Gaia YES! - Youth Education for Sustainability
European Union Erasmus + Strategic Partnership
September 2020 - August 2022
With accelerating climate change and fast decreasing biodiversity, our planet is facing a convergence of multiple crises. The next generation must be given the opportunity to gain the tools to become both resilient and innovative in the face of these issues. Education has a crucial role to play here, in preparing young people for these challenges now and into the future.
An education for sustainable development approach can foster change, encouraging students to adopt multiple worldviews and to design solutions. This type of education is, however, rarely reflected within school curricula, meaning young people lack the chance to develop this holistic vision.
To meet this need, five organisations across Europe with expertise in education for sustainable development and the wider education sphere came together and initiated this project. By holistically integrating existing international knowledge, skills and approaches for sustainable development into the education systems of different countries, the project aims to provide the resources and space for young learners to develop the awareness, values and behaviours needed to take active roles in their own contexts.
The project sets out to:
Develop a comprehensive international curriculum in support of sustainable development (ESD Holistic Curriculum for Youth)
Develop a Guide for Educators
Develop an online learning environment for young people and educators
Both the Curriculum for Youth and the Guide for Educators will offer teachers and curriculum developers opportunities and suggestions surrounding how to bring sustainable development issues to young people and educational institutions. Project partner Gaia School in Estonia will also pilot a version of the new ESD curriculum.
More than 15 experts from across the five partner organisations are involved in project activities, working together to develop these materials over the course of two years. They will also prepare and lead four network seminars involving local stakeholders and young people, with an aim to gather their input for the curriculum, teacher guide, and online environment:
Seminar 1 ‘Let’s get started - framework’, Dec 2020 (virtually)
Seminar 2 ‘ESD Curriculum Development’, May 2021 (Netherlands)
Seminar 3 ‘Methodology at the heart of ESD curriculum (The Guide for Educators)’, Oct 2021 (Scotland)
Seminar 4 ‘Bringing Curriculum and Methodology together’, Feb 2022 (Spain)
The project will end with information events in each partner country, where the completed materials and collected practices will be introduced. A final conference is planned to be organised in Estonia.