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Global Schools, SDSN Networks, and Siemens Gamesa RENEWABLE ENERGY Launch Online Toolkit

Partners launch new online toolkit on ESD curriculum development, titled: “From Commitment to Action: Integrating Sustainable Development into National Education Priorities: A Practical Guide for Policymakers, Practitioners, and Researchers”


June 16th, 2023 - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


The Global Schools Program (GSP) is thrilled to announce the launch of a new toolkit to support practitioners, policymakers, and researchers in creating or adapting curriculum on sustainable development, as well as integrating this curriculum into national priorities. The toolkit is titled: “From Commitment to Action: Integrating Sustainable Development into National Education Priorities: A Practical Guide for Policymakers, Practitioners, and Researchers.” The toolkit was authored by Dr. Felisa Tibbitts, Chair in Human Rights Education and UNESCO Chair in Human Rights and Higher Education, Utrecht University (Netherlands); Mr. Sam Loni, UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network; Ms. Amanda Abrom, UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network; and Ms. Gabriela Chacon Ugarte, UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network.


The project was made possible due to the financial support provided by Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy. For more than 40 years, the organization has been a pioneer and leader of the wind industry, and today more than 28,000 colleagues work at the center of the global energy revolution to tackle the most significant challenge of our generation: the climate crisis.


The contents of the toolkit were shaped based on the results of a research pilot carried out in Ghana, Turkey, and Morocco. Partners that participated in the pilot project include the Mohammed VI Foundation for Environmental Protection (Morocco), Al Akhawayn University (Morocco), Hacettepe University (Turkey), the University of Education (Ghana), and the Millennium Promise Alliance, Inc. (Ghana). The research pilots were led by Professor Abdelkrim Marzouk, Professor Mustafa Öztürk, Professor Andy Ofori-Birikorang, Professor Richardson Addai-Mununkum, Ms. Kenza Khallafi, Ms. Meryem Khodari, and Chief Nathaniel Ebo Nsark, as well as other authors, educators and stakeholders. Project advisors included Professor Fernando Reimers (Harvard University), Professor Felisa Tibbitts (Utrecht University), Professor Oren Pizmony-Levy (Columbia University), and Professor Alan Reid (Monash University).


The purpose of the toolkit is to provide policymakers and practitioners with analytical frameworks and tools to develop evidence-based and locally relevant Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) interventions, and to embed them within existing national curriculum for all grades and subject areas. The guide is divided into seven major subsections:

  • Chapter 1: The importance of ESD integration into national education curriculum and the underlying theory of change for the guide are introduced.

  • Chapter 2: The multi-phased research process is introduced, including the necessary preparations and a list highlighting administrative priorities (i.e. financial resources, human resources, expertise, etc.).

  • Chapter 3: A comprehensive ESD framework, which can be used for designing classroom lessons and activities, is developed based on national educational context and local priorities.


  • Chapter 4: National educational laws, policies and curricula are rigorously analyzed and evaluated (both quantitatively and qualitatively) for ESD themes.

  • Chapter 5: Expanding the ESD framework and building on existing curriculum, a series of sample lesson plans and activity guides for various grades and subjects are developed.

  • Chapter 6: Sample lesson plans and activity guides are piloted in select schools and classrooms across the country, and their effectiveness rigorously assessed.

  • Chapter 7: Writing up final recommendations based on project outcomes, disseminating the results of the curriculum piloting to stakeholders, and developing a roadmap to guide future work.

The authors hope this new toolkit can support Ministries of Education (MoEs) in identifying efficient, effective, and locally relevant approaches to scale ESD in interventions in the classroom and across their national education systems.


Lead author, Dr. Felisa Tibbitts says, “In light of our planetary crisis associated with climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution, there is a pressing need for education to enable individuals to lead the green transition of our societies. Every school, every education system has an essential role to play. This hands-on, practical guide breaks down the discrete steps necessary for analyzing policy and curriculum documents and using these results to create new Education for Sustainable Development curriculum.”


SDSN President, Dr. Jeffrey Sachs, says, “In the years to 2030, educational access and educational quality for all young people should be our greatest priority. Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) will be key to empower young people with skills and values needed to achieve sustainable development. As the President of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), I am very excited to present this toolkit, which provides a detailed methodology to carry out a comprehensive needs assessment of education policy and curriculum to create a meaningful ESD curriculum tailored to the needs of each region and community.”


Global Schools Director and report co-author, Mr. Sam Loni, says, “Today, Global Schools celebrates a momentous achievement with the official release of our ESD toolkit. Created through a collaborative effort involving prominent academics and practitioners, this comprehensive guide offers an in-depth, pragmatic, and evidence-based approach to integrating Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) into national educational strategies and curricula. We envision this toolkit as a valuable resource, providing policymakers, researchers, and practitioners with practical guidance for developing and expanding ESD programs within their communities.”


Global Schools Manager and report co-author, Mrs. Amanda Abrom, says, “We are thrilled to offer an additional resource to Global Schools partners and stakeholders that supports curriculum development efforts. We are excited to use this toolkit to engage with SDSN Networks and partners to solicit additional feedback on creating ESD curriculum and contribute to more learnings in the field of ESD.”


For more information on Global Schools visit: globalschoolsprogram.org

For media inquiries, please contact us at globalschools@unsdsn.org

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