ESD guideline reaching to thousands of schools in Japan

The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan (MEXT) has developed a “Guideline on the promotion of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)” in close collaboration with national ESD experts. The guideline was published in March 2016 and is being disseminated to all municipal/prefectural boards of education in Japan and to nearly 1,000 Japanese UNESCO Associated Schools (ASPnet).

The guideline targets supervisors at the boards of education and school management responsible for organizing teacher trainings.

The guideline explains the background and the necessity of implementing ESD. It also includes a case study on teaching the "3Rs” - Reduce, Reuse, Recycle - in primary school based on the concept of ESD. The case study consists of five steps - setting objectives; drafting a lesson plan; evaluation; cooperation with the local community; and school management/whole school approach. For example, the step on lesson plans shows a concrete example of how to implement ESD through several subjects in a cross-curricular manner. The guideline also proposes collaboration with ASPnet schools in foreign countries in order to understand the necessity of international cooperation for a sustainable future.

The guideline further contains a collection of good practices conducted in schools from primary to higher education in Japan.

MEXT is asking all boards of education to make use of this guideline to organize teacher trainings in their region.

The Guideline in Japanese is available at this link.

Update November 2016: The Guideline is now available in English at this link.