03 SES 04 A, Promoting Sustainable Development and Entrepreneural Learning
The UNESCO broadly promotes education for sustainable development (ESD), and the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005‑2014) is still going on. A lot of effort is taken to develop teaching materials for understanding climate change, disaster risk reduction, biodiversity, poverty reduction and sustainable consumption, for example. Nevertheless, the OECD (2008, 4) regards the current implementation of ESD as a school subject as insufficient because curricula are typically concentrating solely on environmental issues without combining social, economic, and environmental topics.
We believe that curricula are a main lever to help transfer sustainable issues into everyday teaching and that the curricular embodiment of sustainability is worth investigating. We therefore conducted a cross‑national analysis of primary schools’ curricula from five European countries (Germany, Italy, Romania, Spain and England). This comparative study is part of the “Green Hero” EU COMENIUS-project (2012‑2014), which targets primary school children and aims to improve their environmental knowledge and behavior with the help of an interactive, state‑of‑the‑art e‑learning tool. One precondition for developing such a common tool, despite varying learning cultures, is its integration into the requirements of school curricula.
For this purpose, we developed a questionnaire for our partners in order to determine differences and commonalities in curricula with regard to general missions of primary schools in different countries, their structural principles and their domains and learning goals. The partners sent us English versions or own translations of relevant content of their curricula. We developed an analytic scheme and based on this we categorized the results of our curricular analysis. We gained an insight into the quantitative and qualitative integration of ESD, which will be the main point of our presentation.
Because of the above-mentioned dominance of environmental issues instead of sustainable ones we did check their appearance and were able to evaluate the level of integration into a concept of sustainability. As a consequence of the overall project design, we particularly focused on the aspects of “waste,” “water” and “energy.” Are these topics part of primary schools’ curricula? How are they dealt with? Do the curricula promote competencies like critical and interconnected thinking, decision making and acting?
Consejería de Educación, Cultura y Deportes (2007): Boletín Oficial de Canarias núm. 112. Department for Education (Ed.) (2013): Primary curriculum subjects. http://www.education.gov.uk/schools/teachingandlearning/curriculum/primary (22.1.2013) Department for Education (Ed.) (2013): The school curriculum. http://www.education.gov.uk/schools/teachingandlearning/curriculum (22.1.2013) European Commission (Ed.) (2009): Structures of Education and Training Systems in Europe – Romania (2009/10). http://eacea.ec.europa.eu/education/eurydice/documents/eurybase/structures/041_RO_EN.pdf (22.01.2013) Ministerio de Educación, Cultura y Deporte (2006): Disposiciones generales. BOE núm. 106. Ministerium für Bildung, Frauen und Jugend (Ed.) (2006): Rahmenplan Grundschule. Teilrahmenplan Sachunterricht. http://grundschule.bildung-rp.de/fileadmin/user_upload/grundschule.bildung-rp.de/Downloads/Rahmenplan/GSch_Teilrahmenplan_Sachunterricht.pdf (22.1.2013) Ministerul Educaţiei Şi Cercetării Consiliul Naţional Pentru Curriculum (2003a): Programa Scolara Cunoasterea Mediului. Clasele I – A Ii-A Ministero dell’Istruzione, dell’Università e della Ricerca (Ed.) (2012): Indicazioni nazionali per il curricolo. http://hubmiur.pubblica.istruzione.it/web/istruzione/prot5559_12 (22.1.2013) OECD (2008): Education for Sustainable Development – http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/52/1/41372200.pdf United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Ed.) (2006): Globalization and Education for Sustainable Development. Sustaining the Future. http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0014/001492/149295e.pdf (22.1.2013)
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