TEACHERS AS CHANGE AGENTS FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
Both education for sustainable development (ESD) and global citizenship education (GCE) are placed at the heart of the 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 fulfill 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 or GCN 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 are education for sustainable development and global citizenship still not integral parts 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
3) initiatives remain singular and isolated, dependent on dedicated individuals
4) most actions are non-systemic in scope and 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 and good practices
Research results corroborate the above issues in all Visegrad countries and beyond the region. With the aim of changing this current situation the four project partners identified 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 and GCN to its substantial multiplication effect.
The project runs from October 2020 to December 2021.
1. Carry out participatory research
Activity: desk research, surveys, participatory system mapping workshops
2. Exchange on the research results
Activity: V4 workshop (Budapest, Hungary)
3. Publish national and Visegrad level research reports and recommendations
Product: Research reports
4. Disseminate research results and generate visibility
Activities: one national webinar per country, one international webinar;
campaign during the Global Education Week (November 2021)