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Pattern Laboratory Pedagogy for Sustainable Development 4-5 November 2009, Visby, Sweden

Hosts, Organising team and Facilitators

Swedish International Centre of Education for Sustainable Development (SWEDESD) SWEDESD is the Swedish International Centre of Education for Sustainable Development. One of its objectives is to have ESD practitioners and researchers examine in depth the elements of an effective SD pedagogy, to critically explore its boundaries and to experiment with new approaches and methods.

GAP International Global Action Plan (GAP) International is an NGO network that has worked with sustainable behaviour change since 1990. To accelerate learning, GAP has been developing the concept and practice of “Pattern Laboratory”. It goes beyond simply sharing “best practice”, and is a systematic approach to enabling practitioners to make their learning accessible to others by focusing on patterns of behaviour, and in particular on mental patterns that shape behaviour.

Frans Lenglet

Marilyn Mehlmann

Clayton White

Miriam Sannum

Marie-Louise Jungnelius

Acharya Shambhushivananda

Susanne Zetterblom

Olena Pometun Andre Benaim Ivan Tikota Nadia McLaren Lotten Carlsson Alexander Mehlmann

Pedagogy for Sustainable Development - Using a Pattern Laboratory Approach Record of the Workshop

During two intensive days, we – a group of 60-70 people from all over the world – studied and identified pedagogical patterns in the light of our own experience of education for sustainable development. We were looking for both functional and dysfunctional patterns, from which we can learn.

This document provides a record of the workshop. You will find a description of the process as it occurred at the Visby Pattern Laboratory. This does not represent a definitive ‘pattern lab’. Indeed, given the opportunity to do another there are things that all participants would agree could be done differently. Not least of these would be the addition of a third day to allow for greater participation in the analysis and subsequent development of the pattern descriptions.

This international workshop of practitioners and researchers sought to explore and synthesize what is known about an effective pedagogy for sustainable development, i.e. a pedagogy that has a transformative effect on individual and collective behaviour contributing to sustainability. It provided a space to reflect on experience, and to develop new solutions in co-operation with other leading edge researchers and practitioners.

The pattern descriptions are provided. These should be read as working documents – to be further developed and refined. Scattered throughout the document are other ‘trivial’ patterns that came out of the laboratory. These include 2 nested hierarchical mindmaps and 6 wordclouds which are formed from the text of the case studies provided by the participants divided into their home groups.

The workshop built on recent explorations in education for sustainable development (ESD), and will lay the basis for a new platform for learning and action. It is expected that participants will organise similar workshops in their countries or regions, thus contributing to an ongoing process of learning and sharing within and between regions.

Contents MindMap: Pedagogy for Sustainable Development


Summary of workshop process and generic patterns


A pattern to a Pattern Lab: A participatory method and an empowering approach


Reflections on the Visby Pattern Laboratory


MindMap: Dis-Satisfactions (Day 1, Session 2)


What competencies are needed by an SD teacher? Marilyn Mehlmann & Olena Pometun


Introduction to Pattern Language Nadia McLaren


Pattern: Education for Sustainable Development


Pattern: Social Norms


Pattern: Legitimacy


Participants & Case Studies


Additional Patterns



MindMap - Pedagogy for Sustainable Development

Action without theory Walking the talk


At different scales Theory & Practice "licence to change" affirmation interconnection

a noble endeavour



preventing sustaining

social norms

motivating isolation

ESD - A new pedagogy

motivation local action-oriented contextual content? of ESD content methods

EMPOWERMENT skills development & training


interpersonal communication student-centred meaning of ESD learner participation

instruments & tools scales

Assessment & monitoring

iterative fieldwork interdisciplinarity

Reorienting education systems Challenge current structures

Project-based learning conflicting policies coordination

top-down <-> bottom-up



Modernity vs. Traditions



Objectives and goals Language PROBLEMS



Background & experience

Pattern Laboratory Participants

"..should.." "..understand.."

trap of sequential thinking


Externalising responsibility How people view other people identifying the "right" person / partner

What are appropriate ambitions?

ecological imperative CRITERIA

dealing with uncertainty continuity



small actions contributing to larger whole

Awareness of structures actions

where we are now where we want to be

sustainability services

creating transdisciplinarity sustainability solutions need this to be successful partnership and collaboration support Inter-spaces Balance of freedom and responsibility SCALE

local global


collective individual

follow-up feedback

acknowledge diversity/difference

Summary of workshop process and generic patterns

DAY 1 Session 1

Here is an attempt to describe what we did: in preparation for the workshop; during the days we were together; and, our plans for after the workshop in order to get a meta-perspective on the process and to connect it to ESD competences/qualities.

Problems: Lack of intersectorial cooperation. Where and how does ESD fit? What is SD? Confusion between ESD and environmental education (EE).

Problems formulated during the process are presented in italics; they became inputs to the process of identifying generic patterns. Generic patterns that emerged used during our process are named below in capital letters.

Introduction: transparency, trust (“home groups”). CREATING AN “INTER SPACE” Welcoming diversity, a state of mind open to and engaged in diversity; curiosity, exploring, dealing with uncertainty, non-hierarchical.

PREPARATIONS (pre-workshop) Problems: There is no strategic planning, no shared vision – intention.

Session 2

ENGAGING and COOPERATING Early in 2009, SWEDESD and GAP International found that they shared a vision and decided to start some strategic planning together in order to make this workshop become reality.

STORYTELLING In your own words – an experience from your case study. Question: What factors were you least satisfied with? We listed the factors on flip charts in the home groups for everyone to see. This was the first step in identifying problem patterns.

Problems: How to identify stakeholders? Insufficient involvement of stakeholders; no cooperation from school system/NGOs; no intersectional communication.

Giving names to things/experiences is an act of empowerment; you are in charge and your experience is recognised.

IDENTIFYING STAKEHOLDERS / PARTNERS We selected participants and facilitators from interesting perspectives; engagement, geographic areas, diversity...

Problems: Rigid power structures, “They” focus more on control than on excellent results.

We worked with a rhizomic catch and networks. Problems: How to encourage/ensure public participation?

EMERGING The facilitators had planned in advance only the first two sessions as we could not know what would emerge from this practice.

INVITING We tried to be as clear and open as possible in the invitation and we are very happy that so many people responded.

Facilitators meet to review the flip charts and synthesize themes for the next step in the process.

Invitation as a concern permeated the whole process and every moment (“would you like to do it?”)

Session 3

Problems: How do we find methods? How to communicate with stakeholders about mutual expectations? People do not have time.

The facilitators had put up the themes on the walls for all to see and to form new groups around.

SHARING Participants were invited to put their case presentations and expectations in the e-classroom in advance – and most did!

Problems: How to bring about change in values and beliefs? Education still knowledge fixated. QUESTIONING “Why is this a problem/concern for me?”

Problem: Environment not supportive enough.

Opening for and inviting questions helps us to go deeper in understanding. The questioning anchors the issues on a personal level.

CARING / SERVING Solving practical issues (travels, food, accommodation, preparing…)

After the first response to that question, there is an “and why is that a problem?” and then a third “why”. The 4

take part of someone else’s thoughts and work of the brain. What are the assumptions? How do individual associations interfere with collective understanding... This experience tells us something about the demands of communicating and teaching/learning for SD.

groups did this in different ways, most ended up with answers and dialogues on a new level. LISTENING – to the answers: both in myself and from others.

Problems: Social norms work against SD. Top management does not want to change. What competences do teachers need? Teachers lack of competence and who will train them? People do not know enough about SD.

Session 4 Choose a new problem/concern. Look at the responses from the previous group. What is the main reason for this new group? (A collective session)

CLARIFYING The home groups were now invited to choose a target group and write some advice for them – on flip charts. Then the groups walked around, looking at each others’ advice and writing down comments/complements.

“What would it be like if this problem/concern was well addressed?” “How did it happen?” Reflections in the home groups.

CREATING COMMON GROUND – a collective process

DAY 2 Session 5 Problem: How to support each other?

Session 8

GIVING / GETTING FEEDBACK Participants created new groups to give feedback on each others’ projects. Each person in charge of 30mins deciding how and on what the feedback should be focused.

Problems: Lack of permission to change. Extra work without extra resources. People are afraid of personal responsibility. MOTIVATING The participants wrote down “my next step when I come home”. Hopefully this process awakened some new inner motivation to take coming steps.

One way of doing it was offered as listening to each other without judging, comparing or putting any values into the listening. Just listening as an “open vessel” and asking those questions that might emerge.

Problems: How to support each other? How to ensure follow-up, feedback? How to measure success? Initiatives die when a project ends. It is easy to offer options, but how about sustaining the process?

Session 6

ACTING This is the crucial point for the Pattern Lab.

Continued from previous session. COACHING Problems: What are the educational goals/expected outcomes of ESD? People do not care enough to change.

There is a lot of activity going on among participants around the world. It would be very inspiring to all of us who attended the workshop to get some reports and give us the opportunity to give some feedback!

This feedback session closed with ... REFLECTING – and an invitation to write advice to oneself.

The Pattern Lab (on ESD or any other subject) is an experimental setting designed to iteratively test specific “problem statements” and reveal possible “generic solutions”. These can be seen as meta patterns i.e. principles usable in any context. You could also say that aspects of the process are also principles of, for example, analysis – synthesis, personal – collective, group work – all participants, theory – practice and so on.

Meanwhile the facilitators attempted to make syntheses from the flip charts (created during Session 3 and 4). One product from this was a mind map. Session 7 EXPERIMENTING We started by looking at the mind map in the home groups and reflecting over it – complementing and changing. It became very clear how difficult it is to

When it comes to (E)SD we find it especially vital to invite different perspectives to explore together – and this workshop was no exception!


A pattern to a Pattern Lab

A participatory method and an empowering approach

Generic path


Workshop Day 1


Session 1

Send in case study using template provided.

Introductions – describe focus for workshop; introduce each other – choose appropriate method for lab focus.


Short introduction in home groups. Session 2 - Analysis

Review all case studies. A work day to establish a common understanding.

1. 2. 3.

Analysis session Idea: understanding ‘what’ are dissatisfactions in your own case on a individual level?

Personal reflection. Share reflections and list dis-satisfactions. Prioritize and post on flip chart to enable the entire workshop group to view/participate in the result.

Facilitation process - Synthesis Browse all reflections and dis-satisfactions.

Synthesis (Facilitators)

Extract categories of common and outstanding concerns.

Intention: extracting and generalising dissatisfactions of results posted by participants.

Post these synthesized concerns on the wall for possibilities for new groups to form. Session 3 - Analysis Choose a concern from previous session.

Analysis session

Questions: Why is this a problem for you? Why did you choose this group?

Idea: finding underlying dis-satisfactions/issues of the participants?

Note reflections. Suggestion of format: In pairs ask why – go deep – ask why, why, and why again! Note reflections and post on flip chart. Session 4 - Analysis Choose a concern: a new one or the same as last session Questions: Why is this a problem for you? Why did you choose this group? Take some time to find your ideas about this, share. Question: How? Imagine you wake up Monday morning – what does the world look like? And how did you get there? (Note the insights to how you got there). Share and post on flip chart. Home work Use experience from Sessions 3 and 4 to formulate questions for individual feedback session. 6



Question: What are the factors/things you are/were least satisfied with in your own case?

Generic path


Session 5 - Analysis

Analysis session


Introduction to a sharing and feedback session.

Idea: participants receive feedback, which they will reflect on and formulate advice for themselves. Advice for oneself creates small ‘bricks’ for functional patterns.

Summarise patterns and feedback to participants.

This is the participants own time - each person is in charge of their own session and decides what is the format and how time should be spent. Session 6 - Analysis


Workshop Day 2

Sharing continues.

Facilitation process - Synthesis of dysfunctional patterns Facilitatators group ‘real’ dis-satisfactions revealed in Session 4, based on the flip charts posted on the walls. Extraction of possible patterns.


End session with writing advice for yourself. Analysis session Idea: finding generic issues, which will be further used to construct dysfunctional patterns.

Feedback to the participants. Session 7 - Analysis + synthesis of functional patterns

Find if possible a target group you would like to give advice to. Note the advice on flip chart and post. Share with other groups and add to each others advice. Session 8 Next steps – what is my next step? What do I need to do, who do I need to talk to to make this happen? What are our collective next steps, if any? What needs to be done, who will do it, by when?


Advice for others.

Analysis session


Idea: give generic advice to target group, subsequently to be used for deriving functional patterns.

Reflections on the process MARILYN MEHLMANN & TEAM

We are satisfied with

We would like to improve

The participation – it seems the invitation process worked well, the range was good both geographically (except for a shortage from the Americas) and in terms of cases.

The context for the case study coaching sessions (Sessions 5 and 6); we should have given much more specific instructions and support.

The participants – we were impressed with the case studies, the prior work, and the level of commitment and participation.

The introduction to the last exercises about formulating advice to myself and others – clearly it was insufficient.

The outcomes – both in materials, which we will be ‘mining’ for a long time, and in the level of interest in continuing our mutual learning.

The closing exercise about ‘Advice I would like to give to others’. It would have been better to design it so that groups self-selected around the target groups to whom they would like to give advice.

The overall process.

Our current assessment is that it would be difficult to make these improvements within the framework of a two-day event. We suggest that future events should be scheduled for three days.



MindMap - Dis-Satisfactions (Day 1, Session 2)

reconcile different disciplines and sectors > mutual undersatndings/ different languages how to change context while immersed in it

lack of strategic planning lack of inter-sectral collaboration

lack of motivation

lack of dialogue bteween ngos and unis


collaboration - lack of

lack - motivation, money, time

audience appropriate approaches?

learning from experience > needs follow up

teachers lack ESD competence



monitoring and assessment difficulties still left with conventional top-down approaches

2. Dis-satisfactio


no follow up

motivation of partners and stakeholders

lack of time

resistence to change

resistence to change

personal responsibility

some stakeholders left out of the picture lack of funding

deďŹ nition of SD is vague resources - ďŹ nancial lack of and distrubition of

ee or esd are they the same / how are they different

lack of awareness/ understanding of ESD capacity buling in pedadocgic processes every person wants something new no relationship between curriculum and practice



teachers/parents don't see importance of ESD and need to change lifestyle lack of motivation to keep going in ESD



poor support from top management for change lack of communication btw teachers/community/ parents

lack of resources

need teacher training in ESD


2. Dis-satisfactions

'preaching' does not work very well

need awareness of cultural differences how to involve communities? internalize spirit of the programme > who will "keep the flame"


structure - balances in power and not being (open) to change distribution no lasting effects incoherence between theory & practice

not sufficient reflection


did not reach fundamental values changes > shallow

seen as burden/chore different perceptions of programmes in schools only transfer of info how to get government mandate? proper identification of stakeholders need pedagogical support need partnership between different sectors


people in power don't care about ESD

What competencies are needed by an SD teacher? MARILYN MEHLMANN & OLENA POMETUN

Components of ESD Two principal components of ESD are transformation and action competence.

action competence, for which PSD also provides the approaches, methods and tools.

Transformation refers to the profound change in the ways in which people and communities, locally and globally, use the planet’s biophysical and ecological resources and relate to each other, in view of sustaining the earth’s carrying capacity and creating conditions for people to shape their lives and future in terms of social and economic justice and prosperity.

From the above, it is clear that conventional and even less conventional pedagogies fall short of the needs. There are three components or patterns that even now are discernible:

Action competence refers to the intellectual, practical and life skills of learners to comprehend their world in its complexity and to contribute to the necessary collective and individual action required for transformation to occur and be effective. In this perspective, pedagogy for sustainable development (PSD) transcends the theories, methods and tools that can assist in creating awareness about the unsustainability of certain ecological, economic and social processes, and the role of individual and collective behaviour. In fact, PSD needs to allow learners to delve into those processes in order to analyze and understand their physical, biological, ecological, historical, social, economic and political characteristics, drivers and constraints. In addition, PSD assists learners to analyze and comprehend how their own actions and behaviour may be influenced by, may contribute to or may alter these processes, whether positively or negatively.

The educators need to be enabled to ‘release’ the role of expert, and to accept that students not only may but shall overtake them, shall create solutions and indeed knowledge of which the educator did not dream. The major role of the educator becomes to liberate the creativity and drive of the students.

Consequently, the view of the student or pupil needs to be transformed. No longer either a ‘vessel to be filled’ or a ‘fire to be lit’, the student needs to be seen as a unique spirit to be cherished for its own sake, as well as for its potential contribution to SD.

In this liberation of intellect and creativity, the student needs to be enabled to see her or his role as part of the human community. The unique contribution of each individual to the whole is in focus, rather than the uniqueness of the individual as such.

Observations and reflections: Applications from ESD Pattern Laboratory, Visby, November 2009 Reviewing the experience and materials from Visby, we first identified four pedagogical principles and one observation about analysis and synthesis in relation to change. We believe they represent a preliminary response to one of the recurring questions at the workshop:

And it does not stop there. Knowing the ability of individuals and groups to maintain and psychologically reconcile seemingly internally contradictory behavior, PSD helps learners to detect the mental patterns (worldviews, beliefs, myths, unchallenged mental habits) that underlie, influence or dictate behaviour, even if it is contradicted by the facts or expert opinion. Recognition and understanding of these patterns are a necessary but not sufficient component of the individual and collective

What competencies are needed by an SD teacher? In addition, our own reflection is that these competencies, outlined below, are useful not only for teachers but also for everyone involved in contributing to sustainable development. 12

Principle 1: Reflection is an important learning tool for ESD

Giving feedback includes the ability to listen attentively and non-judgmentally, and to distinguish between fact, theory, and feelings – one’s own, and those of the feedback recipient.

Reflection is probably the single most important learning tool for SD. Teachers need the skills to do their own reflection regularly, and to organize the reflective process for their students. In particular they need to be able to formulate questions that stimulate reflection. One example from the workshop was the reiteration of the question ‘why…’.

Principle 4: Focus on the experience of students The key skill of the teacher is to facilitate the process of transforming experience into learning. Actual experience is the focus, not knowledge in the conventional sense. The teacher’s process consists in repeatedly inviting, and asking (empowering) questions. Trust is essential: trust in the students, their experience, and the process.

Principle 2: ESD has a dynamic flow The work of the students needs to flow from individual to small-group to plenary work, and back to individual reflection. The teacher needs to be able to orchestrate this flow and build bridges between the successive elements.

Observation concerning individual and group change processes It has been said that change is often not something that can be planned, but rather is something that happens when there is a reasonable balance between hope and dis-satisfaction or fear. Since ESD is intended to lead to change, the learning process needs to observe this balance.

Principle 3: Feedback has a key role Teachers need a number of feedback skills. They need to •

organize the feedback process for students, quantitatively (measurements, benchmarking) and qualitatively, e.g. individual personal feedback between students.

give and receive qualitative feedback.

teach students how to ask for, receive, and give qualitative feedback.

The first opportunity comes during the primary analysis. For example, in preparation for the Visby workshop, participants were asked to identify both the things they were most satisfied with, and those they most wished could have been different. Analysis needs to focus on positive aspects with clarity (not only general congratulation), and on dis-satisfaction with courage. Only then can a synthesis be created with the potential to stimulate change.

Asking for feedback includes such skills as creating a brief factual description of the situation/case, analyzing strong and weak points, and formulating specific questions. Receiving feedback includes an ability to receive constructive criticism without feeling personally attacked; and to distinguish between fact, theory, and feelings on the part of the person giving feedback.


Introduction to Pattern Language NADIA MCLAREN

The emergence of new patterns is a fundamental property of complex systems.¹ The discipline of generative pattern languages aims to capture the patterns underlying success, and use them to establish structures and practices. Pattern analysis in business has shown that most highly productive organisations exhibit the same patterns of organisation, process and introspection; these patterns are missing from organisations that are less productive or less successful.

A way to capture the emergent patterns of a complex system.

There is thus nothing new in a pattern perspective. What is novel about the work here is its attempt to use patterns in a generative way to define or develop a pedagogy specifically useful for sustainable development.

A way to capture the underlying “building blocks” of a domain.

A means to record the present in ways that lead into the future and catalyse change.

Simultaneously (from the complexity point of view) they provide:

Pattern language puts into communicable form (or language) detailed work patterns. In the words of Christopher Alexander et al², ³:

Thus, a pedagogical pattern library would enable the sharing of social and knowledge capital between educational communities by supporting collaborative problem solving and competence building. The most powerful approach will continually balance possibility, theory, relationship and structure. The dynamic balance between these four factors keeps a community of practitioners vibrant and alive.

Each pattern describes a problem which occurs over and over again, and then describes the core of the solution to that problem, in such a way that you can use this solution a million times over, without ever doing it the same way twice. Looked at in this way, “a pattern is an encapsulated story of a successful practice, optimized for rapid location and re-use of knowledge relevant to the type of problems that the practice resolves”⁴.

¹ Coplien, James (1995). A Development Process Generative Pattern Language. AT&T Bell Laboratories. ² Alexander, Christopher (1979). The Timeless Way of Building. New York: Oxford University Press.

Put another way, patterns are meaning-making tools. They: •

Provide a conduit to externalize tacit knowledge.

Allow knowledge to be stored and retrieved, and for this reason they extend “group memory” and “group intelligence”.

Build a language with which “communities of practice” can share experience.

Facilitate the socialisation and recombination of knowledge (ultimately resulting in hyperproductive, learning and knowledge-creating communities).

³ Alexander, Christoper, Sara Ishikawa, Murray Silverstein, with Max Jacobson, Ingrid Fiksdahl–King and Shlomo Angel. (1977). A Pattern Language. New York: Oxford University Press. ⁴ George Pors’ Collaboration Campus, Community Intelligence Labs collaboration/index.shtml 14

Pattern descriptions

Why a focus on what is not working?

Templates for describing patterns have been established or tested in several disciplines. GAP International has been experimenting with the following headings:

It is often said that focus on problems feeds the problems, so that focus on solutions is more likely to be productive. This is undoubtedly true – when it is possible to delineate in advance the desired solution. This is however not generally the case with sustainable development, which by definition is emergent and where all work is a journey of exploration.

Title The name of the pattern is (so far) usually a summary of the problématique. Problematique Why and for whom is this a problem or concern? Context The context in which the problem or concern is experienced. Discussion Thoughts about factors, in particular mental patterns, that trigger or reinforce the problématique, and about desired characteristics of more functional patterns. Resolution(s) Ideas, methods, tools, experiences that point to more functional patterns. Old picture Summary of what is not working. New picture Summary of what could work better.


Pattern: Education for Sustainable Development (DRAFT) Problematique

The balance between these extremes can be of critical importance. If SD is about ‘everything’ it seems overwhelming; if it is about ‘something very particular’ – no matter whether that particularity is climate change, or local deforestation, or village unemployment, or poverty – then there is a risk of sub-optimization and indeed of creating new problems.

ESD is on the national agenda of very many countries, is the focus of a UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005-2014), and is widely discussed. Yet there is little consensus about what it is, how it needs to be done, or how it can be incorporated into an education system.

There is also a persistent tendency to include lobbying and advocacy, as well as ‘propaganda’ intended to raise awareness of SD issues, under the heading of ESD. While these activities have their place, they are not ‘education’ and cannot take the place of action-based practitioner education.

Context There is a lot of confusion between education about sustainable development, and education for sustainable development – the focus of the UN Decade. There is a need for sustainability professionals, who thus need knowledge about sustainable development, as well as the skills to incorporate SD into their professions.

Underlying this tendency is often an assumption that someone, somewhere, has ‘the answer’ to the question of SD and can (and maybe should) dictate solutions to others. While it is true that there are certain incontrovertible facts, principally concerning unsustainable development, it is not the case either

On the other hand there is also a need for very, very many ‘practitioners’: people with the skills to enact sustainability in their lives and communities. To teach these skills makes very special demands on the teacher, not least because no teacher has all the answers. It is sometimes claimed that even this education should become a part of ‘every’ subject, curricular and extracurricular. This however raises the question of whether all, most, or even many teachers can quickly learn how to teach in this new way; as well as how and by whom they can be taught to do so.

That there exists expert knowledge about what constitutes sustainable development

That there will be one solution applicable to all

A challenge for educators is to make known the global and local facts without pre-empting the necessarily creative role of all citizens in participating in the development of appropriate local solutions.

Discussion Regarding ESD in schools


ESD has several characteristics that give rise to problems for professional educators.

Cross-sectoral and cross-disciplinary

It is cross-sectoral and therefore difficult to ‘fit’ in curricula and budget lines.

It is emergent; a creative process that results in/ produces increasingly more knowledge and skill, thus pre-supposing a dynamic learning process also for teachers. It pre-supposes that pupils and teachers are equally learners.

Special subject in school, with focus on empowerment and action.

After-school or cross-cutting classes like civics or project work.

Expand the stakeholder concept to include many more in both formal and informal ESD (eg families, utilities, business, different branches of local and national government)

Partnership within local communities

It leads to a transformation of structures – carries the seed of its own transformation.


Look for openings in formal structures, disciplines; e.g.

Emergent, creative

An added dimension is the fact that the concept of ‘sustainable development’ itself is variously understood as ranging from “everything” to “something very particular” – and these interpretations are seldom challenged or even articulated.


Continue to develop and apply a ‘pedagogy of empowerment’.

Learn, use and continue to develop methods and tools that promote creativity and participation.

Look for special teachers (many teachers enter the profession because they identify with being the one who knows); attract the right teachers by the way the invitation is framed; develop (criteria, methods, process…) for appropriate selection of teachers and trainers.

Use the opportunity for new/stronger links eg between teacher and parent, school and community, teachers of different subjects and in different places, teachers and utilities/business.

Create spaces for individual and group learning and reflection among stakeholders.

Step-by-step approach: keeping the broad picture in mind, take action to make many small (preferably reversible) changes, and continuously evaluate the results in the light of the broader picture.

Transformative It leads to a transformation of structures – carries the seed of its own transformation. For instance, regarding schools and linked social structures, ESD can lead to revising both structures and relations within schools and with other stakeholders. Similar considerations may apply to workplaces where ESD is introduced. It is not possible to predict the shape of this transformation but some key elements of ESD can be identified as potent contributors, for instance •

Communication patterns.

‘Weltanschauung’, attitudes to other people.

Governing processes.

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Pattern: Social Norms (DRAFT) Problematique


Society tends to reproduce itself, not least with the ‘aid’ of social norms encouraging replication of existing behaviours and habits. New behaviours and habits are often marginalized. In a period when rapid behaviour change is needed, this is problematical.

critical appraisal

social diffusion, so identify change agents, tipping points...

shift the norm by changing context, so identify infrastructural elements and influence


reducing conservative impact of social proof, break link between dysfunctional norms, e.g. teach reflection/deep listening

(structural) continuity through “platform” (ongoing results monitoring)

re-energising, renewal of people, programme, issues

taking action despite uncertainty

Widely-publicized reports from (i.a.) WWF and Shell have made it very clear that human society cannot be sustained without considerable behaviour changes by most people. This is a cross-sectoral understanding: both experience to date, and all scenarios, show that ‘business as usual’ without behaviour change can only lead to disaster. A complicating factor is the need to cultivate a greater capacity for handling uncertainty (Keat’s negative capability). The industrial era has invested society with social norms that expect, eg that “science and technology can save us”, “human imagination will provide the solutions”. But we have entered a period where the certainties of Newtonian science are supplemented by the uncertainties of quantum mechanics, where the repetitions of history break down, and where we understand we may have already transgressed ecological limits whose repercussions we are yet to experience.

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Discussion Social norms are necessary and may indeed be useful. They can be called into play to replicate new, more sustainable behaviour, when the mechanisms are understood. But conservative norms are frequently used, whether consciously or more often unconsciously, to block or diminish the potential of new forms of behaviour through “peer pressure”, government regulation, advertising, vested interests, and the “moral majority” .... Vested interests have always argued that progressive changes will cause economic ruin and social chaos. – Graeme M. Taylor Once desirable (i.e. more sustainable) behaviours have been identified, despite the uncertainty factory, and have been communicated, the question remains of how to call into play the power of the social norms that can reinforce them. “It’s easy to offer options, but how about the sustaining process?”


Pattern: Legitimacy (DRAFT) Problematique

This is happening at the same time as their governments are declaring that ‘ESD is a priority’ and should be offered at all levels of schooling; and that existing programs are being re-labelled ‘ESD’ in order to demonstrate that something is being done.

Global turbulence in areas as disparate as economic systems, climate, food, poverty, and terrorism has led to a spate of resolutions, negotiations, intentions, strategies and even laws. Some international examples: •

Global Compact

Millenium Goals

UN Decade of Education Development (ESD)

COP15; climate change and carbon dioxide treaties


A few governments have indeed understood the potential benefit of cooperating with civil society in order to reach the kind of development goals that must of necessity engage large numbers of people.


Resolutions How can this gap be bridged – quicker and more effectively? How can the power of civil society be harnessed in the service of internationally agreed development goals?

Many governments and regions have adopted policies and laws in support of the international intentions. The results, other than the mountains of paper involved, are woefully small. Inadequate, simply.

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On the other hand, there are thousands if not millions of grass-roots initiatives tackling the same turbulence problems across the world. Some are probably ineffective or even counter-productive, but without a doubt many of them are meaningful and well designed. They are designed and implemented either by spontaneous informal groups or by civil society – non-governmental organizations.

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These initiatives are also inadequate. Discussion The overriding reason for their inadequacy is not lack of quality nor lack of local support, but lack of legitimacy. It is, simply, inconceivable for most political structures that NGOs could be a major instrument in helping reach their declared development goals. Denied recognition by official structures, the local initiatives remain very local. Offered such recognition, their effects could probably be multiplied dramatically. A simple example from the area of Education for Sustainable Development: individual teachers, and small groups organized by NGOs, have done wonders in developing curriculum and engaging both pupils and teachers in ESD. In most countries this seems to be done without payment – or at least outside the curriculum. One teacher may perhaps inspire another, or even more than one; or may simply give up, move away, or give up teaching. Neither their experience nor their materials diffuse. 19




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Participants and Case Studies




Empowerment as an approach for social sustainable development ANNA TENGQVIST ARBETSMILJÖFORUM SWEDEN


“A social sustainable society is based on democratic values and is a society that can provide a dignified life for all individuals.”

This internet and workshop campaign is a pilot project (to reach 200 individuals) that seeks to motivate and inspire young people - college students and their households - to act for a sustainable development. With proven success in the pilot it is hoped to secure sufficient funding to scale up to a nation-wide campaign to engage young people.

Ten empowerment projects funded by the EQUAL program within the European Social Fund were studied and analyzed. All ten projects studied were aimed at empowering groups of long-term unemployed people (ex-offenders, people with physical or mental disabilities, asylum seekers, former drug users) to find their own paths towards the labour market and dignified lives.

Participants are invited to make a personal project plan on how to to act towards their own goal, a goal that should lead to a sustainable development. So far it has been successful in inspiring an increased awareness about sustainability but with more funding, better and longer-term support can be provided as participants implement their personal action plans.

The projects used participant-led processes to empower individuals to move from feelings of low value and agency to higher self-esteem/value and more towards pro-activity and agency.


Save the World. NOW!



Change begins with yourself


This case study has two aspects: 1) working with teachers to better integrate the use of technology into their teaching; and 2) embedding this in their practice through an innovative teaching unit which asks students to participate in community service to develop a public information system to combat hunger in Kenya.

Over the last 10 years working in the formal and nonformal education sectors I have sought to experiment with more empowering ways of learning. Thus, I introduced many of my education projects to Problembased Learning (PBL) methods. PBL provides a space for individualised learning where students are able to develop social competencies while working by themselves or in small teams to identify, analyse and propose solutions for problems in their communities. A significant outcome and learning strategy of PBL is that participants take control and responsibility for their own learning; it creates a favourable environment for exploring creativity, interpersonal skills of discussion, consensus decision making, working with others including their peers and community members.





A mapping project to show how greenhouse gas emissions were likely to develop in Iceland over the next 30-50 years, and thus, to suggest policy measures to help curb emissions. The aim was to increase general awareness of the issues, as well as influence policy makers both at local and national level. The project covered emissions from several sectors. However, the focus of my case study is emissions from road transportation.


Study abroad in a different cultural setting opens many opportuniites for learning and seeing things from new perspectives. The practical application of alternative energy systems in Iceland is the focus of this study programme. Students participate in a lecture series and real-life group problem-solving activities to learn about renewable energy and related industries and organisations – government, corporate, and civil society. Much of the teaching program is based around field visits to energy firms, power plant sites, as well as firms that advocate various energy solutions, government agencies, and to meet with the President of Iceland. The result, according to the students, was that they felt more engaged, listened more deeply, think more critically, and feel privy to the current developments in the field.

The unsatisfying results (increase in emissions) reveal how difficult it is to implement policies aiming at more sustainable lifestyles, when the general political atmosphere is in conflict with fundamental ideas about sustainable development (a neo-liberalist government which empasised economic growth prevailed during this time).


Renewable Energy & Sustainable Development Summer Study Abroad


Teacher training in Neohumanist Education DIDI ANANDARAMA ANANDA MARGA EGYPT

I am a global coordinator in Neohumanist Education which is practiced in about 1000 schools and children centers around the world. The successful implementation of NHE has been observed in schools like the Ananda Marga River School and Vistara Primary Schools in Australia, the Zonnelicht Schools in Holland, Progressive School of Long Island, the schools in Porto Alegre, Indonesia, Brazil and various other schools in Europe, USA, etc. A ‘successful’ school will exhibit a very alive, vibrant school administration that thrives on great ideas and is enthusiastic to implement them. Those schools grow and grow in innovative material. The teacher training program, conferences and seminars are a means for exchange of teaching innovations, materials and models that are learnt in our best schools. We have also observed that our teacher training programs are sought by teachers outside our network.

Reorienting teacher education in Vietnam towards sustainable development DR. TRAN DUC TUAN HANOI UNIVERSITY OF EDUCATION VIETNAM

In the context of globalisation and the growth of information and communication technology, sustainable development should become a main aim in the development of universities and teacher education colleges in Vietnam. To overcome challenges of ESD and to be a powerful stakeholder of ESD, it is necessary for Hanoi National University of Education (HNEU) to become a sustainable institution of higher education (“a sustainable university”). This study began by examining different approaches to reorienting teacher education institutions to addresses sustainable development and how they might be applied at at HNUE.





The challenge of multiple languages in the classroom DURGA KANDEL MINISTRY OF EDUCATION NEPAL

A range of local tree species are planted including many fruit trees. A limiting factor is the lack of water for irrigation and many of the small seedlings do not establish. Schools with access to bore water have greater success in this project.

By 2006 billingual schools had been identified in 25 districts and textbooks developed in 14 languages. There is no special training to help teachers cope with multilingual situations â&#x20AC;&#x201C; mother tongue/s and Nepali. The National Education Plan states the intention to develop a local curriculum in community languages and for children who are not enrolled or retained due to language difficulties. However, the plan lacks any detail in terms of strategy, which languages to be targeted, requirements in terms of teachers and materials.


ESD in Azerbaijan





This is a school-based tree planting project working with 8 schools (nearly 15000 pupils).

Nepal is a developing country with a population spread from the lowland plains of the Terai to the highlands of the Himalayas. The 2001 National Census recorded 103 socio-ethnic groups and 92 languages, of which more than a dozen are in active use by people numbering more than one million for each language.


Environmental conservation through tree planting

Life-Link Friendship-Schools is an independent NGO which aims to promote contact and cooperation between young people around the world and their schools, through active participation in shared projects, vital for our time (e.g. Environment, Human Rights, Conflict Resolution and Constructive Collaboration).

ESD in Tunisia

Life-Link projects centre around three main areas of attention: Care for ourselves - Care for each other Care for the environment. Realisation of these three interdependent areas will lead to increased common security.


The Life-Link philosophy is based on Natural and Social sciences and is neither politically nor religiously aligned. Life-Link is today a well recognized non-governmental organisation with international contacts in more than 60 countries worldwide. 25



Child Participation in the Preschool Environment



The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child holds that children’s participation is a human right. This concurs with recent research on the competence of children to actively contribute to conditions and debates that affect them. Thus, child participation is emerging as a marker of high quality practice in early childhood education.

First of all I have a strong belief that people have good intentions and that information on how to act in a way that will help environment is widely spread and available to everybody. The thing which is missing is the ability to take action immediately, as people tend to think that it will take a lot of time or energy. I also strongly believe that the most abounded and misused resource is humans energy being wasted in unfulfilling ways.

This action research project works with children, teachers and support staff in ten different Swedish preschools in 6 municipalities. It seeks to help teachers transform their working methods towards a pedagogy focussed on child participation, where the children’s ideas, needs, wishes and experiences are starting points for establishing daily routines and rules in the nursery. It begins with children and teachers documenting their perceptions of the preschool playground and how they would like it to be changed.


Laughter Yoga

The Laughter Yoga classes seek to help participants elevate their levels of energy and to provide a social environment through which participants may develop satisfying and supportive relationships.


Sustainable Development Course

Environmental education curricula in primary education



A course in sustainable development for secondary school students. Launched as a pilot project at the Grammar School of Nordic Languages (Riga), 2008. The course is taught over 3 years using individual and group project work. Students choose the topics of study, while the teacher defines the assessment requirements. In the first year students address basic issues in environment and society - they learn more about social procedures in the world and their impact on the people’s development. Special attention is paid to conflict resolution and career choice. By the third year of the course, students are asked the same questions about how they perceive the future and their career choices. They are asked to reflect on how their responses may have changed. The course has proven popular with students and they have seen benefits in improved communication skills and learning results in other subjects.

Educational reforms in Sri Lanka started in 2005 to reorient the school system around a new pedagogical approach. It will introduce a competency-based activity oriented curriculum for all subjects (Grades 1-13) starting in 2007 with Grades 1, 2, 6 & 10 and continuing in a number of phases until 2010. The new curricula emphasizes: developing subject specific competencies within students; promoting life competencies such as decision making, problem solving, critical thinking, creative thinking, developing imagination, effective communication, interpersonal relationships, self awareness, empathy, managing emotions and coping with stress in students; promoting activity–based learning through projects and assignments; avoiding curriculum been overloaded with unnecessary factual details; and promoting child friendly learning environment in the classroom.





ILO “Start Your Business” training programme



This program in 2005 and 2008 was conducted with rural women, small businesses and vocational students to train ‘master’ trainers in interactive teaching methods of small business management. An important aspect of participating in the training was the requirement that those attending the programme would conduct a similar session with others from their own community.

In response to a public interest lawsuit about the need to instill in Indians a greater sense of environmental responsibility, the Supreme Court of India directed that Environment should be taught at all levels of education. A course on Environmental Studies was mandated at the undergraduate level. CEE was invited to design and teach the course at DAIICT. We have long understood environment and development to be intimately linked. The course was viewed as an opportunity to introduce the concept of sustainable development to the youth of India. This is a compulsory course which students are required to pass but it does not count towards the final grade. About 80% of the students are not interested in the course and because of the dynamics of a large class size, those who are interested are not able to participate actively in class.

However, while some of the more highly-motivated ‘master’ trainers continued to offer the programme and establish a trainer support association after attending the programme themselves, once the financial support from the donor came to an end this largely ceased. Up to now, only a few remaining active trainers still use interactive learning methods as instructed in the training manual.


ESD at Dhirubhai Ambani Institute of Information and Communication Technology


Flower-beds on the Garbage


This community gardening project seeks to establish flower-beds in the inner yard of multi-family compounds to create cleaner and more attractive living environments for their families using the shared spaces. The project began with efforts of enthusiastic eldery people, who started gardening around their own houses. This inspired other inhabitants to help and to extend the garden beds to other areas. Practical support has been provided by the local municipality (soil, plants, fertilizers). Media attention has helped to inspire feelings of community pride and a wider involvement of community members. Anti-social and unthinking behaviour, including by non-residents, that has littered and damaged garden areas has been a disappointment (a local market situated nearby attracts many visitors to the neighbourhood). We hope that with encouragement and further attention local schools may also become involved.

Bee-keeping: Diversification of income in rural communities ELIGARD LEMA DAWSON PEACE CORPS TANZANIA TANZANIA

The “Environmental Education and Sustainable Agriculture in Rural Communities” project has as its overall goal to provide education for sustainable development for primary school students and rural communities adults. At primary school our main focus is environmental education while with the adult community members we provide education through participation in development projects. A key part of the development project is to help rural community farmers learn ways to diversify their sources of income, particularly through bee-keeping activities. Not only does it have potential as a direct source of income, but the presence of bee hives increases the number of pollinators available to service other crops in the area.




Advocacy for Frogs and Toads Protection and vow for stop eating wild frogs/toads LI DING NON‐PROFIT INCUBATOR CHINA

NPI is providing Capacity Building program to grassroots NGOs in China. This particluar project is calling for the protection of frogs and toads. In some parts of Shanghai it has long been customary to eat smoked frogs and toads. This has had a damaging effect on local wildlife and ecosystems.


The Trees for Home programme aims to contribute to more sustainable human settlements through the provision of trees, training and short term employment. Since 2000 TfH has distributed over 550,000 trees and trained around 6600 Community Based Educators in settlements across South Africa, thus creating well spaced urban forest that addresses climate change, adds value in shade and food production, provides education, training and employment.

The project seeks to gain the personal commitments of individuals in Shanghai in the form of a pledge to stop eating frogs and toads. The project conducts education campaigns among various sectors of the population including among young people. The most difficult audience has been white-collar males in the 25-35 yr old bracket. It is also recognised that children are an important change agent in their family, as they can effectively influence their parents’ consumption.


Trees for Homes - Cosmo City, Johannesburg

Cosmo City is a new integrated housing settlement built over a conservation area. When completed it will comprise 20,000 housing units. Since 2005, 10,000 trees have been planted in the area with an 85% survival rate. The results are: a greener settlement with less dust and more shade; and an active partnership between the local council, municipality, and the construction company.


Small-scale farmers and forest degradation in the Brazilian Amazon

Russian rivers. People as rivers.



This project investigates the impact of forest conservation policies on the livelihood of small-scale organic farmers in the western part of Brazilian Amazon. The project proposes a bottom-up approach for developing local policies to curb forest degradation on public settlements. This includes helping farmers to commercialize their production surplus in a farmers’ market in Rio Branco.

A middle school education project to help students and teachers develop an understanding of conditions of Sustainable Development: social, economical, ecological systems. “Water” is used both as a conceptual metaphor and as a physical reality in this project; it represents the social and cultural origin of people living in various drainage-basins (“We are from Don…, from Volga…”). Participants take part in a role-plot game including the forming of mobile research crews (students and teachers) for research expeditions and voyages on real and imaginary ships. The themes of nature, culture and society are explored in the context of “water”.

Policies are often developed very quickly in a topdown manner that disregards the participation of the small-scale farmers. Thus, they do not reflect the reality of livelihoods and other local issues. Current policy reinforces the perceptions of small-scale farmers as passive recipients rather than active actors of change. Adaptive management policies are recommended to take into account farmers’ needs and the constraints to behavioral change.

Through the role-play and rehabilitation of a local creek, students learn they are agents of positive social and natural modifications. They learn that their opinions and actions are important for the region and community.





Environmental care & sustainable development in schools and communites


PARSHURAM NIRAULA CENTRE FOR ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION NEPAL This project on the southern rim of the Kathmandu Valley is hosted by the Lamatar Village Development Committee. It seeks to increase the capacity of schools and local communities to organise and become involved in decision-making processes for local development and better environmental care. Through improving the condition of the forest areas at the head of the catchment (Lamatar VDC-1) it can both support higher biodiversity and better meet the needs of local people through sustainable harvesting of forest products. An Education Information Centre for Sustainable Living was established where schools and community groups from the locality and wider Kathmandu valley can learn more about the conservation, see demonstration projects and attend workshops in sustainable technologies and ESD. From this new centre teacher training and classroom teaching has taken place.

The project initiated in August 2009 began by creating awareness and mobilization of the youth in three ares of Nairobi. Through a series of discussion forums with local youth it was agreed to develop a tree planting campaign. At the time the proejct was conceived Kenya, like many other countries in the region, was experiencing serious drought whose cause is attributed to depletion of vegetation cover and destruction of trees in catchment areas. The groups felt that besides actual planting of trees, the project will educate the communities and also inspire others to do the same and or protect the environment. It will also inculcate in the young people a sense of responsibility and respect for nature such that future generations do not have to experience what they have experienced at this time due to management of resources.



Making better use of cement in Dar es Salaam RAINE ISAKSSON GOTLAND UNIVERSITY SWEDEN & TANZANIA


This is a research project looking at practices in the building supply chain from cement to concrete blocks in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Through this research we seek to help the industry to make best use of resources when producing concrete blocks for buildings. The purpose is to maximise the ratio of building value compared to CO2 emissions (environmental harm) and the cost of blocks (social harm).

The Mission is a school-wide project that invites students to participate in a simulation exercise where they plan for a 6000 year voyage to establish human settlement on a far planet. Their investigations are guided by a number of rules: 1) the shipâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s propulsion and external hull are not part of the assignment; 2) you have access to solar energy during the whole journey; 3) no more than 100 persons are allowed aboard the ship at the same time. If you give the students an open assignment of this kind you lead them into a process wherein they with their accumulated knowledge, experiences, set of values and goals of life slowly explore both their inner-self and the world outside. The energy or the motive power for their work comes mostly from the fact that they themselves are allowed to deal with the task in their own manner and decide which solutions they want to use.




Eco Schools in Iceland

Water conservation campaign



In 2000 Landvernd began offering Icelandic schools the international Eco-School certification process. The Green Flag project is being implemented in 44 countries around the world, involving 25,000 schools. When schools sign up to become an Eco-School, they must fulfil seven steps before they receive a green flag and a certification which lasts two years. The schools are visited at least once a year and their progress measured by Landvernd’s project manager. Some 167 schools are involved in the program with 90 of them already achieving green flag status. The others continue to work towards certification (or to regain it having held it in the past). This programme continues despite Ministry of Education not having any formal standards for the Icelandic education system regarding environmental, sustainable or green education.

This project was inspired by high water bills at the College.



In the first instance the project sought to identify the practices that could be changed in order to decrease consumption of water. These included: cleaning college vehicles with the hose pipe; washing dishes directly from the tap; poorly functioning toilet cisterns; other instances where taps were simply left to run. Thus, an awareness raising campaign was conducted to help people identify their water-wasting practices and the appropiate steps for change.


ESD work in Bal Bhavans


Education for Sustainable Development training as part of in-service and pre-servce teacher training in Uganda. This case study compares the experiences of getting teachers to participate in ESD training in both face-toface teaching and by distance education.

The Bal Bhavan non-formal education centres are an initiative of the Ministry of Human Resource Development. In 2007 the National Bal Bhavan declared ESD as the theme of their annual activities in 72 centres across India. For the theme to be taken up by all Bal Bhavans, the Centre for Environment Education (CEE) facilitated the training-of-trainers and developed a facilitator’s manual “DIShA for Sustainable Development: A Facilitator’s Handbook”. The training was to orient the facilitators to ESD, its methods and approaches to carry out their ESD work through learning topics that are usually taken up by Bal Bhavans. The facilitator’s handbook provided information, approaches and activities, socio-economic, environmental and cultural interlinkages, through the topics of water, energy, biodiversity and waste.

Teachers working with ESD need to feel part of a network and to have regular contact with others using the available modern Information and Communication Technologies.





Environmental conservation project design & management PDM

Regional Rural Development Management



This course is part of the Bachelors in Ecology and Environmental Protection degree progarmme at Ukrainian University “Kyiv-Mohyla Academy”. PDM (Project Design and Management) training was aimed at gaining and transferring into day-to-day practice skills in

Despite political reform and considerable social development, the poor in rural Laos miss out on the benefits of economic growth in central regions and industry (e.g. tourism, textile industry, etc.). One consequence is poor food security and nutrition which originates from 1) low productivity of agricultural activities and poorly organized local and regional markets, and 2) local institutions lack capacity to coordinate a povertyfocused economic development strategy. InWent (Germany) and GTZ support a group of trainers to provide capacity building to local administration in regional management in two provinces: Sayaboury (North) and Attapeu (South). This programme seeks to establish and improve regional management structures by increasing the competences of the participating organisations to actively design and coordinate a potential-oriented and participatory-regional development of rural areas.

identification and determination of the problems stipulating unsustainable development practices in our life;

problem solution through problem analysis and eradication of the problem causes;

application of the PDM methodology for activities leading to sustainability by trainees (University students).



An interdisciplinary course on sustainable development


Sustainable behaviour change in schools


A four-day course on sustainable development for students from three Polish universities: University of Technology and Life Sciences, Bydgoszcz; Technical University, Gdansk; and Medical University, Wroclaw. Organized in cooperation with the Baltic University Programme. Students represented many different disciplines: agriculture, architecture, environmental protection, environmental shaping, management, medicine, pharmacy and public health.

Sustainable development and environmental education is not taught as a separate subject in secondary schools of Ukraine. Global environmental and demographic problems are taught within courses of biology, geography, physics, and chemistry. As the result of such approach Ukrainian schoolchildren acquire knowledge of environmental problems but they do not have practical sustainable development skills for application in an everyday life.

The course consisted of workshops, seminars and group discussions. It was also required that during the course the students should participate in preparing a project called “Voyage 6000”. The project was a modified version of “The Mission” by Wolfgang Brunner.

In cooperation with Ukrainian NGOs during 2004-2006, our team developed special thematic educational complexes: “Management of Hard Waste”, “The Ways of Preserving Energy”, “Complex Ecological Management in Everyday Life”. Each of these complexes consists of students’ and teacher’s books. A Students’ Book contains not only theoretical information but also practical tasks for pupils. 34



Learning through community service

Neighbourhood empowerment in Hanoi



Many of the youth in Uganda from the middle class population have not had a chance to interact with their local communities and know very little about the problems of their own society. Learning in schools has tended to follow the rote learning approach and does not train the students towards problem solving skills and thus they may not in turn contribute to solving societal problems.

A model from Ireland adapted for Vietnam. A group of 6-12 people from the same neighbourhood form an Action team to carry out sustainability actions in their households. By testing sustainability actions people can change their behaviour in a supportive environment. In the first year, we formed Adaptation Teams, to try some activities and give feedback. In the second round, we opened up to new Pilot Teams and some of the existing Adaptation Teams who tried out all of the activities and gave feedback. Each team has a coach who are supported by a community coach, identified through our interaction with the community. In the Adaptation round, we tested the suitability of actions. In the Pilot round, we looked closely at the role of coach and the make-up of the teams (start-up process, relation to existing formal structures, the tempo of the activities and the evaluation of individual impacts).

Through a peer-teaching mathematics programme at a nearby universal primary education school, high school students are exposed to the many societal challenges such as poverty, disease, family issues, that the pupils in the primary school live with. When they compare these situations with their own family behaviours then learning happens and behaviour change starts towards care for others and most probably care for our natural resources.




The volunteers at IVN Nederland (over 17.000 people in 173 local branches) tend to be motivated for their own, local environment predominantly. But, in light of our society’s co-responsibility for conservation and sustainable use of natural resources in other parts of the world than our own, we stimulate the target groups to widen the scope of their work (ecological globalisation).


The Millennium Education for Sustainable Development Programme (MESDP) is a programme which helps children to question and explore the subject of waste and thus develop an understanding of sustainability for themselves. Students first conduct a waste audit of the school to understand the type, quality and quantity of waste. They manually separate out the different types of waste and explore the informal waste disposal and recycling industry in the country. Local collectors of waste called kabadiwalas, who collect ‘waste’ material like newspapers, bottles, metals, etc. are interviewed. They are followed to their dump and the dump handlers are interviewed about the recycling channel of these different kinds of waste. The kabadiwala, who belongs to a very low social strata in the country is invited as a chief guest for the school eco-club function. 35



Sustainability Initiative of Landsvirkjun and Alcoa Fjardaal RAGNHEIÕUR ÓLAFSDÓTTIR LANDSVIRKJUN ICELAND


A project to monitor the social, environmental and economic impacts of constructing and operating the Karahnjukar Hydroelectrical Project, the two linked transmission lines, and the Fjardaral aluminium smelter.

The ThinkCamp initiative is a spin off from the Global Marshall Plan – Global Commons Forum in Berlin, 2008. The idea is to bring sustainability (balance of economy, ecology and social) into existing businesses and start up enterprises. ThinkCamp will establish as a cooperative Social Business early 2010 to offer the ThinkCamp Entrepreneur programme as a one year intensive coaching and training program to help emerging leaders to implement sustainable change in the organisations and to launch/create new sustainable products/ processes for existing organisations.

The work of the consultative group was completed in the latter part of 2005, when guidelines and scales were ready, as well as drafts of goals and the project plan. Since 2005 has been the implementation of the monitoring system, reporting and communicating. The Initiative seeks to give the people from the community, business and the general public in Iceland and abroad opportunity to follow the development in East Iceland after the construction period from a sustainable perspective. And to actively influence the development by communicating with the companies about their actions.


ThinkCamp Innovators for Sustainability


Education for Sustainable Development in Syria

ESD in the national school curriculum



Workshops and seminars to educate students in an informal way outside the regular school programs. We include the arts, ecology projects, yoga, leadership skills, etc. We teach students how to accelerate learning, enjoy their studies and feel relaxed.

The South Africa national curriculum “seeks to create a lifelong learner who is independent, literate, numerate and multi-skilled, compassionate, with respect for the environment and the ability to participate in society as critical and active citizen.” This inclusion of environment as a principle is emphasised in each and every learning area. Over the years of implementing this curriculum the need for clarification and highlighting of issues pertaining to EE and specifically ESD has become very pressing. Our work entails policy formulation and support, therefore we have to think about implementation issues at the classroom level as well as to find environmental contexts pertaining to ESD that are embedded in the NCS through the learning Outcomes and Assessment Standards – making teachers au fait with the issues of ESD as proposed by the new curriculum in order to bring them to life through teaching to the curriculum.

Our approach has an impact on many different levels: individually – by supporting higher selfesteem, inner peace and a healthy life style; collectively – by supporting interaction and communication with others and fostering mutual respect, social relations, human rights and common peace; ecologically – by focussing on to how to deal and interact with environment, and the best use of human and natural resources.


Additional Patterns The following three pattern descriptions were produced at previous pattern laboratories.

Pattern: Pedagogy Problématique Education FOR sustainable development implies that those taught will, through their education, be equipped to take action in the service of SD. Those teachers who have succeeding in grasping this concept (which is by no means obvious) face a major pedagogical challenge. Existing pedagogies (Action Pedagogy, Learning by Doing, Freire, etc.) can be useful. They are however not sufficient, because •

Most of them focus on knowledge and on strategies for acquiring knowledge.

SD is a journey whose destination is not clearly understood, and thus needs an approach closer to action research than action learning - whereas many teachers tend to expect a clear desired outcome as a prerequisite for functioning in the role of teacher; and may indeed be externally judged on their ability to transfer knowledge.

Standard pedagogies, however interactive, do not contain the seeds of their own transformation.

Context The UN Decade for ESD (2005-2014) has coincided with rapidly increasing public awareness of problems, in particular connected with energy and climate change. The current (2009) climate of debate favours introduction of ESD, or at least energy efficiency, into educational programs at many levels, both formal and informal, for many purposes, and in many countries. There is a rush to supply curriculum content, and funds are becoming available. Discussion Some of the most important skills and competences for SD presuppose personal development (increasing awareness, evolving lifestyle) for both teachers and taught. On the other hand, many people, including teachers, experience strong disempowerment in relation to SD and need to be enabled to learn by a process of empowerment. 38


Some of the unspoken assumptions about the nature of education for change, and the nature and scope of the necessary changes, include assumptions that •

While pupils may need to change, teachers do not.

The changes needed are largely of a ‘technical’ nature, with no relation to personal development or interpersonal relations.

If people are only sufficiently informed, they will change their behaviour.

A sequence of single behaviour-change messages (for instance, saving electricity) will somehow add up to a more conscious lifestyle.

Advertising and marketing techniques can be effective ways of bringing about long-term behaviour change.

Only intensive, expensive personal coaching can bring about long-term behaviour change.

A curriculum that embraces conscious lifestyle choice rather than individual changes; a pedagogy that acknowledges the students as co-creators of solutions. Old picture Teachers/leaders have the knowledge, and pedagogy is about the best way to transfer it to individual pupils/ students. There are obvious rights and wrongs. SD is an external demand and complicated question to be handled logically and systematically. New picture Teachers/leaders accept uncertainty and enjoy the journey of exploration together with the pupils/ students. Pedagogy is about empowering (both oneself and others) and embracing the learning process even when experiments fail or give undesired results. The importance of personal awareness and conscious choice in order to contribute to the common good is obvious and significant for the teachers/leaders as well as to the pupils/students. SD is both an internal and external demand, and a complex question to be handled in a holistic way.

Such assumptions are leading to many ineffective investments in educational programs. For instance, •

Textbooks and teacher training designed solely to impart knowledge ABOUT sustainable development.

Fear-based information and education campaigns: “You must do this, or not do that, in order to save the planet.”

Expensive but short-lived media campaigns.

“Green family” programs supporting a small number of individual households to make radical (and often expensive) changes to their homes and lifestyles.

On the other hand, rapidly rising awareness of problems such as climate change, terrorism, and poverty creates an opportunity to raise awareness of other aspects, such as the role of consumption and waste in contributing to global problems. A pedagogy of empowerment is equally relevant for businesses as for schools, youth leaders, and adult educators. 39

Pattern: Motives and motivation


On the positive side, sustainable development is not ‘foreign’ but rather – when adequately introduced – a natural development that most people find attractive when offered an opportunity to reflect and to consult their own values. This is equally true of small children as it is of adults in all walks of life.

”People don’t care.” Context Motivation is the basis of all pedagogy: “You can only teach what the pupil wishes to learn”.


‘Unmotivated’ pupils are the bane of all class-rooms and other study groups, both for their poor results and for their ability to disturb those who wish to learn.

In the general interpretation of the word, motivation is seen as a pedagogical task where some pedagogical approaches can be expected to be more effective than others. What is called for is thus a pedagogy of empowerment. The best-known is probably that of Paulo Freire, which offers much support, but still based on the concept that the teacher is more knowledgeable than the pupils.

Even outside an explicitly pedagogical situation, many projects are dependent on the ability to capture the creativity and support – or at least acceptance – of many people: citizens, employees, members, other groups. Discussion

Old picture

Most discussions about motivation seem to miss the point that it is only possible to motivate oneself, not other people. Motivating others can at best only succeed within narrow areas and in the short term. The task for those wishing to encourage self-motivation is therefore to create situations where people (the people in question) are more likely to discover their own impulses and resources, and thereby motivate themselves.

People need to be motivated (taught) by others to understand what is best for them and for the future of their societies. In this context ‘motivation’ may be referred to as something one person does to another: “How can these people be motivated to...?” New picture

Another weakness of the discussions is that they tend to exclude the speaker. Those who are eager to motivate others are not always prepared to motivate themselves. But, to quote a school principal, ‘To empower pupils you must first empower the teachers.’ He could have added: and the school principals.

More and more people are conscious of the relevance of sustainable development to their own lives, their own situation – a transfer from the global to the particular. There is an appreciation of the value of, and a demand for, tools that support the individual to act in relation to her/his environment – a transfer from the individual to the social and operational spheres.

The question of motivation is especially relevant to sustainable development because SD is not about marginal change: it is about radical transformation. One example is the ‘Factor 10’ concept, launched by highly respected research institutes, making the case that the survival of humankind is dependent upon our ability to reduce current levels of fossil-fuel use by a factor 10, i.e. by 90%.

What has then taken place is a paradigm shift in the attitude of the individual to her-/himself as an agent of change and co-creator of reality, and to the potential for exploring this new terrain in cooperation with others.

Such radical change cannot be brought about by a small group inventing and imposing upon everyone else their technical solutions to the problem. If nothing else, such a process is hardly socially sustainable. This in turns means that external ‘motivating factors’ – carrots and sticks – are of only limited use since they presuppose that those designing and implementing them have access to privileged knowledge about what constitutes sustainable and unsustainable behaviour.


Pattern: Managing behaviour change


Attempts to bring about wide-spread behaviour change sometimes succeed but often don’t. Moreover, outcomes are difficult to predict. For example, the homo oeconomicus model of the economists gives at best only weak predictability.

It frequently builds on the assumption that target groups will adopt the desired behaviours more or less unconsciously

Resolution A mental map that acknowledges the non-linear relationship between information and behaviour, creating a basis for a dialogue-based interactive process.

Context Many educational programs, for both children and adults, tacitly or explicitly ‘expect’ behaviour change to result. And indeed many projects, especially those with sustainability ambitions, depend for their success on wide-spread behaviour change: the public (pupils, employees, customers, suppliers, managers, politicians, the general public…) need to change their behaviour in step with new technical and socio-economic knowledge. Not infrequently the project stands and falls with its ability to produce such behaviour changes.

Old picture The linear approach to behaviour change is very costly (typically executed through media campaigns) and therefore run as ‘one offs’ over a limited time period. When the campaign is over, it’s over. Typical residual result (retained behaviour changes in the target group after the campaign is finished) is around 10%. Maybe most importantly, this model has only one intervention point: providing information – in an already information polluted environment.

Discussion There is a mental map of the behaviour change terrain that is widely accepted – or rather, taken for granted (see ‘old picture’). It is linear and generally mechanistic, with roots in models from natural science (and indeed from classical military engineering). It constitutes the unspoken basis for many small and large educational and information campaigns (regardless of whether their focus is on knowledge transfer, PR, marketing, or social information) with the intention of bringing about longterm behaviour change.

New picture A circular/spiral model of behaviour change

The model has a number of deficiencies that create or contribute to problems, e.g. •

It presupposes that a person or a group of experts knows and can unambiguously describe exactly which behaviour changes will produce the desired results

It often builds on an unspoken assumption that what is good for the group (“society”) is automatically also good for the individual

It interacts with a mental picture of “motivation” as a transitive verb: something one person does to another (c.f. Motives and motivation), and thus misses the chance to engage self-motivating creativity

This model suggests that when you care about something, you are likely to look up information about both the problem(s) and possible effective actions – things you can do in order to make a difference. Having done so you may be able to care more, and round you go. Research over several years of programs working in this way suggests that this model has a residual result of more than 90% after finishing the program – and then rising to over 100% due to new, sustainable habits acquired.

It is energy-intensive and expensive; it can be compared to growing plants in a greenhouse, with a constant need to bring in supplies of nutrients, water and energy


Learning for Change  
Learning for Change  

Pedagogy for Sustainable Development - Using a Pattern Laboratory Approach