Implementing education for sustainable development in the German school system: Implications for teacher education

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Education, and education for sustainable development (ESD) in particular, plays a central role in building society’s capacity to address some of the most pressing societal challenges we are facing today. This central role is reflected in the commitment of the international community to global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), one of which is to ensure an inclusive education for all. Accordingly, it has been the aim of the Global Action Programme (GAP) to further develop and disseminate the results of the UN Decade of ESD (2005-2014). To ensure adequate implementation of ESD at all levels will ultimately require a focus on teacher education, both in higher education and on the job in the form of continuing professional development (CPD). Consequently, the GAP included a key action area explicitly aiming to strengthen the capacity of educators to become learning facilitators for ESD. More and more countries are embedding ESD in their priority areas for teacher education policies and practices. However, to prepare teachers for the challenge of implementing ESD at the school level, universities and teacher-education programs must embrace pedagogies that help foster the competencies required to take action and equip teachers to serve adequately as competent change agents. In this chapter, we illustrate how ESD can be implemented in different phases of teacher education and provide examples of structural support and progress achieved in Germany.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationQuality in Teacher Education and Professional Development : Chinese and German Perspectives
EditorsJohn Chi-Kin Lee, Timo Ehmke
Number of pages19
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherTaylor and Francis Inc.
Publication date28.09.2021
ISBN (Print)9781000454147
ISBN (Electronic)9781003197973
Publication statusPublished - 28.09.2021