Professor Stephen Sterling

National Teaching Fellow 2014

Professor Stephen Sterling is widely renowned nationally and internationally for his work over many years on what education’s response should be to the global issues of sustainability which are increasingly characterising our times. He is passionate about innovation and change in education, teaching, and learning which will give graduates the competencies to cope and manage in a rapidly changing and uncertain world, and has worked at every level from policy to practice accordingly.

His varied career has included roles as teacher, deputy director of a national educational body, consultant (particularly to WWF-UK), freelance academic, academic tutor at London South Bank University (LSBU), and Professor at Plymouth University. During this time, he has built a substantial reputation as one of the most eminent thought leaders on the theory and practice of sustainability education, and has had much influence on theory and practice in the field.

Professor Ros Wade, LSBU said:

“Professor Stephen Sterling has made an outstanding and incalculable contribution to the academic development of education for sustainability and indeed his scholarship, research, and teaching have been ground-breaking in so many different ways.”

Stephen’s credits include co-founding/writing the first masters course in the UK on education for sustainability, co-editing the first book published anywhere on this field, and writing/leading on another three key books in the area, as well as the HEA-commissioned Future Fit Framework which has inspired academics and whole universities to embrace sustainability in their teaching. He has a particular interest in systems thinking and transformational learning and has championed these ideas and associated pedagogies through his resource materials (eg Linking Thinking), student/staff workshops, and research. He has played a critical role in Plymouth’s commitment to sustainability for many years.

Paul Murray, a National Teaching Fellow at Plymouth University said Stephen

“…has contributed immensely to teaching and learning development at Plymouth University by supporting innumerable colleagues in the effective delivery of education for sustainable development. There is a strong commitment to ESD at this university, which Stephen exemplifies and is largely responsible for”.

Job title: 
Head of Education for Sustainable Development
Institution or Organisation: 
Plymouth University
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