Questions for empowering ESD dialogue

Problem under study:

The UN launch of a “Decade of Education for Sustainable Development” points to this topic as a global priority area. It differs from “environmental education” in that the focus is on socioeonomic processes as well as ecology.

For more than 15 years GAP (International network of ESD organisations) have been developing and testing ways – pedagogy, methods – to bring an understanding of sustainability issues to leaders, children, and the general public.

Our programs for adults and children are designed to

• Raise awareness of issues connected with sustainable development

• Clarify links between sustainability and personal lifestyle choices

• Inspire and empower participants to adopt more conscious lifestyles

• Inspire and empower participants to take action in their neighbourhoods and communities, including local Agenda 21 initiatives

Now we know why and how we DO change our behaviour, an enquiry that led to the principles on which the Ukrainian school curriculum and other GAP programs are based. This is not to say that we are satisfied. The search for the truly pivotal elements continues.

Workshop Objectives:

After the training participants will be able:

 to present the model of ESD learning, explain its strengths and weaknesses, to clarify differences between interactive and ESD models of education, and to discuss conditions for their application in secondary schools and adult trainings.

 to name and explain characteristics of ESD learning, and get practical skills to ESD methods such as audits, ecoteambuilding, synergy method, collective learning.

 to obtain experience and skills in conducting training in ESD for teachers and trainers.

 to use a number of new training methods for different target groups.

 to obtain and use unique well developed handouts, which were tested during ten years in a number of workshops.

Workshop methodology

The workshop is built on the ‘Learning by Doing’ principle. Participants are provided with an opportunity to experience all four stages of the David Colb learning cycle: stage of specific experience, stage of reflection and observation, stage of abstract conceptualization and the stage of active experimenting. The participants are both trainees (those who obtains knowledge and experience) and trainers (those who provide knowledge, as the set up of the training allows wide sharing of ideas and experiences).

For this purpose the number of methods are used:

- Practical and flexible presentations with ample opportunity for questions, answers and synthesis throughout

- Working in Groups

- Discussions

- Self reflection

- Dialogue circles and other Adult Learning methodologies, etc.

During the training participants are able to discuss questions of practical use of the ESD methodologies and analyze their effectiveness.