Background

Education for sustainable development (ESD) is placed at the heart of UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a key enabler. Despite the heightened interest around the global challenges they address (climate change, social injustice, poverty, nature degradation), we experience that national education systems – traditionally conservative and slow in adaptation – lack the comprehensive change needed to fulfil their central role and responsibility. SDGs are explicit about the fact that changes are required in all countries, they must not be confined to any specific geographical area of the globe.

 

Therefore, it’s vital that we live up to the challenge and improve our education here in the Visegrad countries, in the heart of Europe as well. As actors of ESD and advocates for “g-local” responsibility, we come across initiatives of good practice, tools and methods that have been developed and adapted in the field to local contexts over time. So why is education for sustainable development still not an integral part of our education?

 

The main issues that our preliminary research found are:

 

1) national-level administrations lack internal drive to change and are out-of-reach for influence

2) related government strategies miss out on teacher training, and are not binding, therefore

3) initiatives remain singular and isolated, dependent on dedicated individuals, and

4) nonsystemic / fragmented in scope (do not reflect the holistic approach of the SDGs, i.e. do not cover global challenges in their interdependent context),

5) initiatives lack resources to exchange knowledge.

Rationell

As a consortium of four organisations, we come across initiatives of good practice, tools and methods in Education for Sustainable Development every day that have been developed and adapted in the field to local contexts over time. So why is ESD still not an integral part of our education? The main issues that our preliminary research found are:


1) national-level administrations lack internal drive to change and are out-of-reach for influence
2) related government strategies miss out on teacher training, and are not binding, therefore
3) initiatives remain singular and isolated, dependent on dedicated individuals, and
4) non-systemic / fragmented in scope (do not reflect the holistic approach of the SDGs, i.e. do not cover global challenges in their interdependent context),
5) initiatives lack resources to exchange knowledge.


Slovakian and Polish research projects detail the above issues, and identify teachers as important “influencers” for young generations in sustainable development. Consortium members believe that teacher training in higher education has a high trigger potential to elevate ESD as for its substantial multiplication effect.

Overview

1. Carry out participatory research  |  Dec 2020 - May 2021

    Product: Country research reports

2. Exchange on the research results  | June 2021
  Activity: V4 workshop (Budapest, Hungary)

 

3. Formulate national and Visegrad recommendations

    July - September 2021
  Product: Recommendations

 

4. Disseminate recommendations and generate high visibility  |  September - November 2021
  Activities: one national webinar per country, one international webinar;
campaign on the Global Education Week