''Now is the time to recommit to those efforts inspired by the Sustainable Development Goals. Changemakers everywhere are critical to translating the ambitious vision of the SDGs into reality. Global communities such as those sustained by the Global Schools Program are critical to building a better world"
– Ford Foundation Professor of the Practice of International Education,
FERNANDO M. REIMERS
Global Research: Developing the Tools
We are working with some of the world’s leading sustainability experts and education specialists to develop guidelines, design principles, tools, and frameworks for building high-quality and effective ESD curriculum based on the latest research and scientific evidence:
Toolkit for ESD localization: we are currently developing a comprehensive toolkit to guide country-level research and localization, which includes frameworks and methodologies for policy analysis, curriculum audit, content adaptation, course development, lesson evaluation, and integration. This toolkit will serve as a flexible and adaptable guide for country research teams to develop ESD curriculum for K-12 schools in their respective countries. This toolkit is being developed and shaped by the outcomes of our current country-level research projects in Ghana, Turkey, and Morocco.
Database of ESD resources: we are identifying, assessing, categorizing and developing ESD resources, including guides, lesson plans, books, comics, games, videos, documentaries, and activities that would be beneficial to educators and students. This includes the translation of certain content from English into other languages, based on demand. Check them out on the RESOURCES page.
Impact of ESD on education outcomes: we are collecting evidence on the impact of ESD on core educational outcomes across a range of metrics, including standardized test scores, student attendance, student engagement, teacher satisfaction, student literacy and numeracy levels, etc. The evidence is being synthesized and categorized into a database of best-practices and case-studies to inform our country-level research and advocacy.
Getting started with ESD in schools: we are putting together a guide for getting started with ESD in schools. The paper outlines the key role that schools have in social and educational transformation. It provides practical guidance on how to get started, including key steps, resources, and examples which promote a whole school approach to sustainable development. This toolkit is being developed and shaped by the outcomes of our new whole-school advocacy program, currently being led by teachers in K-12 schools around the world.
Global Research: Applying the Tools
Global Schools is committed to the agency of local institutions and groups in leading country-level projects. We believe that national institutions are best placed to conduct the research and localization of the ESD, with Global Schools providing support where necessary. In 2019, Global Schools, with support from partners, set up research programs in Morocco, Ghana and Turkey, in order to conduct country-level research on ESD localization and implementation. In Morocco we partnered with Mohammed VI Foundation for Environmental Protection and Al Akhawayn University, in Ghana with Millennium Promise and the University of Education, and in Turkey with Hacettepe University. Over the past 12 months, the following efforts have been undertaken:
Curriculum analysis and design: More than 60 researchers have been recruited to lead this project, working inside the 3 pilot countries, across 4 separate languages (English, Turkish, Arabic, and French). The research teams are analyzing national education laws and policies, curriculum standards and textbooks across every subject and grade to collect thousands of data caches on the prevalence of ESD, or lack thereof, in each national education system. Using this information, the research teams design relevant curriculum content and lesson plans to be integrated into the national curriculum.
Stakeholder engagement: More than 80 partners from government, civil society, academia and business have been mobilized to offer feedback on the proposed curriculum content, and support the national ESD implementation efforts. These partners include representatives from the ministries of education, environment, energy, and foreign affairs, think-tanks, research institutes, universities, foundations, environmental NGOs, public and private schools, teachers’ associations, and technology companies. If the curriculum is officially adopted and implemented at scale across these countries, it would directly benefit millions of students and communities each year.
Outcomes and results: All outcomes, processes and results are monitored by the global research team, and complemented by a comprehensive monitoring and evaluation process, including surveys and interviews, as well as comparative analysis between the results across the different country research teams. The final results of the research, including the individual country reports and data will be published in the peer-reviewed journal, and all key findings and learnings integrated into the “Toolkit for ESD localization” to improve the methodologies for future country projects.
If you are a researcher interested in ESD, please write to us at