CUST 564/EDST 498O: Curriculum for Sustainability / Food and Environmental Sustainability

July 4 – 21  (Monday to Thursday)  |   9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Format: Online – synchronously


EDST 498/CUST 564 is an introductory course in food and environmental sustainability education for educators and individuals who are passionate about environmental stewardship. Today’s youth are the future of society and will be responsible for moving humanity towards more ecologically and socially sustainable practices. At the same time, they will need to cope with the effects of a changing environment and climate. Because of this responsibility, climate anxiety is a phenomenon that is impacting the daily lives of young people around the world. Children often feel powerless and as if their voices aren’t heard regarding this global issue. Equipping students with the knowledge and skills to actively take part in this issue, as well as creating an environment that supports action, can empower students to become actors of change in their schools and communities.

In this course you will develop strategies for helping students engage in sustainability-related topics and explore how to create a classroom that facilitates translating knowledge into action. This course is designed to equip individuals with information and tools to empower their students/future students to become changemakers in their schools and communities. Throughout this course you will engage in discussion, reflection and activities about food and environmental sustainability as well as learn how to transfer this information into the classroom. You will leave the class with a list of resources and practical tools to engage your classroom in these topics. This class will involve classroom learning, guest speakers and trips to local farms.

After completing this course, students will be able to:

  • Explore the term “sustainability” and its various definitions
  • Understand the connection between food systems, the environment and climate change
  • Explore how food and environmental sustainability fit within the BC curriculum and identify cross-curricular connections
  • Understand how to help students ask meaningful questions and challenge conventional ways of thinking
  • Articulate different forms of environmental pedagogy including ecofeminism, place-based education, and ecojustice pedagogy
  • Explore ways to foster connection between students and the environment
  • Describe different forms/shapes that activism/action in the classroom can take
  • Design a plan of action to engage students in sustainability-related topics and move from knowledge to action
  • Explain how to implement and support different types of civic engagement in the classroom
  • Reflect on your own practice and recognize ways you could bring sustainability education into your own classroom/practice

Gabrielle Edwards

Gabrielle (she/her) is a PhD candidate in the Department of Curriculum and Pedagogy Studies at the University of British Columbia. Her research interests revolve around whole school approaches to school food education, food literacy and food citizenship. Gabrielle has a background in agriculture and food security holding a B.Sc. in Agriculture from the University of Saskatchewan and a M.A. in Human Development and Food Security from Roma Tre University in Italy. She has experience as an educator through her work as a high school English and Biology teacher in Italy and her current role as a Senior Teaching Assistant in the Department of Land and Food Systems at UBC. Additionally, Gabrielle has a background working in the non-profit sector through her work as a Program Coordinator with Agriculture in the Classroom – Saskatchewan and as a Volunteer Coordinator with Allan Brooks Nature Centre. She is also involved in food security advocacy work and has been volunteering with the Canadian Food Grains Bank since 2016. Gabrielle is passionate about food and environmental education and empowering the next generation to be actors of change in their communities. In her free time Gabrielle likes to be outside cycling, hiking, camping, running, and skiing as well as spending time with her partner (Mitch) and their cat (Desi).

How to register

To register for courses, please visit the Student Information Service Centre (SISC).

Register for Term two (July/August) courses via the Student Information Service Centre (SISC).

If you are looking to transfer a course into UBC Vancouver, or another institution, please confirm transfer credit will be approved prior to registering for a UBC Okanagan course.

*It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that the course is accepted towards the completion of a program.

Register for Term two (July/August) courses via the Student Information Service Centre (SISC). You must have current Summer registration eligibility. If not, please email sie.education@ubc.ca.

If you are looking to transfer a course into UBC Vancouver, or another institution, please confirm approval of transfer credit prior to registration.

*It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that the course is accepted towards the completion of a program.

Apply to take select coursework as a non-degree student at through the Non-Degree Access Studies Application.

If you require assistance, please email sie.education@ubc.ca

Register for Term two (July/August) courses via the  Student Information Service Centre (SISC). You must have current Summer registration eligibility. If not, please email sie.education@ubc.ca.