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Quality Criteria for ESD-Schools. Guidelines to enhance the quality of Education for Sustainable Development.
A document by the SEED and the ENSI networks for international debate.
This publication targets schools and educational authorities engaged in Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). It presents a proposal for a nonexhaustive list of ′quality criteria′ to be used as a starting point for reflections, debates and further development regarding future work on ESD among educational officials, teachers, headmasters, parents, and students. We have proposed the term ′ESD-schools′ as a new term which is different from the commonly used terms ′eco-schools′ or ′green schools′. By using a new term we want to stress that there are new challenges for schools that wish to engage in ESD-oriented development. ESD is not only dealing with aspects of people′s dependence on the quality of the environment and access to natural resources now and in the future, but also aspects of participation, self efficacy, equality and social justice are essential perspectives in preparing pupils for their engagement in sustainable development. However, experience and achievements derived from ′eco-schools′, ′green schools′ and from environmental education in general and from a number of other overarching pedagogical fields like peace education, health education, citizenship education and global education are highly relevant in this endeavour. There are moreover many examples that demonstrate that schools are addressing ESD without identifying it as such. In the present context, ESD-schools are schools that have chosen Education for Sustainable Development as a central part of their mission and their educational plan. They consider sustainable development as a main principle to keep in mind when planning the school′s daily life and long-term changes and development. Such schools are increasing in number and improving in quality internationally under different names. They are engaged in profound changes regarding the aims and roles of educational institutions. They aim to offer students a context for developing active citizenship and participation embracing the complexity of the combined social, economic, political and environmental dimensions of sustainable development. This proposal of quality criteria is one of the outcomes of the COMENIUS IIIEuropean network ′School Development through Environmental Education′ (SEED). The work of SEED is a concrete example of the activities of ENSI, a decentralized network of national authorities and research institutions. ENSI is a UNESCO partner within the UN Decade for Sustainable Development (DESD), 2005-2014, aimed at involving all countries in concrete ESD strategies, development and review. This work takes into account international reference documents focusing on ESD and uses experience from school development and other theoretical and practical experience built within the ENSI and SEED networks. It is inspired by the analysis of research reports on ′Eco-school development′ produced by researchers and/or national representatives from 13 countries (see list annexed). The analysis of country reports is published separately. The three authors would like to acknowledge the material provided in the country reports.
An earlier draft of this publication was sent for consultation to a number of prominent educators in the field of eco-school development, ESD and general education, (see list under acknowledgements, annexed). Their comments and proposals for improvement formed the basis for drafting this published version. We express our sincere gratitude for our colleagues′ contributions that have improved this work considerably even if we have not been able to follow all suggestions. At the same time we take the full responsibility for the final text. To give more equal access to the materials presented here, the original English manuscript has been translated into a number of languages and the translators are acknowledged for each language version.We appreciate in the addition to this translation work the checking work done by Nicola Bedlington at the ENSI secretariat. Translations into further languages are highly encouraged and no copyright restricts the publication of such versions, as long as they include an appropriate reference to this original material.

Søren Breiting, Michela Mayer and Finn Mogensen
Inhaltsverzeichnis :
The development of quality criteria as part of ENSI′s work
The SEED network
Quality criteria regarding the quality of teaching and learning processes
Quality criteria regarding school policy and organisation
Quality criteria regarding the school′s external relations
Suggestions for further reading
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