive its subsequent manifestation across all societal sectors. However, conventional practice in education is insufficient to meet this transformational challenge, and a radical reassessment is required. Several fundamental questions concerning the role of educators emerge. Principal among these questions is how a radical transition from being facilitators of knowledge development to also being coaches who enable students to develop and adopt values fundamental to sustainable practice can be enabled. Such a proposition radically challenges established and cherished principles of many educational institutions, their staff and their students.
In response to these challenges, the CA is preparing a proposal for a COST action. This action seeks to enable researchers from across Europe to confront these questions and develop actionable knowledge and tools with various stakeholders, with the aim of very concrete changes in higher education.
ASTRALS advocates transformative learning as the key to a sustainable society. It will initiate and support a transdisciplinary research agenda that will inform teaching practices as well as the crucial issues of assessment and quality assurance. To maximise impact and relevance, it will recommend best practices for effective partnerships between students, institutions, and society.
Should funding for ASTRALS be awarded, the Management Committee will actively seek the collaboration of CA members as well as a range of actors from across society.