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Positive lessons

17 March 2010

Scottish schools are showing the way in sustainable education. A 2 year process co-ordinated by SDC Scotland has prepared the ground for a new action plan to change education culture and make Scottish children global citizens.

Teacher in front of classSchool children must learn about the benefits of sustainable lifestyles, not the ‘threats’ from not developing sustainably. That was the consensus at a recent high level seminar on how to develop education for sustainable development in Scotland further.

Focus across education sector

The action plan will aim to change the culture right across the whole education sector to create a sense of global citizenship and our shared responsibility for the world’s resources.

Sector groups have provided a range of initiatives for the Government to consider: In schools stakeholders would like to see greater engagement at grassroots level, better use of the opportunities ICT provides, recognition of the role of non-teaching staff and a focus on outdoor education.

For colleges and universities some of the recommendations include more inter disciplinary teaching modules and a greater focus on improving the current estate and providing sustainable learning environments for student.

Community learning

Lifelong and community learning are important aspects of sustainable development and this is an area with many new initiatives and plenty of opportunities to link and learn. In particular the workshops have focused on how the action plan could focus on the lessons from the Climate Challenge Fund communities and link to the Community Empowerment Action Plan.

Scotland an international example

The recent seminar was the culmination of a 2-year programme to inform the Scottish Government’s second action plan for the UN decade of education for sustainable development, to be published later this month.

The process has been facilitated by SDC Scotland and consisted of a range of meetings and workshops. Stakeholders across education and sustainable development have informed the Government’s work to keep Scotland at the international forefront of sustainable development education.

UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development

The UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development began on January 1, 2005 and aims to promote education as a basis for a more sustainable society and to integrate sustainable development into education at all levels and all areas of life. This includes communities, the workplace and society in general.

Scotland’s first action plan, Learning For Our Future, covered the first five years of the decade.

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