About the ECORoad project
The United Nations (UN) and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural organization’s (UNESCO) Decade of Education for Sustainable Development 2005-2014 initiative (the Decade) aimed to mobilize the educational resources of the world to help create a more sustainable future. A key objective was the integration of education for sustainable development (ESD) in national education curricula. UNESCO, the delegated lead agency to promote the objectives of ESD in Europe, along with key partners have delivered and implemented the key objectives of the Decade.
In 2013 the General Conference of UNESCO endorsed the Global Action Programme (GAP) on ESD as the follow-up to the Decade. The GAP seeks to build on the success of the Decade and to scale up the actions of ESD. The GAP emphasizes the importance of ESD integration throughout the whole school culture, and the development of teaching practices that deliver cross curricula ESD activities.
In the participating countries, development of ESD has already been recognized in national curricula. For example, in Finland in 2014 a key objective was to increase the basic education of a pupil’s sustainable way of life. In general school curriculums are very subject oriented and as a result cultural integration and cross curricula implementation of ESD is not realized (Gaia 2012, National Board of Education 2012). Sustainable development in education must be part of a school's culture; it should be ingrained into its values, policy creation and in all of the school’s activities.
This project focuses on the concept of ESD within the school culture. It draws on Schoen’s 2005 model of four key dimensions:
1) professional orientation,
2) organizational structure (leadership and management),
3) teaching and learning,
4) student-centered focus.
The project will set bench marks by understanding, through Survey methodology, the current situation of school cultures in relation to ESD. Prior to each of the proposed project meetings surveys will be carried out to understand the specific area in question. The surveys will be analyzed and considered at the project meetings. Training sessions with relevant workshops based on the need identified by the survey results will be developed by the partner schools and the specialist organizations.
The findings of the surveys, and the lessons learnt through the training sessions and the workshops will result in the management and implementation of change by school leaders. The implemented actions will result in cultural change that will embrace and adopt ESD throughout the organizations activities, values and objectives.
In order to maximize the impact and to share the outputs, results and findings of the project to other schools and key stake holders throughout the European Union, a set of universal guidelines, ‘A Road map to an ESD School’ will be the legacy of the project.
This book will provide clear and achievable guidance on how to embed the principles and practice of ESD into everyday school culture. ‘A Roadmap to an ESD School’ will be available in paper and electronic formats. In addition to the ‘Roadmap’, participating schools and the specialist organizations will share their experiences at the local level and, through their own networks, at a national and international level.
Running alongside the Project Meetings and the development work in schools, the project also follows the international framework of pedagogical training for teachers of Sustainable Development by providing opportunities for professional development for teachers in each country- to increase their competence. Each school has devised an engaging, focused programme of training within their areas of expertise.
Our students will be involved in the project by taking part in the initial self-evaluation, subsequent surveys and in the final evaluation so that their views and ideas are fully represented. We will provide opportunities for international interaction for our students through planned shared activities focusing on specific areas of ESD. We will work together with our students to embed the principles of ESD into our school’s core values, curriculum and day to day activities. Our students will adopt behaviours necessary for a sustainable way of life; a key objective of the project.
Information about the organizations taking part in EcoRoad