Review of other relevant documents guiding the work of educators in your TE/TVET Institution

Step 5 – Consider other relevant documents (e.g. curriculum policy) in reviewing whether ESD is integrated well enough or not into the formal learning programmes in your institution

The environmental scan document compiled for the ‘Sustainability Starts with Teachers’ programme shows that many countries in the SADC region have already started to integrate aspects of ESD into national curriculum and assessment policies, and into teacher education programmes. These have implications for the content and process of teacher education, as shown in the example from South Africa below.

Figure 1  An example from South Africa.

More examples can be found in the detailed text that supports Learning Action 1

In the next activity you will work through relevant examples from your own country, and from the documents that guide Early Childhood, Primary, Secondary education and Technical and Vocational Education and Training in your country. The activity’s focus is on what this means for improving ESD in your TE/TVET institution’s context.

Examples of strategic guiding documents that can inform the work you do at your TE/TVET intuitions:

  • the strategic plan of the TE/TVET institution,
  • the national curriculum policy (syllabus) that teacher/educators used to guide TE/TVET,
  • course module outlines or books,
  • assessment policies, and
  • any other relevant documents.

Use the following dimensions of ESD, illustrated in Figure 2, to review relevant documents that guides teacher educucation in your TE/TVET insitution (UNESCO, 2014:12) :

Figure 2  A diagram summarising the dimensions of ESD used to review relevant documents that guide teacher education in TE/TVET institution

  • Based on your review, what can you suggest for your Change Project in terms of curriculum innovation and change?

Step 6: Review the work that you are doing in the TE/TVET institution for its relevance to a notion of ‘21st century teaching’ in changing societies

Another way to consider if your TE/TVET programmes are addressing ESD and the global goals (Target 4.7) is to think about the relevance of the teacher education / Technical and Vocational Education and Training that you are offering in the 21st century in Africa, especially how it is responding to challenges faced by young people and communities, as well as our economies and societies. There are many challenges facing our societies at the start of the 21st century, such as climate change, persistent poverty, lack of access to schooling, gender based violence or social injustice.

Overcoming these will require creativity, solidarity and development of knowledge, values and competences that can support transformative social learning and change. There are also opportunities that we can capitalise on such as developing energy systems that use renewable energy, or developing more collaborative economies that serve more people in more equitable ways (e.g. a sharing economy). Making use of these opportunities will also require creativity, solidarity and development of knowledge, values and competences and practices that can support transformative social learning and change. Currently our teacher education institutions are not responding well to these challenges, hence the need for this ESD professional development programme.

Ultimately, teacher education and TVET instruction must be part of a wider social change process if we are to contribute to better futures for all. There are many ways of doing this, hence we also emphasise the importance of collaborative agency and co-learning our way into sustainability.

Read Learning Action 1: ESD Policy, Context and Competences Review Course Booklet and continue to the last session of Learning Action 1.