Currently, there is no way ignoring the topic of climate change and human-made ecological crises: We humans urgently need to change our consumption and lifestyles and act more “sustainably”. There are enough facts at hand – they are available and accessible for everyone through science, teaching and the media. But if we know this, why is it still not sufficiently reflected in our behaviour?

The fact is that knowledge alone very rarely leads to (a change in) actions. Values and a personal relation to the respective topic play a decisive role – and additionally, spiritual, religious and cultural aspects are driving forces for individual behaviour. This is where the Erasmus+ project “Discovering a Sustainable Mindset New Dimension of Education for Sustainable Development with Focus on Intercultural Values and Ethics”, short: SysMind, comes in. How can teachers support learners in developing a more open and sustainable mindset?

Eight different institutions, together with the University of Agricultural and Environmental Pedagogy Vienna, have dealt intensively with this topic at an international level and jointly developed an online course that is offered free of charge via the iMooX platform of Graz University of Technology. This MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) is primarily aimed at vocational and adult education teachers, but all interested parties are welcome to participate. The journey towards a more sustainable way of thinking begins with an introduction to sustainable development. To illustrate the many perspectives that play a role even in seemingly simple things, the next lesson looks at the four elements of fire, water, earth and air from a scientific and religious perspective, before taking a closer look at the role of mindfulness and spirituality across all denominations. A joint chapter is also dedicated to the importance of values, dealing with diversity and the green pedagogy approach, before considering how we could move towards a more sustainable way of thinking towards the end. The course concludes with some best practice examples and suggestions.

The course is available in English and German and is designed so that individual parts or lessons can be completed or, if necessary, incorporated into lessons. We cordially invite you to join us on the journey to a more sustainable mindset, because this is the basis for more sustainable action. And it takes all of us to make our shared world a better place for everyone and fit for the future!

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