Edited By Fernando J. Gonçalves, Ruth Pereira and Walter Leal Filho
Chapter 8: Education for Sustainable Development in Primary Schools: Contributions from the Development of a Teacher Training Program
Chapter 8 Education for Sustainable Development in Primary Schools: Contributions from the Development of a Teacher Training Program Patricia Sá, Isabel P. Martins Abstract At the beginning of this new century, characterized by complexity, unpredictability and uncertainty, human beings face severe and multiple socio-economic and environmental problems. The Decade of Education for Sustainable Development, proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly for the period 2005-2014, launched the challenge of an education based on a correct perception of the current planet situation and oriented towards solidarity, social equity and environmental sustainability. International Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) guidelines and orientations emphasize the need for: life-long learning; formal, non-formal and informal education; strategies, activities and resources diversity and inter and trans-disciplinary approaches. Teachers, of all educational levels, are key elements to achieve these goals. However, national and international literature (Freitas 2004, 2006; Ko and Lee 2003; Martins 1998; Praia, Edwards, Gil-Pérez and Vilches 2001; Sá and Martins 2005) shows that teachers’ percep- tions regarding the current planet situation tend to be fragmented and superficial. The importance of teacher training programmes in the field of ESD is accen- tuated by different authors (Arima, Konaré, Lindberg and Rockefeller 2004; Fien and Tilbury 1998; Freitas 2006; Gil-Pérez and Vilches 2005, 2006; Hesselink, van Kenpam and Wals 2000; Hopkins and McKeown 2001, 2005; Pedrosa and Leite 2005; Pellaud 2001, 2002, 2003; Scoullos 2004), highlighting the impor- tance of teacher education to consistent practice (re)orientation. Being aware that teachers’ perceptions are fundamental to practice...
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