Introducing the TLSF Dissemination & Training Toolbox

  • Introduction
  • About TLSF
  • Using the Toolbox
  • Quicktour
  • Credits

Introduction

Welcome

Welcome to the Dissemination and Training Toolbox that has been prepared to encourage and support the use of Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future in teacher education.

The Director-General of UNESCO explained the rationale for this important task in this way:

Educating for a sustainable future is a formidable challenge. How can we better understand the complexity of the world around us? How are the problems of our world interconnected, and what does that imply for their solution? What kind of world do we want for the future, within the limits of our Earth’s life support systems? How can we reconcile the requirements of economy, society, and the environment?

Such questions, of course, are not new and, in its capacity as the specialised agency for education within the United Nations system, UNESCO has addressed them over a period of many years. However, as Task Manager for Chapter 36 of Agenda 21, UNESCO has been grappling with these questions with renewed vigour. The new vision of Education for Sustainable Development places education at the heart of the quest to solve the problems threatening our future. Education – in all its forms and at all levels – is seen not only as an end in itself but also as one of the most powerful instruments for bringing about the changes required to achieve sustainable development. Teachers, of course, are vital actors in this process and consequently have been given special attention.

Teacher education is a priority for UNESCO and, indeed, for the international community as a whole. Within its special work programme on education, the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development invited UNESCO to make a significant effort to help teachers worldwide not only to understand sustainable development concepts and issues but also to learn how to cope with interdisciplinary, values-laden subjects in established curricula.

Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future is UNESCO’s response to that challenge, and a major contribution to the United Nations World Summit on Sustainable Development (Johannesburg, September 2002). By making the programme available as both a web site and a CDROM, UNESCO hopes to reach as many teachers as possible across the world. The programme can be used as it is, or adapted to local, national or regional needs. Many translations and adaptations are already foreseen.

This ‘train-the-trainer’ guide has been prepared to facilitate dissemination, adoption and adaptation of Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future for use in locally/nationally relevant ways.

The audience for the toolbox includes in-service and pre-service teacher education leaders who are recognized as being able to ‘make a difference’ by catalysing colleagues to develop a strong commitment to using Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future themselves and to sharing the benefits of their training with their colleagues.

Objectives

This Dissemination and Training Toolbox contains guidelines and sample resources to assist in planning and facilitating workshops designed to assist participants:

  • To become familiar with Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future.
  • To appreciate the value of multimedia approaches in teacher education.
  • To understand the many different ways Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future can be used in pre-service and in-service teacher education.
  • To relate the content of Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future to local curriculum and teacher education priorities.
  • To make a plan for conducting Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future training workshops.

About TLSF

Introducing Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future

Education is critical for promoting sustainable development and improving the capacity of the people to address environment and development issues … It is critical for achieving environmental and ethical awareness, values and attitudes, skills and behaviour consistent with sustainable development and for effective public participation in decision-making.

Source: Agenda 21: Programme of Action for Sustainable Development, UN Conference on Environment and Development, 1992, Chapter 36, paragraph 36.3

Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future is a multimedia teacher education programme published by UNESCO. Its 27 modules provide around 100 hours of highly interactive activities designed to enhance the teacher’s understanding of sustainable development and related themes. It also develops practical skills for integrating sustainable development themes into the school curriculum, and for using the teaching methods best suited to the knowledge, values and citizenship objectives of educating for a sustainable future.

The multimedia format of Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future means that it can be accessed and used in a great many ways by teachers, student teachers, teacher educators, curriculum developers, education policy makers and authors of educational materials.

Rationale

UNESCO, and the international community in general, believes that we need to foster – through education – the values, behaviour and lifestyles required for a sustainable future. Indeed, sustainable development is not so much a destination as a process of learning how to think in terms of ‘forever’. Sustainable development involves learning how to make decisions that consider the long-term future of the economy, ecology and equity of all communities. Building the capacity for such futures-oriented thinking is key task of education.

Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future is rooted in a new vision of education, a vision that helps students better understand the world in which they live, addressing the complexity and interconnectedness of problems such as poverty, wasteful consumption, environmental degradation, urban decay, population growth, health, conflict and the violation of human rights that threaten our future.

This vision of education emphasises a holistic, interdisciplinary approach to developing the knowledge and skills needed for a sustainable future as well as changes in values, behaviour, and lifestyles. This vision requires us to reorient education systems, policies and practices in order to empower everyone, young and old, to make decisions and act in culturally appropriate and locally relevant ways to redress the problems that threaten our common future. Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future will enable educators to plan learning experiences that empower their students to develop and evaluate alternative visions of a sustainable future and to work creatively with others to help bring their visions into effect.

There are over 60 million teachers in the world – and each one is a key agent for bringing about the changes in lifestyles and systems we need. For this reason, innovative teacher education is an important part of educating for a sustainable future.

Objectives

The objectives of Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future are:

  • To develop an appreciation of the scope and purpose of educating for a sustainable future.
  • To clarify concepts and themes related to sustainable development and how they can be integrated in all subject areas across the school curriculum.
  • To enhance skills for integrating issues of sustainability into a range of school subjects and classroom topics.
  • To enhance skills for using a wide range of interactive and learner-centred teaching and learning strategies that underpin the knowledge, critical thinking, values and citizenship objectives implicit in reorienting education towards sustainable development.
  • To encourage wider awareness of available Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), of the potential of multimedia-based approaches to education and professional development and of the Internet as a rich source of educational materials.
  • To enhance skills in computer literacy and multimedia education.

Contents

Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future contains 25 professional development modules, organised in four thematic sections.

Curriculum Rationale
A sequenced introduction to global realities, imperatives for sustainable development and educational issues that form the rationale for Educating for a Sustainable Future.
  • Exploring global realities
  • Understanding sustainable development
  • A futures perspective in the curriculum
  • Reorienting education for a sustainable future
  • Accepting the challenge
Sustainable Development Across the Curriculum
An overview of ways in which Educating for a Sustainable Future can be integrated into all areas of the curriculum, especially into cross-curriculum themes such as citizenship, health and consumer education.
  • Sustainable futures across the curriculum
  • Citizenship education
  • Health education
  • Consumer education
Contemporary Issues
An illustration of how different curriculum themes may be reoriented to integrate an interdisciplinary emphasis on sustainable futures.
  • Culture & religion for a sustainable future
  • Indigenous knowledge & sustainability
  • Women & sustainable development
  • Population & development
  • Understanding world hunger
  • Sustainable agriculture
  • Sustainable tourism
  • Sustainable communities
  • Globalisation
  • Climate change
Teaching & Learning Strategies
Practical advice on using teaching and learning strategies that can help students achieve the wide range of knowledge, skill and values objectives of Education for Sustainable Development.
  • Experiential learning
  • Storytelling
  • Values education
  • Enquiry learning
  • Appropriate assessment
  • Future Problem Solving
  • Learning outside the classroom
  • Community Problem Solving

The multimedia approach

Multimedia-based learning is becoming increasingly popular. While it has limitations, and certainly should not be seen as a substitute for face-to-face interaction, it does have numerous advantages for teacher education. For example, the information contained on the Internet is unlimited and evolving. It is up-to-date, inexpensive to obtain, and searchable. It also reflects the views of many authors and sources of information.

Multimedia professional education can also be highly interactive and engaging through the use of animation, audio and video files, games and on-line discussions. All these can be undertaken at any time and at any place and without the need for an outside workshop facilitator.

Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future incorporates these benefits of multimedia education. It also demonstrates the principles of effective teaching and learning that are a necessary part of reorienting education towards a sustainable future. That is, the type of professional development experiences in Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future seeks to ensure that the ‘medium’ for learning is a part of the ‘message’.

In order to achieve this goal, the learning experiences in Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future reflect three principles of effective professional development:

Academic Rigour
Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future incorporates up-to-date knowledge about key issues related to global realities and sustainable development themes from many disciplines. Since it has been produced by an international body (UNESCO), the programme has been developed through extensive consultation, review and evaluation and is as free as possible from cultural or other biases. Links to numerous Internet sites also provide multiple perspectives on topics and can enhance access to information and critical thinking.
Experiential Learning
All the modules in Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future are based upon an experiential learning process that invites teachers to analyse and interpret information in a variety of forms (e.g. text, tables, diagrams, computer games, and linked Internet sites); review new knowledge in the light of current understandings; develop skills in a wide variety of teaching and learning strategies; and adapt new ideas and skills to practical educational tasks.
Reflection
Reflection is integral to the professional development experiences in Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future. A deepening appreciation of Education for Sustainable Development is encouraged by the use of a Learning Journal in every module. Answering questions in the Learning Journal is a practical way of learning. It also provides a record of what has been learnt, ideas and plans for applying these ideas in local situations, and opportunities for on-going professional reflection. Some questions in the Learning Journal may also be used as starting points for student learning material.

Key design features

Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future is very easy to use as it has been designed with attention to the needs of people who may have only basic computer skills. In addition, the programme can be used in a very flexible way. Some of the key design features are:

Relevant for diverse audiences
The programme has been designed for both pre-service teacher education, i.e. for student teachers, and in the in-service education of experienced teachers. At the same time, it has also been designed to suit the professional development needs of curriculum developers, education policy makers and authors of educational materials.
Available in several formats
The programme is available in two multimedia formats – on the Internet at <www.unesco.org/education/tlsf> and as a CDROM. The CDROM contains the entire website, complete with over 500 Internet links that can be accessed directly from the CDROM (via an Internet connection). Separate PDF files of every module are also provided both on the web site and on the CDROM. The programme can therefore be printed and used in ‘hard copy’ format – although, of course, the multimedia interactions will not work in this format.
Choice of topics
Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future contains 25 topics (called modules) organised in four thematic sections. While the modules are cross-linked, they are designed to be self-contained. The modules can be studied in any order to suit the interests and needs of users.
Range of activities
Each of the modules contains five to seven ‘activities’, each one usually requiring between 30 and 40 minutes to complete. The personal Learning Journal integrated into the programme allows busy users to ‘save’ their work after one or two activities and come back to the module when they have more time. These activities provide a full multimedia learning experience. Passive reading is minimal. Most time is spent answering questions, doing exercises, working through problems, games and other activities that encourage active learning.
Easy to use
User friendliness is reinforced by using a common presentation for all 27 modules. Each module is organized under the same headings – introduction, objectives, activities, references and credits, common design elements (e.g. navigation bars and icons). Simple and clear instructions are provided throughout.
Simplicity of design
Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future has a simple visual design, based on an attractive range of colours and icons. The programme is free of the large files and complex graphics that increase download time and cost of Internet access. The programme can operate on a computer with relatively simple hardware specifications. No prior knowledge or skills is required. The clear instructions guide users step by step through the programme.
Learning styles
The many different types of professional development activities integrated into Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future provide a rich variety of learning experiences that cater to many learning styles. Long passages have been kept to a minimum, and when they do appear, are mostly located in pop-up boxes and can even be printed and read when convenient. Great care has been given to providing information in a variety of forms (e.g. text, tables, diagrams, audio-files and linked Internet sites). The activities require users to analyse and interpret this information and to apply the ideas learnt to local curriculum and teaching contexts. A Learning Journal allows users to summarise questions, answers and reflections and save them in a word processing programme.
Adaptable
An ‘open architecture’ (i.e. technical structure) was used to create the computer files in Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future. For this reason, the programme can be easily translated or adapted with a minimum of technical expertise and a basic webpage creation application. See following sections for some suggestions for adapting Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future to different educational and cultural contexts.

Using the Toolbox

Audience

This Dissemination and Training Toolbox has been prepared to facilitate dissemination, adoption and adaptation of Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future for use in locally/nationally relevant ways.

The audience for the toolbox includes in-service and pre-service teacher education leaders who are recognized as being able to ‘make a difference’ by catalysing colleagues to develop a strong commitment to using Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future themselves and to sharing the benefits of their training with their colleagues.

Contents of the Toolbox

This Dissemination and Training Toolbox contains guidelines and sample workshop resources that facilitators may adapt and use in ways that suit local circumstances and objectives. The Toolbox is divided into four sections:

Introduction
This is the section you are in now. It provides a Quick Tour of the Dissemination and Training Toolbox and an overview of the Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future multimedia teacher education programme.
Workshop Planner
This section provides guidelines for planning successful workshops. An interactive workshop planner is also included.
Sample Workshops
This section contains resources for four sample workshops:
  • Introducing Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future.
  • Teacher education for a sustainable future.
  • Multimedia approaches in teacher education.
  • Using Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future in courses.
The resources provided for these workshops include: guidelines for facilitators and associated handouts in Rich Text Format (*.rtf) and slide presentations. These materials may be adapted and edited to suit local circumstances.
Adapting and Translating
This section contains guidelines for planning to adapt and/or translate of the Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future multimedia teacher education programme to suit local educational and cultural circumstances.
A case study of how a team from southern Africa planned an adaptation project is included.

Planning a Workshop

In planning a workshop aimed at developing the commitment and capacity of colleagues to use Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future, facilitators will find it useful to:

  • Take a Quick Tour to familiarise themselves with the contents of Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future.
  • Review the guidelines for planning a successful workshop.
  • Review the objectives, content, approaches and possible length of the four workshops provided in the Toolbox.
  • Use the interactive workshop planner to develop a workshop schedule.

Computer and Audio-Visual Requirements for Workshops

Facilitators and participants at Dissemination and Training Workshops for Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future will require access to certain computer and multimedia equipment.

  • A personal computer (preferably connected to the Internet) and a data projector for the facilitator.
  • A personal computer (connected to the Internet) for each participant or pair of participants.
  • A Version 4 browser (or better) and the Shockwave plug-in need to be installed on each computer. The Installer on the Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future CDROM contains Netscape and Internet Explorer browsers and the Shockwave plug-in.

If the facilitator or host organisation is providing the computers for participants, workshop time can be saved if these applications and the complete Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future programme are pre-installed on each computer.

Alternatively, a CDROM can be given to each person or the programme accessed via the Internet at <http://www.unesco.org/education/tlsf>.

It is not possible to conduct the workshop without this hardware and software.

Whether participants are working from a pre-installed version of the programme or a CDROM rather than the internet version, it is desirable (but not necessary) for all computers to be connected to the Internet so that participants can access the information on the 500 or more websites linked to the programme.

Quicktour

Credits

This Dissemination and Training Toolbox accompanies Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future which is a multimedia teacher education programme published by UNESCO as part of its function as task manager for Chapter 36 of Agenda 21, and as a contribution to the World Summit on Sustainable Development, Johannesburg 2002.

The Dissemination and Training Toolbox is published by UNESCO in partnership with Education International.

Grateful acknowledgement is made to Education International and the United States Department of State for support provided to this project.

Project Team

UNESCO Project Coordinator
Jeanne Damlamian
Griffith University Project Coordinators
John Fien and Clayton White
Education International Project Coordinator
Monique Fouilhoux
Authors
Ellen Appleby, Jo-Anna Crawford, Jo-Anne Ferreira, John Fien, Margaret Gooch, Wayne Muller, Clayton White, Griffith University, Australia; Rob O’Donoghue, Goldfields Service Unit, Rhodes University, South Africa.

 

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation
Educating for a Sustainable Future
7 Place de Fontenoy
75352 Paris 07 SP
France

 

Education International
5 bd du Roi Albert II
1210 Brussels
Belgium

 

© UNESCO, 2002, Version 3.0. All Rights Reserved.
Prepared for UNESCO by Griffith University, Australia.