ESD LT- Expert Speeches and Education Systems

This morning marked the beginning of ESD leadership trainings key note speeches. The group were lucky enough to receive lectures from two experts in the field of Environmental Education and ESD. Dr Heike Molitor (HNEE) gave a presentation on the Historical Background of Education for sustainable development and the Decade of ESD. This included information on key political documents (such as the Brundtland report and Article 21) and other conferences which saw the concept of sustainability develop. This enabled the participants to get an overview of the roots of ESD and how the UN have been working to implement it and explained the need for it to be implemented into Germany’s education system.

The second key note speaker was Hannes Siege from GIZ who’s presentation  took a more international perspective on ESD. He spoke in particular of the need to encourage a shift of ESD from the margin of the system to the centre. One point which was made highlighted that ESD should not only be at the centre of formal school education (via curricula) but also in other areas of the School (via recycling and Energy Efficiency plans etc). Overall the main point was that ESD needs to be made more mainstream. After the presentations time was allowed for questions which raised many interesting points.

Today’s training was focused on education systems and ESD  in the participating countries (mainly South Africa, India, Mexico and Germany but also including , Austria, Poland and Northern Ireland). This is an aspect which will feature greatly throughout the training sessions as the group members share knowledge of ESD in their own country with the other participants.  This included an overview of the participating countries education systems in terms of key data and each country presented this data to the rest of the group. This led into ‘the world café’ exercise after lunch which was a useful method for the participants to learn of each others systems. The group was separated into 4 tables and given topics related to ESD to discus and write down ideas. These topics were;

  1. What are the similarities and differences of our education systems?
  2. What are the challenges on our way to ESD?
  3. What does leadership mean for us within the context of ESD?

This turned out to be a very effective and participative style of learning and led to many interesting and cultural discussions.

Today’s photo of the day is an example of what resulted from the world café for ESD. It shows what one group felt leadership meant for them in the context of ESD.

During Hannes’ presentation the “cross curricular framework” of Germany publication was mentioned. This document can be downloaded from the Global Campus 21 learning platform by those who have access.

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