Addressing challenges such as climate change, biodiversity loss and poverty requires a level of awareness and knowledge, which most students aren’t prepared to face through their universities. At oikos we cherish education as a powerful tool to shape values of future decision-makers, on which we’ve been focusing our efforts for over three decades. Over that time, we’ve created a global network of local chapters, working together with schools and organizations in order to make students’ voices heard.
To transform education means to change the ways sustainability is taught at universities along with questions and challenges it tackles. In order to face the challenges the tomorrow will bring, students worldwide want, even demand to be better prepared by their universities. This not only means change in what they’re taught, but also how they’re taught, hence Transforming Education also implies exploring innovative ways of teaching that will engage students and make them interact with the topic more. Furthermore it also calls for rethinking of the classroom, introducing an intersection with the real world, and connecting students to real-life challenges. Over the years, we’ve been seeing a growing initiative by the students to take on projects in bringing change to their education, around which we formed an initiative to address their needs and support their efforts.
Transforming Education is one of the key domains of what we do as an organization, creating events like oikos Camp and oikos Academy which gather students, researchers and academia from the oikos Community and beyond. However as it is an ongoing process, there is a need to keep students constantly engaged – for which over the past two years the Curriculum Change Squad played an important role. With the internal restructuring of the Curriculum Change Initiative into Transforming Education, we’ve been working on adapting the important aspects of the initiative in a way that would make them ever more encompassing, inclusive and open to our community. We wanted to add more clarity, understanding and easiness of approach to the matter of bringing change to higher education, along with the joint effort of our community in contributing to it.
Reshaping the Squad
Reshaping the former Curriculum Change Squad into the Transforming Education(TE) Squad was an important step in doing so. The idea behind the TE Squad is to create a platform for oikos chapters, with a goal of empowering and connecting students working on transforming education, where they can exchange, support and learn together, as well as from each other.
The TE Squad is made up of, but not limited to chapter members with a monthly online meeting structure, where they’re provided information and support, along with discussions and brainstorming on relevant topics. The monthly Squad Meetings are two hours long and of an interactive character, with everyone’s encouraged to engage in discussions and get to know their fellow members. As part of the Squad, members also take part in shaping it themselves, in a way that would best suit their needs and vision. TE Squad is also a space where its members can put their talents to use, with occasional workshops the Squad hosts for the entire oikos Community to get to know Transforming Education better.
The TE Squad is a platform to facilitate the work of students working on projects in the field of transforming education hosted by oikos international. It provides space for our local chapters to interact, share, exchange, and connect with other chapters working on similar topics, learn about tools, and benefit from its diversity. Collaboration among chapters is a key side to the squad – different chapters have different experiences on transforming education efforts. Each with their own story, they can share challenges and solutions, needs and ideas among themselves, creating synergies which could result in universities adapting curricula with more regards to sustainability challenges.
Do you want to be a part of the change and contribute to the transformation of higher education? Some of the contents the Squad creates like workshops on the topic will be open for everyone to join – from the oikos Community and beyond. Keep an eye on the oikos website or our social media to stay up to date and get informed of the upcoming workshops you can attend!
If you wish to get involved in the squad – proactive and engaged students, motivated to contribute to changing higher education are always welcome! If you have any questions about the squad and are interested to learn more, contact our Transforming Education Team!