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Method of learning for sustainable development in schools


Detailed description of the Good Practice

The method "Learning for Sustainable Development" focuses on strenghthening democratic influence among children and youths in schools by presenting and testing a new method of working for sustainable learning. With this background the municipality has produced the method package ”Learning for Sustainable Development” which presents a 5-phase work model. The model is designed to serve as an inspiration to teachers and head masters of schools who want to work with sustainability issues in which the unique thoughts and reflections of young people on the world around them can lead work forward.

The method, described in the methodsguide, includes 5 steps to go through in schools: 1)Introduction 2) Experiencing 3) Immersion 4) Knowledge through new meetings and 5) results and reporting.

The method deals with environmental education.

Objectives of the Good Practice

The method aims to strenghthen democratic influence among children and youths in schools
by lifting and learning from the unique thoughts and reflections they have in regard to the
world around them as concerns sustainability issues and in this way render the city’s vision of
the “sustainable and growing city” more alive and effective.

With support from ”Learning for Sustainable Development” the goals of a “fossil-free”
Kalmar before the year 2030” and of “improving the mental health and well-being of young
people by 25 % before the year 2014” can be combined and tested.

The methods is currently (2008) in use in schools.

Participants of the Good Practice

The method has been developed as a cooperation between municipal departments, schools and most of all, with the help of school children and their teachers: the working method has been inspired by the project S-VINDEL at Bergkvara School. S-VINDEL stands for Sun, Wind and Electricity and represents the efforts of a school class (grades 4-6) to produce their own special book on windpower – a book by children for children. The method of the Wind Power Book builds upon seeing youth as a resource in society by allowing youths themselves to describe the
world around them as they see it and convey this description to friends, parents and others.

Target group of the Good Practice

The 5-step method is targeted for the school teaachers. In addition, an important aspect of the project is to bring organizations and other societal agents (such as energy companies and the university) into the work process so that the student then can turn to
them with their questions in order to increase momentum. In this way an exchange of
knowledge and experiences is facilitated between students and society at large where adults
(such as politicians, civil servants, organisations, association representatives, head masters,
teachers and others) act as teachers along with the students contributing their reflections and
their expertise.

More Details of the Good Practice

A ‘pilot project’ called “Expedition Pårydsskolan” in which a school class works with the theme of energy and energy conservation in the local environment, has been carried out. The project has effects on three levels/dimensions by being meaningful to students (increased knowledge and experience through increased participation and influence), and having effect on the activity itself (a new educational teaching method is introduced in the school) and on the organization or society as a whole (increasingly young people will be seen as a resource in building the sustainable society).

Documentation and documents

"Managing sustainability plan for Kalmar" on SUSTAINMENT project: http://www.sustainment-project.net/content.php/main:outputs/ and in toolkit URBANworks: http://www.urbanworks-toolkit.eu/en/resources2.html


Available files

Contact details

Mr. Christian Johansson
Department for Development and International affairs
Kalmar, SE

Data sources and references

Kalmar has bee n a partner in Interreg IIIB funded project SUSTAINMENT in 2006-2007: http://www.sustainment-project.net/