Research shows that Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), and its pedagogical features, are highly effective tools for enhancing educational outcomes, while supporting social and environmental objectives. ESD increases pro-environmental behaviors, academic skills, and civic engagement; ESD improves socio-emotional skills such as collaboration, critical thinking and problem-solving.
Global Schools' flagship initiative is the Global Schools Advocates Program, a training program for teachers to improve ESD delivery and increase sustainability literacy in classrooms. The training program was developed after surveying 220 local ESD champions and 40 educators. The training includes 30+ lectures, original readings, and comprehensive assessments. 17 supporting documents assist teachers in ESD implementation via a specific action-research methodology to incorporate ESD in schools. Survey data from Global Schools-trained teachers reveals the program’s long-term, positive impact extends to school-wide practices and students’ perceptions of climate and sustainable development. On average, teachers report that students showed increased abilities to: apply critical thinking to understand global issues; reflect on their role in their local community; propose, develop, and implement solutions for sustainable development.
In 2021 alone, Global Schools trained 504 teachers through its comprehensive training program, which spanned 90+ countries, with a specific focus on the developing world and under-resourced schools. Within one year, teachers and school leaders collectively engaged nearly 108,112 students in 9,300+ classroom lessons and activities on ESD and trained 12,300+ additional teachers via the program’s trainers-of-trainers model. Teachers have extended their work into local communities, engaging and training over 30,000 community members; admins, and parents on sustainable development. For example, a teacher from Pakistan reported that “Health Awareness” lessons made many parents quit smoking; a teacher from Kenya scaled up their community garden program to three additional schools.
Schools and teachers can view the resources and lesson plans on the Global School website, as well as sign up for the training program. They can also join the Global Schools network. Ministries, schools, government, and NGOs are also welcome to reach out to the Global Schools team about local implementation: firstname.lastname@example.org