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The project is implemented by `Teachers for Democracy and Partnership`(Ukraine) and Global Action Plan International (Sweden) with the support of the Swedish Government

Education for Sustainable Development in Action. 2009 – 2012

Un decade of education for sustainable development 2005–2014

Teachers for democracy and partnership

Global Action Plan

Swedish international development cooperation agency

About the Project

Development Agency. The aim of the Project was to develop and introduce education for sustainable development (ESD) in Ukraine in line with the objectives of the UNESCO ESD Decade. In the course of the Project a Lessons for Sustainable Development curriculum for Grades 3 to 9 was designed and introduced in schools. It is recommended by the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine as an optional subject – elective course – for Grades 3–4 and 8–9. In Grades 5–7 it is delivered as a series of extra-curricular activities dedicated to ESD issues. For each grade a set of teaching and learning materials was created with a syllabus, student book and teacher guide.


he ‘Education for Sustainable Development in Action’ Project was implemented from 2009 to 2012 by the Teachers for Democracy andPartnership, in cooperation with the international organization Global Action Plan (GAP) with the support from the Swedish International

During the three years of the Project over 60,000 students and 2,500 teachers have been involved in ESD learning, mainly in eight oblasts of Ukraine (Kharkiv, Kyiv, Mykolaiv, Ternopil, Cherkassy, Donetsk and the Autonomous Republic of Crimea). A series of workshops was held to provide teachers with methodology skills before they started teaching the course. A dedicated team of trainers-ESD teachers was established.

About the pedagogy of the new subject

4 It’s worth noting that the teaching and learning processes in the Lessons for Sustainable Development course are based on independent cognition and action, selfstudy and peer tutoring, as well as independent decision making by students regarding their own everyday lives. The concept of empowerment does not have a direct equivalent in the Russian or Ukrainian languages. In interpretive translation, it means awakening the intrinsic force in an individual, sparking his or her inspiration and motivation for action. Hence the conventional term for empowerment pedagogy – the pedagogy of inspiration and action. The fundamental principles of this pedagogy incorporated in the Lessons for Sustainable Development help create a learning environment for students to strengthen their confidence and take more responsibility for the outcomes of their actions; to become more enthusiastic about, and satisfied with, individual and group work; to enjoy a safe and friendly learning atmosphere; and to acquire collaboration and reflection skills. In this context the main role of the teacher is to facilitate student progress by providing encouragement and guidance.


he Lessons for Sustainable Development, the first ESD subject for schools which has no equivalent in other countries, was the result of the successful implementation of principles that underlie the design of the ESD empowerment programmes created earlier by GAP.

The traditional approach to education, which is intended to change human behaviour, may be presented in diagrammatic form as follows: presentation of information – development of knowledge – change of attitudes (value orientations) – change of human behaviour (see Figure 1).




behaviour change

value shift

Figure 1. Linear model of behaviour change

Nevertheless, observations indicate that reproducing this sequence in teaching and learning does not bring about the expected practical effect; it guarantees neither desired values nor actual changes in behaviour. Empowerment pedagogy offers ways to overcome the deficiencies of this approach. The empowerment model of education is based on the learning by doing principle. Any human action originates from a need or motive (when a person becomes concerned or starts caring about something), which urge him or her to look for information about possible solutions. Having made sense of the information, he or she chooses a course of action and starts putting it into practice. Reflection on the results of one’s actions creates the motivation to take the next step (e.g. a willingness to make actions more efficient; get a quicker result; set a new objective related to the previous one, etc.), and the whole sequence is repeated. This is how

the empowerment spiral works. From a pedagogical point of view, we may reproduce it in the teaching and learning process by creating learning situations which help ‘trigger’ it in every new topic (see Figure 2).

Given these realities, from the very beginning the empowerment pedagogy invites students to experiment, or act. The action starts with a brief exploration of their own lifestyle (habits) conventionally referred to as an ‘audit’. An audit is a study of a student’s own lifestyle, which prompts him or her to analyze the existing practices using questions in the student book. It is also a tool to initiate students’ discussion and introduce them to the topic. Only after having done something, can a learner understand and then change something. During this self-study period students try to answer the key question ‘What is my own lifestyle like?’

Help formulate intention

Help formulate questions





Care Care

Figure. 2. Spiral model of behaviour change

Give feedback

6 Therefore, the pedagogical point of entry to the circle of action is inviting students to act/experiment. This straightforward exploratory activity helps students understand certain aspects of reality around them that evoke their concern, anxiety, the need to take care of something that should be improved. Students come to the classroom with their audit results. To take the next step, the teacher suggests a short activity to reflect on their actions and invites them to discuss the topic. By participating in the discussion, learners become aware of the need for more information and decide to look for it; they ask themselves and the teacher exploratory questions. The questions encourage students to seek answers and they gain knowledge through self-study. With this independently-obtained knowledge, they are better equipped to face new challenges and take further actions. Finding information creates the intention to take an effective action and set a clear objective in order to achieve a visible result for one’s efforts. The teacher may use a

variety of techniques to organize a conducive environment for such actions, e.g. inviting students to change their individual daily habits; carrying out small-group or whole-class projects, research, teaching others, etc. Having obtained a result of his or her actions and reflected on it, students become aware of new dimensions of the issue that they are concerned about. The desire to continue action, to care, arises when a person can see the result and believes in it. When a student understands that he or she is able to take an action, they want to ‘know’ and to ‘care’. That’s why a student, once motivated, is likely to make a commitment to continue action in the area covered by the learning topic, although the topic itself is finished. So, the learning focuses on solutions and student actions, rather than problems. Students’ energy and drive arise from their own vision of the environment and society they would like to live in, and not from a fear of ecological or social disasters. Every time the learner’s motivation (drive, empowerment) to take the next action in the interest of humanity comes from the

results of previous actions. The visibility of these results strengthens their concern for the future. The student’s ability to assess the sustainability of his or her own lifestyle and habits is developed gradually, step by step. Taken together, these steps make up the learning cycle within individual topics, as follows: ! baseline situation – initial measurements; ! search for information; ! development of intentions, setting objectives (what do we want to achieve?); ! design of an action plan; ! implementation of actions; ! measurements at the finishing stage – repeated measurements at the end of the topic, reflection on results; evaluation of own actions. This pedagogical framework requires the teacher to be able to listen to the student and avoid assessing their individual changes. All that the teacher does is to invite


Setting tasks to encourage students to carry out their intentions, their practical and exploratory efforts and projects

students to conduct research, take action and reflect (see Figure 3; teacher’s activities are highlighted in blue, and student activities are in black). Student activities

Asking questions: inviting students to look for information

Positive feedback on the results of student actions

Search for information to base decisions on?

Beginning stage: a simple and exciting activity that invites students to explore the issue

Figure 3. Pedagogical model of empowerment pedagogy

Concern: becoming aware of the personal relevance of the issue

About the content of the new subject

8 certain aspects of sustainable development, students may draw on their knowledge of chemistry (composition of water, air), physics (measuring energy consumption), biology and other natural sciences. However, education for sustainable development also places an important emphasis on social aspects, because a sustainable society cannot function without democracy, on-going dialogue, general participation and the voluntary engagement of people, both individuals and groups. Also, a society may be sustainable only when relationships between its members are based on respect, tolerance and cross-cultural cooperation. Consequently, within the typical school curriculum, such a subject belongs to the area of social studies, social psychology, social ‘engineering’ or even to philosophy. Moreover, ESD would be impossible to deliver without paying close attention to economic issues.


y its nature the content of education for sustainable development is transdisciplinary and overlaps with other subjects. Traditionally, Ukrainian teachers associate sustainable development with the subject area of science, and this is true to some extent. For example, when studying

This cross-disciplinary nature of ESD becomes an obstacle to its implementation within the school curriculum or study programmes of individual subjects. Attempts to cover certain SD issues as part of other school disciplines enable students to learn only a few of its aspects, for example ecology and nature protection in biology lessons and environmental studies; resource conservation in geography; issues of social stability within social science; economic stability in economics. Finally, its futurological, prognostic and many other dimensions may be understood provided

9 that sustainable development is taught as a systemic view of the world and the future of mankind. Thus, the cross-disciplinary nature of the very phenomenon of sustainable development calls for a specific integrated subject to ensure that it is taught and learned effectively and comprehensively, a subject with content that incorporates elements from a variety of different school disciplines. Besides, ESD is oriented towards the daily life of an individual, his or her habits and lifestyle outside school, which necessitates integrating volumes of information from and about everyday life. Therefore, our objective – to ensure high-quality instruction in SD in schools – has led to the need to create such a distinct new integrated and very multi-faceted subject. In its turn, this subject requires an essentially different model of school education. Compared to the existing school courses that consider environmental themes (e.g. Geography, Biology, Fundamentals of Ecology, etc.) and offer just theoretical knowledge, the Lessons for Sustainable Development enable students to relate the learning topics they study to the idea of

sustainable development, their own visions of the future and the choice of an individual lifestyle. The issues covered in each of the topics are presented using local materials, studied individually (through performing specific

research activities at home) and always discussed in a small (ecoteam) and large group (classroom). Every topic finishes with each student making independent decisions regarding their own lifestyle.

About the methodology of teaching ‘Lessons for Sustainable Development’ in primary school

10 The academic year begins with two introductory lessons where students learn about the aims and objectives of the course, key terms and activity formats; they create groups and elect topic leaders. Within each course the learning topics (Grade 3: ‘Importance of water for humans and ways to reduce its consumption’, ‘Garbage as a challenge to mankind’ and ‘Efficient use of energy; Grade 4: ‘My relationships with people around me’, ‘Caring about plants’, and ‘Reducing unnecessary purchases’) cover four meetings with appropriate teaching methodology. Meeting 1 has a motivational and organizational purpose. It introduces students to the topic and helps shape a consistent motivation for learning. A variety of teaching strategies and techniques are used to achieve this objective, including, first of all, a specific type of student research – qualitative and quantitative audits. Meeting 2 is about hands-on activities. During this lesson students engage in group work to learn about possible solutions to the problem identified in the first lesson and choose actions they intend to pursue outside school affecting their own lifestyle.


n primary school this subject has been translated into two optional courses for Grades 3 and 4, each comprising 17 teaching hours. The courses bear a common title, Your Happy Planet.

Meeting 3 is also dedicated to practical aspects of the issue and takes the form of a field trip. While learning about the actual state of the issue in their locality, students draw conclusions about the appropriateness of the actions they have selected, enhance their rational cognition of the reality, enrich

11 their perceptions and social experiences. Meeting 4 provides a summary of the topic. It offers opportunities for students to summarize, reflect, and complete a learning project. Students form groups to prepare a creative product which they will use to inform their local community about the outcomes of their learning and to promote environment-friendly habits and lifestyles. The course concludes with the final topic ‘A new style for my life’ that comprises a summative lesson ‘My plans and commitments’ and a festival ‘The day of the Earth’. Students generalize about their experiences of environmentallyconscious activities through play, draw up a written promise (commitment) and demonstrate their achievements to parents, students from other classes and community members. As in other grades, lessons in this subject require the systemic use of interactive teaching techniques: e.g., working in groups and pairs, taking turns expressing one’s ideas (‘microphone’), whole-class discussion, brainstorming, etc. The main teaching formats are: lesson, field trip, independent research after classes, learning project, and a festival.

The course My Happy Planet includes a number of specific features: actions for sustainable development, audits, field trips and learning projects. These are the key factors that contribute to the development of environmentallyfriendly behaviour and lifestyle.

Such activities prompt students to form their own attitudes to sustainable development issues; come to see them as personally relevant and related to their own value system; and to be able and willing to take corresponding actions.

12 The actions suggested within the course may be carried out at home, in school and in the community in order to: ! ensure efficient use of water and electricity; ! reduce wasting materials;


! reduce the amount of garbage; ! increase the proportion of ‘green’ products in their shopping; ! improve relationships between people; ! create a safe, respectful and friendly atmosphere within the group; ! improve one’s health, etc. The list of actions in the student book may be further extended with additional items proposed by the teacher or the student. Learners are free to choose their actions. The teacher guides them to select

achievable ones but does not insist that his or her suggestions are followed. The audits are another essential element of the instruction. The audit offers a unique opportunity for students to explore their own lifestyle and that of their families and to analyze the patterns they identified using the questions in their book. It provides a point of entry to the topic and helps initiate a student discussion. Within the course both qualitative and quantitative audits are used. A qualitative audit involves a series of important questions regarding a particular issue. These are ‘Yes’/ ‘No’ questions. In a quantitative audit a student selects a score from 1 to 5 to assess their level of performance of certain actions. This activity helps learners to re-examine their everyday habits by calculating their total score. The measurement data are discussed in a team or small group. While considering the findings, students become aware of the impact they have on the environment.

About the student materials for the course ‘My Happy Planet’

MY HAPPY PLANET Meeting 1 CONCERNED HOUSE SPIRIT Read the text and try to predict what the house spirit Domovychok is going to tell the children about.


et’s look at a brief example to illustrate the format of the topics in the Grade 3 student book. For the purposes of this article we will use the first lesson from the topic ‘Importance of water for humans and ways to reduce its consumption’.

Tarasyk has recently moved to a new house. He was happy to find that his classmate Galynka lived next door. After a lesson on education for sustainable development the children agreed to meet and draw pictures of imaginary characters that they would like to work together helping the planet. The two friends drew the pictures quickly but their hands and even faces were covered in paint. Tarasyk threw all the paintbrushes into the bathtub and started washing them, whereas Galynka turned on another tap to wash her hands. Suddenly the boy remembered that the new episode of his favourite cartoon was on. The children dashed to the TV, leaving the taps running. When the cartoon was finished, Tarasyk and Galynka heard some strange sounds coming from the bathroom. They went back and saw an odd creature sitting on the edge of the wash basin. He was throwing his arms about and lamenting: – Oh me! What a poor house spirit I am. So much water going to waste! What bad luck to have such people living in the house! It’s too bad! – Why too bad? There is enough water in the water pipes for everybody, replied Tarasyk, surprised. – The water did not overflow and nothing was damaged, added Galynka. – So, you have no idea what you’ve done? Ok, let me tell you…

14 Read Domovychok’s story and discuss whether you were right in guessing what he would say.

Water the source of life Our planet has lots of water and that’s why the Earth is often called ‘the blue planet’. But the major part of it is salty and only a tiny proportion of this life-giving substance is drinkable. The resources of drinking water are only a teardrop on the eyes of the Earth. That being said, people use water, particularly drinking water in everyday life and in industry. Without it life would be impossible. Nowadays, many countries are already experiencing a

Having listened to Domovychok, Tarasyk and Galynka decided to check what they know about water and drew up a table with a list of statements. Use this table to check what you know about it. Tick off the statements you agree with. Explain your choice. Compare your answers with the answers of your classmates.

shortage of drinking water. Unfortunately, Ukraine is one of them. However, people are not always economical with it. Water flows from the tap at a speed of about 3–4 litres per minute. So, in 5 minutes while you are washing up using running water it will amount to 15–20 litres from the tap! Besides, some of the water becomes so dirty after use that it cannot be recycled. It is contaminated with detergents, dishwashing liquids, hygiene products, etc. All this makes us treat water as a very valuable asset. Today, more and more people are trying to avoid wasting water, reducing their use of chemicals and taking care to keep it clean. You too can support this good cause.



The larger part of the planet is covered with drinking water.


There is much less drinking water on the planet than salt water.


Many countries don’t have enough drinking water.


In Ukraine there is enough drinking water for all inhabitants.


You should use drinking water to water your vegetable garden.


Water flows from the tap at a speed of 3–4 litres per minute.


Industrial enterprises don’t contaminate water.


Life on the Earth is impossible without water.


People should take care that water is not wasted.

15 Using your own real-life examples, show how water is important for humans and that you should take care to preserve it. Think of the situations below and suggest ways of using water efficiently.

Match up the parts of these proverbs. Explain their meaning.

Share the information from the lesson with your parents. With their assistance, try to find out how much water your family consumes in a day.

A boy is having a bath.

A girl is washing the floor with detergent.

A girl is stirring food in a pot on the cooker while water is running from the tap.

A boy is filling a watering can from the tap. Next to him there is a water butt full of rainwater.

Cast no dirt in the well,

until it runs out.

Where the water ends,

you may want to drink from it.

We don’t know the value of water,

there will be no life.

! Count the number of water supply sources in your household. ! Calculate the average consumption of water from each of these sources during a day. (For example, if you want to learn how much water is used in the shower, take a 1 litre plastic container and measure how many litres come from the tap in one minute. Then multiply this number by the number of minutes that it usually takes your family members to shower.) ! Calculate the average consumption of water by all your family members during a day.

Tabulate your findings. Place in the household where water is used

What it is used for

Average total in litres per day

Amount of water used during a day

About the teaching materials for the course ‘My Happy Planet’


Expected outcomes after learning the topic While working on the topic students will be able to: ! learn and tell others about water as the basis of life and of its value; ! understand and explain the issues related to the contamination and overuse of water resources, as well as the causes of these issues; ! explore their own habits and lifestyles regarding the use of water; ! identify specific actions to reduce the consumption of water and its contamination that are acceptable to themselves and to society; ! carry out the actions to ensure economical use of water based on a previously established action plan; ! record the data from their observations of a body of water using a variety of formats; ! study the quality of water (including using a microscope); ! design further activities intended to promote the idea of the efficient use of water resources and present their results.

Meeting 1 Facts


n each grade the Lessons for Sustainable Development course is accompanied with a methodological guide specifically developed and published for teachers. Lesson-by-lesson guidelines make up the major part of these manuals, together with other recommendations. We will use the above lesson as an example to illustrate the content and structure of the relevant teacher recommendations.

Information about water as the source of life. Information about the issue of contamination and overuse of water. How to organize teaching and learning 1. Suggest that students read the text from the book and try to predict further developments in the text. Then offer them to compare the situation described with their own real-life experiences. Invite them to

17 think about how water gets to our houses and where it goes afterwards. 2. Ask students to read the text ‘Water the source of life’ and see whether they were right in their predictions about the story the house spirit Domovychok told the children. Organize a discussion of the information presented in the text: ! Is there enough drinking water on the planet? ! What water do people use in their everyday lives – drinking or salt water? ! Are there any issues with water supply in your locality? What are they? ! Are your families satisfied with the quality of the tap water? ! Do you know how waste water is treated? Why is it important to treat it? 3. Ask students to fill out their own self-assessment forms. They can copy the relevant table in their notebooks or tick off appropriate options in pencil in their books. Students may present the results of his activity to the class, if they wish. Ask students, if they are happy with the findings and thank them for any answer they give (5 minutes).

Self-assessment №




The larger part of the planet is covered with drinking water


There is much less drinking water on the planet than salt water


Many countries don’t have enough drinking water


In Ukraine there is enough drinking water for all inhabitants


You should use drinking water to water your vegetable garden


Water flows from the tap at a speed of 3–4 litres per minute


Industrial enterprises don’t contaminate water


Life on the Earth is impossible without water


People should take care that water is not wasted

4. Invite students to work in groups and discuss the importance of water for human life and the need to use it economically, based on the pictures in the book and drawing on their own real-life experience. After 5 minutes the topic leader (or speaker nominated by him/her) presents the results of the group discussion to the whole class. This activity should take 10-12 minutes maximum. 5. Draw conclusions to the lesson. Ask students to explain how the need to preserve water is related to the future of mankind and all living things on the planet. Encourage them to share their experiences from the group work and what was most important and most interesting for them. 6. Suggest that students share the information from the lesson with


their parents; show the completed self-assessment forms to them; find out how much water their families use and record the findings in their notebooks. To do this, students should first read the homework instructions in the book. They may ask adult family members to help them with measurements and calculations, if necessary.

About the specific teaching methodology for implementing ‘Lessons for Sustainable Development’ through extra-curricular activities in Grades 5–7

18 curricular training sessions is to facilitate sustainable development at all levels – the student’s personality, his or her family, the community, the nation and mankind as a whole, by changing his or her behaviour and lifestyle. The methodological principles of this comprehensive ESD curriculum are based on a combination of the learning-by-doing approach, a student-centred approach and the ideas of empowerment pedagogy, as explained below. ! The learning content revolves around topical issues of resource use and sustainable lifestyle that are accessible for students of basic school. ! The teaching and learning processes are designed as teacher-student and student-student interaction with ongoing feedback.


hese learning sessions are one of the essential elements of the ESD curriculum entitled Lessons for Sustainable Development, which involves both regular school subjects and extracurricular activities to be provided in primary and lower-secondary schools. The purpose of this system of courses and extra-

! Finding their own individual stimuli and motivation is the key component of learning whereby students set, and then work towards, their own learning goals, which are personally and socially meaningful. All learning activities build on the student’s attitudes and his/her decisions regarding their own lifestyle and behaviour which are gradually changing in the context of the global needs of humanity. ! Students are free to choose the forms and processes for their actions.

19 ! The instructional design ensures systemic presentation of the learning content. The content is repeated in cycles, both within each individual topic and within the entire ESD curriculum. ! One of the distinctive features in this curriculum – its trans-disciplinary content – is explained by the global and multi-faceted nature of sustainable development as such. ! The instructional methodology provides for systemic and hands-on exploratory and research activities by students. The extra-curricular learning sessions based on the Lessons for Sustainable Development are held during the course of the academic year at any time chosen by the teacher (form tutor). They may be integrated into the school’s extracurricular programme as a holistic series (10 sessions) or as separate units.



Topics of the Grade 5 learning sessions

Meeting actions.

Meeting 1. What kind of future do we need?

Meeting 9. Public presentation of student projects.

Meeting 2. Getting ready for an interstellar journey. Meeting 3. How to calculate your ecological footprint. Meeting 4. On the way to sustainable development. Garbage. Meeting 5. On the way to sustainable development. Water. Meeting 6. On the way to sustainable development. Energy. Meeting 7. On the way to sustainable development. Daily habits.


The structure of the Grade 5 learning sessions includes an introductory part (1 meeting); an introduction to the role-play (1 meeting); a learning session to help students understand the key concept of ‘ecological footprint’ (1 meeting); four topics on different aspects of everyday life (4 meetings); and a summative lesson – exit from the role-play and preparation for presenting the student project in public (2 meetings).


The Grade 6 learning sessions are designed as a system including the following elements:

The system of learning sessions for Grade 7 comprises:

INTRODUCTION. What is the sustainable development of mankind?

INTRODUCTION. What is sustainable development?

TOPIC 1. Nutrition

TOPIC 1. The economy of my school

Meeting 1. What kinds of food are there?

Meeting 1. Being a good manager

Meeting 2. What kind of food we choose.

Meeting 2. Learning to manage the school’s resources.

Meeting 3. What has changed in my eating habits?

Meeting 3. What has changed for me and around me?

TOPIC 2. A safe home Meeting 1. What kind of home do we call safe? Meeting 2. How to be safe at home. Meeting 3. What has changed at my home?

TOPIC 2. Improving communication Meeting 1. Establishing contacts. Meeting 2. What do we need for successful communication? Meeting 3. What has changed for me and around me?

TOPIC 3. Garbage

TOPIC 3. How we live together

Meeting 1. Why garbage is created and from what.

Meeting 1. What does it mean ‘to live together’?

Meeting 2. How to reduce the amount of garbage.

Meeting 2. What do we need to cooperate with each other?

Meeting 3. What has changed in my attitude to garbage?

Meeting 3. What has changed for me and around me?

The series of learning sessions in Grades 6 and 7 have the same structure, with an introductory part (1 meeting) and a number of thematic units (3 meetings each). With appropriate adaptations, these sessions may be implemented in extra-curricular programmes for Grade 8 and 9 students.

About the methodology for extra-curricular teaching and learning about the ‘Lessons for Sustainable Development’

Meeting 2. LEARNING TO MANAGE THE SCHOOL’S RESOURCES Expected outcomes of the meeting After this meeting students will be able to: ! explain their role in saving natural resources; ! speak about possible ways of changing their lifestyles.

Materials needed Yellow paper ‘coins’; a ‘moneybox’ made of paper or other material; student books; pencils to complete the audit.

How to organize teaching and learning Introduction


o deliver these extra-curricular activities, teachers and form tutors are referred to the relevant teacher guide. Among other methodological advice, the major part of this guide details specific recommendations for each learning session. By way of example we use one learning session for Grade 7 to show its content and structure.

Do the ‘moneybox’ activity to collect new ideas. Hand out yellow paper ‘coins’ to students. Ask everyone to write down one idea on each ‘coin’ about how students can change their behavior at school to make it more sustainable. Invite students to read their suggestions to the class before putting them into the ‘moneybox’. Discuss with the whole group: ‘Which of these ideas is the most valuable in your opinion? Why this particular idea? Who is already doing some of the things that were suggested here? Are you prepared to take

22 such actions right away?’ Explain that these ideas on promoting sustainable development will be the focus of discussion in today’s learning session. Main part Suggest that students complete the preliminary audit in the student materials by ticking off the appropriate options in the form.

AUDIT Complete the preliminary audit and tick off the appropriate options in pencil. I do it…


I dispose of garbage only in specially designated places. I try to compress the garbage before throwing it away. I switch off the light when I’m the last to leave the classroom. I switch off the light when it’s not needed. I take part in classroom spring-cleaning to wash the windows and lamps to have more natural light and save electricity. I always turn off the taps tightly. I try to turn on the tap so that water just trickles from it and is not wasted. When I see a faulty water tap which is leaking I let adults know about it. I try to save paper and collect scrap paper for recycling. I take part in insulating classroom windows for winter. I use a special bag for my PE kit, rather than plastic bags. I engage in voluntary work to collect used things and books to give them to people who may need them.

all the time


very rarely


23 Discuss: Who was happy with their audit results? Why? What did it make you think about? Who has a plan to improve something in their life in the school? After the discussion invite students to learn about the actions that they can carry out to manage and use school resources effectively. Create 7 groups (pairs). Give each group an opportunity to consider the questions related to each of the actions listed in the student materials (5-6 minutes).

ACTIONS While considering each action try to answer the following questions: ! How exactly should you act? ! Why should you act in this way? ! What will change in you an around you if you pursue this action?

1. Throw garbage into a garbage bin. 2. Switch off the light when it’s not needed. 3. Reduce water consumption. 4. Use paper sparingly. 5. Make sure that the windows are clean. 6. Keep warm air inside the classroom. 7. Share with others. Then let each group present their action. They can do it orally, draw the action or dramatize it. After the groups have presented all the actions, encourage each student to choose those that they will remember and will carry out during the next week. Ask everyone to think what they individually need to start these actions. Invite a few students to tell the class which actions they’ve chosen and why. Ask them to start carrying out the selected actions. Closing To close the learning session, ask students: ! What was the most interesting for you in this session? ! What struck or surprised you? ! What questions did you have?

About the teaching methodology for the Grade 9 course on ‘Lessons for Sustainable Development’

24 content and specific methodology. The Lessons for Sustainable Development course may be selected to implement the optional part of the school curriculum (1/1.5 teaching hours per week during the academic year). Similar to the rest of ESD curriculum, this course is not primarily intended to build students’ knowledge. Its main objective is to facilitate the development of behaviour and actions that help meet the needs of sustainable development. Students are expected to use them consciously at the beginning and later they should become a habit. Therefore, it is essential to specifically provide opportunities to discuss lifestyles, everyday behaviours and help students to understand the impact of these behaviours on the development of mankind. Students should be aware of the resources that they and their families use and reflect on how effective these consumption patterns are. Another important element of the course is to support learners in developing skills for economical consumption, a conscious attitude to the use of resources through environmentally-sound behaviour, rather than by impairing the quality of their lives.


s noted before, the Lessons for Sustainable Development are delivered in Grade 8 and 9 as two optional courses. Since one of the objectives of the 2009-2012 Project was to develop a course for Grade 9(10), here we will consider its

The lessons are designed with the ‘here and now’ principle in mind. This means that in the classroom teachers and students discuss their actual experiences, not environmental issues in general. In this context, implementing the aims and objectives of the course requires a specific pedagogical arrangement – working in small groups with constant membership.

25 The structure of the course includes: ! an introduction (2 lessons); ! thematic units (3 meetings each); ! the final part (1-2 lessons). During the two introductory lessons students learn about the aim and objectives of the course, its key terms and activity formats; they create small groups – crews of imaginary space missions; and prepare the first draft designs of their spacecrafts. Each of the topics within the course covers three lessons (meetings) and is implemented using appropriate teaching methodology. (In the student book the lessons are referred to as ‘meetings’ to emphasize the informal nature of learning that takes place in the classroom. Besides, this teaching technique stresses non-traditional activities and draws attention to the need for creating asafe and friendly atmosphere.) Meeting 1 has a motivational and organizational purpose. It introduces students to the topic and helps shape a consistent motivation for learning. A variety of teaching strategies and techniques are used to achieve this objective, including, first of all, a specific type of student research – qualitative and quantitative audits.

Students’ motivation is further strengthened by the key text (specifically written for the topic) as they read it and discuss it in detail. In this lesson they also receive group tasks and perform them in small groups, which are established based on their interests. Meeting 2 is about hands-on activities. During this lesson students engage in group work; they present their projects; learn about possible solutions to the problem identified in the first lesson; and choose actions they intend to pursue outside school affecting their own lifestyle. Meeting 3 provides a summary of the topic. It offers opportunities for students to generalize and reflect based on relevant teaching methods. The entire course is structured as a long-term learning project spanning the academic year. Every lesson (meeting) consists of three parts: a brief introduction to motivate students and actualize their prior knowledge, experiences and understanding, etc.; a main part when students perform the key activities of the meeting; and a summary that offers opportunities to reflect on their experiences from this lesson and their emotional

state. This outline is used to present the lessons in the final part of the book. The course finishes with the closing topic ‘My new lifestyle’. One of the distinctive features of this course is explained by its structure. It is designed as a process to prepare students for an imaginary space mission. While studying the course, they are expected to make arrangements for 100 people to live a full life in a spacecraft during an undefined long-term period (5,000 years). Obviously, the participants of this mission will face numerous challenges, e.g. they will need to create and maintain a biosphere to support life and establish social and economical domains. So, the process of preparing for the imaginary space mission offers opportunities for students to analyze and try out solutions to numerous issues that are characteristic of a sustainable society. During the final lesson of this course, which again focuses on its fundamental idea, students will be able to realize that, essentially, their spacecrafts are tiny models of the planet Earth that is constantly travelling in space towards its future.

About students materials for the Grade 9 course on ‘Lessons for Sustainable Development’


Home audit ‘Air’ Start research on the topic of ‘Air’. Take one week to observe your lifestyle. Record the data into your notebooks using the example below. Fill in the table each day.

Meeting 1. WHY IS CLEAN AIR BECOMING AN ISSUE? Activity 1. Working in small groups, present your home audit results and try to answer the question ‘What and how do the group members and their families usually do to ensure the air is clean at home? Draw up a general list of actions that students in your group take to keep the air clean at home. Discuss what this research made you think about. Was there anything that struck you or made you concerned? Present the outcomes of your discussion to the class.


he example below illustrates the topic layout in the Grade 9 student book. For the purposes of this article we will use the first lesson in the topic ‘Air’. The topic is preceded with an audit that students carry out at home.

Activity 2. Discuss the following in a larger group: ‘What is the value of air for the life of humans and all other living things on the planet? What will be its role during the space mission? What problems with air provision may be expected during the space trip?’ Make a list of these problems. Activity 3. Based on the text, identify the role of air in the life of mankind. What challenges exist nowadays on the planet in relation to air and its pollution? Which of them need sorting out in your spacecraft?











Home audit ‘Air’

How many times did I air the room? How many times did I wet-clean my room? How many times did I ride a bicycle instead of taking public transport? How many times did I walk a distance that one could use some kind of transport for? How many times did I use scented sprays on my body or to freshen up the air in the room? How many household chemicals (powder and sprays) were bought? How many house plants did I take care of at my home? How many times did I use public transport? How many times did I and my family use our own car?

AIR, THE MAIN SOURCE OF LIFE Air is one of the major resources that support biological life. It is believed that without food a person can survive almost a month, without water – up to 7 days, and only 5 minutes maximum without air. Air protects our planet from overcooling and from destructive ultraviolet (UV) radiation. But for it, the sky would

be black and the nights would come and go suddenly. The days would be unbearably hot and nights terribly cold. Air is a life-giving ‘buffer’ between outer space and the surface of our planet, the carrier of warmth and moisture. It is through it that the major processes of life take place – photosynthesis and interchange of energies. Thanks to air we can hear the sounds of music, rustling of the forest, breaking waves; we can

see the blue sky, a colourful rainbow and the twinkling of stars. Air is a mixture of nitrogen, oxygen, carbon dioxide (CO2) and some other substances. It also contains a certain amount of water vapour. Sometimes its composition may include numerous admixtures, including harmful ones. These can be natural, such as volcanic dust, and artificial pollutants that are a result of human activity. In recent years atmospheric air has been subjected to intensive contamination due to economic activities. The key factor here is combustion, a technological process used, for example, in heating living spaces; burning fuel in motor vehicles; electricity production at thermal power stations; in industry, etc. According to scientists… • In the course of their daily activities one inhabitant of the Earth contributes 1.1 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions on average per year. • Producing 15 litres of water using a water heater creates 1 kg of greenhouse gases. • During the last 100 years harmful emissions into the atmosphere amounted to 1,5 mil. 1.5 m. tonnes of arsenic, 1 m. tonnes of nickel and 900 thousand tonnes of carbon monoxide. • As a result of burning coal, the atmosphere is contaminated with approximately 120 m. tonnes of dust annually. • One car creates about 10 kg of rubber dust. • One truck emits 6 cubic metres of carbon monoxide (CO).

28 No less important is the problem of internal air contamination, e.g. with carbon monoxide, ashes, resin, soot and smoke black, especially when a building is located near congested highways. The air that we breathe every day contains chemical substances used in households – first of all, various aerosols and tobacco smoke. Also, air is contaminated with human and animal waste products, such as dandruff, pollen, mushroom spores, etc.; harmful microorganisms, e.g. dust mites, bacteria and germs, including pathogenic ones. According to the World Health Organization, the air inside buildings is 4 to 6 times dirtier and 8 to 10 times more toxic than the air outside. The air quality in living and office spaces often presents a threat to people’s health, because harmful particles end up in our lungs and may cause allergies, respiratory diseases and a decrease in immunity. Aware of the need to protect the air they breathe, millions of people in different parts of the world are trying to reconsider their lifestyles. They give up big cars and prefer fuel-efficient or electric vehicles; change to bicycles; don’t buy aerosols; draw the attention of their governments to the issues of industrial pollution. Many of these people would agree with Julia Roberts, who says that she adores the feeling when at the end of the day she can admit that she has taken a step that will allow herself and her children to wake up tomorrow in a cleaner, healthier and safer world.

Project assignments for groups Form small groups and choose one of the following research assignments to do during the next week. Discuss the plan to carry out your project. Allocate duties and establish processes to coordinate your activities. Decide when and how you are going to prepare the presentation of your research findings. Feel free to be as creative as you like!

Group 1. Find out which component of the atmosphere is the most important for the existence of humans and other living things on the planet. Why does this component require the most monitoring and protection? Present your research results in a brief report with a list of suggestions on how to use this knowledge during your space trip. Your opinion should be wellgrounded.

29 Group 2. Study how people pollute air. What are the possible solutions to this problem that exist nowadays? Based on your research findings draw up a list of suggestions on ways to reduce air contamination during your space journey. Your opinion should be well-grounded.

Group 3. What actions by people cause a higher concentration of carbon dioxide in the air? How do higher air temperatures impact on climate change? Present your research results in a brief report or proposal on how to take into account potential air contamination when meeting your needs during the space mission. Your opinion should be well-grounded.

Group 4. Find out how things and processes around us influence the quality of the air at home. What is the scale of this influence? Detail your research results as a list of suggestions on how to maintain the appropriate quality of the air in the spacecraft, specifically in places where you will spend most time. Your opinion should be wellgrounded.

Group 5. Study why trees are called oxygen factories. Find out what functions trees have in your area. Why are forests vital in places with lots of dust, toxic gases and soot? Present your research findings in a brief paper with a list of suggestions on how to use plants during the space mission. Your opinion should be well-grounded.

Key words to search for information on the topic ‘Air’ online: air pollution, clean air, atmosphere, climate change, air quality, trees as ‘oxygen factories’.

Discuss in the whole class: ‘What struck you during the lesson? Which questions that you were interested in were answered and which were not? What made you concerned or sad?’ If you’d like to know more… Prepare your part of the research from your group’s assignment.

About the methodological materials for teachers of the course ‘Lessons for Sustainable Development’



After this meeting students will be able to: ! explain the role of air in human life; ! identify actions that help preserve clean air; ! speak about existing challenges related to air and its pollution; ! research one of the issues regarding the purity of the air; ! express their own attitudes to the issues of air pollution in the modern world.

How to organize teaching and learning Introduction


teacher guide was developed and published specifically for the Grade 9 course on the Lessons for Sustainable Development. Lesson-by-lesson recommendations make up the major part, together with other advice for teachers. Below we take a look at its content and structure, based on the lesson described previously.

At the start of the lesson invite volunteers to take part in a contest to see who can hold their breath the longest. Ask the participants how they were feeling when the air was running out; do they always think about the fundamental importance of breathing for their lives? Introduce the theme and expected outcomes of the meeting.

31 The activities in the student book are designed to allow for a comprehensive study of the issue. Therefore, it is desirable (but not mandatory) to have the majority of the research assignments carried out. If you can’t have 5-6 fully functioning small groups, students may do their research in pairs or individually.

Main part Form small groups and ask students to present the results of their home audits in groups by answering the following questions: ‘What do your group members and their families usually do to keep the air clean at home?’ Each team should write down a general list of actions that its members do to ensure the air is clean at home. Encourage further discussion using the questions: ‘What did this research make the group members think about? Was there anything that struck them or made them concerned?’

Draw the students’ attention to the text ‘How to work on a project’, which is included in the student materials, in order to facilitate teamwork.

The results of the discussion should be presented to the class. Within the whole class discuss ‘What is the value of air for the life of humans and all other living things on the planet? What will be its role during the space mission? What problems with air provision may be expected during the space trip?’ Draw up a list of these problems together with students and write them on the board. Ask students to read the text ‘Air, the main source of life’ in

the student book and identify the role of air in the life of mankind. Together with students think about answers to the following: ‘What challenges exist nowadays on the planet in relation to air and its contamination? Which of them need sorting out for your spacecraft?’ After you have finished the textbased activities, ask students to select one of the assignments to research during the next week. Create small groups as required.

Every group should discuss a plan to implement their research project. Encourage students to allocate duties and determine processes to coordinate their activities. They also should decide when and how they are going to prepare a presentation of their research findings.

Summary To draw conclusions from the meeting, discuss with the large group: ‘What struck you during the lesson? What made you concerned or sad?’ Remind the students that by the next lesson they should prepare their part of the group research project.

The project is implemented by `Teachers for Democracy and Partnership`(Ukraine) and Global Action Plan International (Sweden) with the support of the Swedish Government

Education for Sustainable Development in Action. 2009 – 2012  

The project is implementedby `Teachers for Democracyand Partnership`(Ukraine) and Global Action Plan International (Sweden) with the support...

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