Integrating ESD into Teacher Education and Training

Education Sustainable Development

©UNESCO / F. Lenaerts

The United Nations declared 2005 - 2014 the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (DESD) and designated UNESCO to lead the initiative. The UN DESD calls for the integration of the values inherent in sustainable development into all aspects of learning to encourage changes in behaviour for a more sustainable and just society for all.

The Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future (TLSF) multimedia programme is UNESCO’s response to the challenge of sustainable development and offers an opportunity to integrate ESD into teacher education programmes, providing professional development for student teachers, teachers, curriculum developers, education policy makers and authors of educational materials.

Lead by the Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) Department of Teachers and Educational Administrators (DTEA) and in cooperation with technical experts of the ESD forum, VNIES and other institutions, the TLSF programme was translated and adapted to the Vietnamese context and has now been formally adopted by MOET as an official teacher training resource. The finalized Vietnamese version contains over 100 hours of professional development, includes context-specific case studies and examples for Viet Nam and is accompanied by a supportive manual to guide users (teacher trainers, teachers and other) through the TLSF materials.

Adaptation of the TLSF materials was approached as a consultative process that not only looked at translating the words but also included discussions on the meaning of these words and developing context-relevant content for Viet Nam. As a result of the technical strengthening through the adaption process, the project technical working group also developed a complementary guide to support Vietnamese teacher trainers and teachers to use ESD materials in the classroom. This process has created an active collaboration with UNESCO Asia Pacific Regional Bureau for Education, the Asia-Pacific Programme of Educational Innovation for Development (APEID) units and the Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (DESD) Secretariat in UNESCO Paris.

To gain better insights to improve the practical use and relevance of the TLSF, DTEA and UNESCO began piloting the programme in June 2011 at Teacher Training Institutes in five provinces. These five provinces also take part in VVOB’s (Flemish Association for Development Cooperation and Technical Assistance) Teacher Training programme and technical inputs from both agencies will strengthen ESD integration in Teacher Education and Training in Viet Nam.

This project also provides an excellent opportunity for Viet Nam to demonstrate its commitment to two of the DESD program thrusts: re-orienting existing education programs and strengthening capacities to integrate ESD into education programs and activities. It likewise enables UNESCO to demonstrate its leadership role on DESD and provides a strategic platform for raising awareness and advocacy on sustainable development, in particular climate change adaptation and mitigation through education.

The Vietnamese TLSF will be made available online and on CD-Rom in late 2011.

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