Educating in sustainable development
published on 14.05.21
Education is undoubtedly one of the most important pillars to curb the climate crisis. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals are closely related to education. One of the targets set by the SDGs is to “ensure that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development”.
It is for this reason that UNESCO, the United Nations body in charge of education, proposed an Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) Roadmap for 2030. As an educational institution, we believe we must educate on sustainability and align the governance and culture of TBS with the SDGs.
Below are the 5 areas of action to improve Education for Sustainable Development by 2030 proposed by this report.
Areas of action
- Policy advocacy
The report makes several proposals to encourage the promotion of measures to support Education for Sustainable Development. Among them, it recommends that ministries of education examine the purpose of education systems and align them with the SDGs. It also calls for the inclusion of Education for Sustainable Development as a criterion for quality assurance in education, and the evaluation of educational institutions in this area. Furthermore, it advises integrating ESD into policies that address the achievement of the SDGs.
- Transforming learning environments
The second priority area for action is the transformation of learning environments. For students to become agents of change, educational institutions must be also transformed and aligned with sustainable development. Achieving this comprehensive transformation will also strengthen their pedagogy. The Roadmap talks about the importance of aligning the governance and culture of these institutions with the SDGs. It proposes providing spaces where all members of the institution can express their views on the sustainability issues to be addressed. It also recommends ensuring that facilities reflect sustainability principles.
- Strengthening of educators’ capacities
Well-trained educators are essential to any shift toward more sustainable lifestyles. The report recommends that teacher-training institutions include ESD in the training process and the evaluation of educators before and during their employment. Besides, educators must be prepared to guide and motivate their students.
- Youth empowerment and mobilization
Young people will be the ones to face the climate challenges of the future. More and more, we are seeing actions by young people demonstrating against unsustainable development and demanding stronger measures to curb the climate crisis. It is important to provide them with the necessary tools in ESD as well as to educate their consumption habits.
The Roadmap encourages young people to send messages about the urgency and importance of sustainable development, using social networks for educational purposes to spread the message further. It also recommends that public and private institutions include young people and recognizes them as key partners and actors. Listening to and taking into account young voices will also foster intergenerational dialogue.
- Acceleration of actions at the local level
The Roadmap ensures that transformative actions occur primarily at the local level, in the community. It is also a space where it is easier to find partners to carry out sustainable initiatives. It recommends encouraging the participation of the entire community, with the goal that everyone takes an active interest in sustainability issues and wants to participate in decision-making.
Sustainable Development Education at TBS
At TBS in Barcelona, we are aware of the importance of educating in sustainable development. Last month a debate on the UNIR project took place at TBS in Barcelona to discuss the social transition of the school. In the debate, the whole community was invited and involved to give their opinion on the changes that should be carried out. Actions such as this are in line with the comprehensive Education for Sustainable Development recommended by UNESCO. In addition, starting next year, TBS in Barcelona will offer the specialization Doing Sustainable Business in the third year of the Bachelor in Management program.