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Teacher education for the green transition and sustainable development: a pan-European priority

Tue 28th March 2023 - Blog Posts, Initial Teacher Education, News, Policy Advice and Responses, Schools and early learning & childcare settings

The transition to a more sustainable future requires that we all learn to live and work in more sustainable ways. Teacher professional learning has been identified as one of the most significant catalysts for bringing innovation and sustainability into our education systems, and equipping learners to contribute to this transition.

In June 2022, the European Union (EU) adopted a Council Recommendation on learning for the green transition and sustainable development. This Recommendation formally calls for learning for sustainability (LfS) to become a key priority area in education policies and programmes, and for support to be given to educators through training and professional development in this area.

Significantly, the EU’s Recommendation mirrors the Learning for Sustainability approach and terminology which Scotland has promoted and developed since 2013. In Scotland, Learning for Sustainability is an entitlement for all learners and the responsibility of all educators as part of a whole-setting approach (Scottish Government Vision 2030+ 2016 ). The launch of the Scottish Government’s refreshed and strengthened Learning for Sustainability Action Plan is expected in the next month.

Learning from across Europe

In March 2023, Teacher education for the green transition and sustainable development’ (Tilbury, D and Mula, I.) was published by the European Expert Network on Economics of Education.

This analytical report reviews documented research and good practice in relation to effective teacher education for sustainability across Europe; with the purpose of informing policy decision-making and frameworks in this area. This report is accompanied by a suite of case studies; including ‘Embedding LfS into Teachers Professional Standards, Scotland’, as well as an executive summary and a policy brief.  

Several case studies are give; including one from Scotland; which provides more information on the work being done by the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTC Scotland) to embed LfS across the Professional Standards for teachers. We are delighted to be working with GTC Scotland to support this and you can read more about this work on the GTC Scotland website.

The case studies are:

  • Green Community Initiative: Italy
  • Career Progression and Assessment Tools: Hungary
  • Resources for Change: Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future (International)
  • MEdIES Regional Capacity Building: NGO Partnership (Mediterranean)
  • Embedding LfS into Teachers Professional Standards: Scotland
  • The University Educators for Sustainable Development Initiative (European)
  • Futures Education: Denmark
  • EduSTA: Micro-Credentials for Educators (European)
  • The International Network of Teacher Education Institutions (INTEI) (International)