Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world
– Nelson Mandela
Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) is good for society
Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) inspires taking sustainable actions and creating more informed global citizens.
In a Stanford University review of 119 peer-reviewed studies published over a 20-year period, environmental education was found to report enhanced environmental behaviors in 83% of studies. Also, ESD is shown to increase life skills and values in students, leading to more civic engagement, positive environmental behaviors, peaceful societies, and increased motivation to solve environmental and community issues. ESD promotes discussions that can shape students’ future abilities to participate in the community and politics, as well as their future ability to solve conflicts in the workplace. It supports community engagement and community partnerships, which provide schools with expertise, mentorship, financing, equipment, and sustainable school projects that can last for decades!
Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) is good for learning
Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) transforms learning environments, improves student performance and enhances critical thinking skills, creativity, digital citizenship, STEM skills, problem solving, and 21st century skills.
Our literature review of over 14+ comprehensive studies links ESD with positive academic achievements, and Stanford’s review of 119 peer-reviewed studies found that 90% noted increased skills in students and 86% saw positive changes in students. In addition, ESD curriculum enhances socio-emotional skills and soft skills, including self-esteem, autonomy, character development, maturity, empowerment, verbal communication, leadership, and collaboration. Embracing green spaces in schools affects memory and cognition, and creating an open environment for positive social interaction builds a healthy social climate, which ultimately leads to better mental and physical well-being for students.
The Global Schools Program offers 60 lesson plans for primary and secondary schools students.
These contain comprehensive guidelines and activities that are extremely easy to use and integrate well into existing global standards, in order to help schools and teachers educate students about the Sustainable Development Goals. These plans have been developed by professors from leading educational institutions, including Harvard University. To test lesson plans on the SDGs, PwC in the UAE conducted a small number of one-hour long interactive classes with students.
The results of the pilot found that 78% of children said that they now felt more confident to talk to people about the SDGs outside school, and an overwhelming 92% of children said they cared more about social and environmental issues!
The children also took part in lively debates among themselves and with their teachers about each SDG and its importance.