Project description

In 2005, education and environment Ministers from across the UNECE region adopted the UNECE Strategy for Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). The Strategy aims to ensure that policy frameworks enable this kind of education on all levels of formal and non-formal education, provide support for educators in the field of sustainable development and facilitate access to adequate teaching aids and educational materials needed for education for sustainable development (Cheda, M. , Ministry of Environment, 2006). The most important recommendation in the field of education is to mainstream sustainability into the curriculum at all levels of education. Particular attention should be given raising awareness on sustainable development among university employees – thus strengthening the profile of the teaching professions. (Grodzińska-Jurczak et al, 2010). Our project will contribute to these needs improve the quality and relevance of higher education, by raising the general capacity of the academic teachers in several European countries to conduct interdisciplinary education focused on sustainability. The education on environment and sustainability, as well as involvement of professional actors in the development of educational materials in the project, will enable students to enhance their understanding of the social and environmental responsibilities of potential future employers and thus provide links to employability in environmental services – therefore also through that activity the relevance of higher education will be enhanced.

The main aim of the project is to organize an international interdisciplinary network of academic teachers and researchers that will work together to develop operational capacity of an integrated interdisciplinary thinking about sustainable development. In addition the project will deliver useful innovative multidisciplinary tools to support development of environmental studies embedded in Sustainable Development in Higher Education.

The specific objectives are:

1) To exchange knowledge and experience concerning different types of studies and specific tools and methods for implementing interdisciplinarity in academic teaching built on the broad expertise from a range of countries’ contexts

2) To thoroughly discuss challenges of interdisciplinary education in studies related to environmental problems and sustainability;

3) To gather information on possibilities how to incorporate the sustainability-oriented education into university curricula within partners’ countries (value added)

4) To develop a handbook with some of teaching materials (from both social and natural sciences) that can contribute to improvements of study programmes related to environment in European countries

5) To test study materials adapted both to the needs of students and teachers and the needs of the labour market, available to the teachers across Europe (open access basis) after the project closure

6) To create a blueprint for a new join international innovative interdisciplinary educational programme in higher education that would tackle the contemporary environmental problems and prepare students to face them in the future.

Project activities:

3 Transnational Project Meetings

Poland –January 2016

Greece – February 2017

Poland – December 2017

4 Workshops, 5 days each:

Workshop: Train the trainers + ecosystems (organised by Sweden), May 2016

Workshop: Environmental education, biodiversity and geoethics: Sustainable linkages in Higher Education syllabus (organised by Portugal), November 2016

Workshop: Environmental education, training tools and building support for teachers (organised by Czech Republic), April 2017

Workshop: Environmental decision making and democracy + handbook (organised by Collegium Civitas), September 2017

Organisation of final seminars by each partner (November-December 2017)

Production of intellectual outputs:

  • Overview discipline approach report 1 – Education in comparative analysis (Sweden in charge), May–July 2016

  • Overview discipline approach report 2 – Ecosystem services, geoethics and biodiversity (Portugal in charge), November 2016–January 2017

  • Overviews discipline approach report 3 – Ecology, decision making and environmental education (Czech Republic in charge), April–June 2017

  • Handbook of teaching materials (Poland in charge), October–December 2017

  • Curriculum for joint MA degree (Poland in charge), October–December 2017

    Testing phase (validation of teaching materials by experts, implementation of materials into teaching, evaluation)