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BNELIT - Datenbank zu Bildung für nachhaltige Entwicklung: wissenschaftliche Literatur und Materialien
Bildung für nachhaltige Entwicklung: wiss. Literatur und Materialien (BNELIT)
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Textbooks for Sustainable Development.
A Guide to embedding.
New Delhi
′Textbooks for Sustainable Development: A Guide to Embedding′, an international guidebook on embedding concepts of peace, sustainable development and global citizenship in textbooks of core subjects was launched at the 3rd Asia Pacific Meeting on Education 2030 (APMED III) in Bangkok on the 4th of July. Commonly referred to as ′The Embedding Guide′, the book is a viable option to mainstream goal 4.7 (also the theme of APMED III) in education systems through the medium of textbooks.

The Embedding Guide offers concrete guidance for authors of mathematics, science, language and geography textbooks on how to ′embed′ peace, sustainable development and global citizenship in textbook content. There is a chapter dedicated to each subject. The guide has been written collaboratively by about 25 experts from all parts of the world.

This guidebook introduces the approach of embedding education for sustainable development into core subjects, building on the German initiative as well as consolidating other existing efforts. This ambitious work began when the UNESCO Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development (MGIEP), with support from Engagement Global gGmbH, brought together 30 international experts in mathematics, sciences, languages, geography and education for sustainable development in Bangalore, India, in June 2016. These experts co-drafted this guidebook.

This publication is designed as a guide for stakeholders in textbook development – education ministries, national curriculum authorities, textbook writers and publishers – to help them produce a new generation of textbooks. Such textbooks will make a clear departure from the mechanistic transmission of information and procedural knowledge devoid of meaning and contextual relevance. They will also advocate a new vision of learning and contribute to fostering young people′s competencies and capabilities to shape more peaceful and sustainable societies. Competencies such as critical and systemic thinking, appreciation of diversity, empathy and commitment to change are the key goals of this ambitious publication.

As the next step, MGIEP will organize a series of national and regional training workshops for textbook authors using this guidebook in different parts of the world. Our goal is to develop the capacities of the stakeholders in textbook development the world over to produce a new generation of textbooks suited to the 21st century. This first edition includes four subjects and there are plans for the next edition to include more subject areas and to update the mathematics, science, geography and language chapters based on the feedback we receive from diverse stakeholders. We also expect to deal more extensively with the concept of the ′whole-school approach′ than has been possible in this book. We shall establish an online portal, which will enable textbook authors to keep us informed about how well this guidebook is meeting their needs and where it can be enhanced, updated and expanded to serve as a living source of inspiration and guidance.

The interconnected environmental, economic, social and political challenges facing humanity call for education that enables young people to engage creatively and responsibly with the world. More than ever, the quality of education is determined by whether students have access to content and pedagogy designed to help them learn to live together on a planet under pressure. In other words, education for sustainable development and global citizenship needs to become a core guiding principle of educational change. The United Nations′ Sustainable Development Goal Target 4.7 offers the international consensus and momentum to achieve this.

Our proposal is to begin by taking the concrete step of transforming textbooks – the teaching and learning resources that are most prevalent around the world and the ones closest to students. This book offers concrete guidance for authors of mathematics, science, language and geography textbooks on how to ′embed′ peace, sustainable development and global citizenship in textbook content. Embedding is not about inserting new thematic content into an already overcrowded curriculum. Instead, it is about reorienting core subjects to serve a purpose that is more socially and globally relevant, empowering young people to address local and global challenges with a shared respect for human dignity.
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