- CO2 on the way to school

On one level, the CO2nnect is an opportunity for your school to join an innovative international activity. It can also be part of a longer term process of pedagogical renewal and capacity building - school development. Here we want to discuss ideas about how your school’s approach to Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) could be linked to a wider agenda of school development and school leadership.

How strongly are sustainability and ESD embedded in the basic values and mission of your school? Some schools have gone very far with this idea and developed a vision and strategy to become an ”ESD school” or ”sustainable school”. We call this a whole-school approach to ESD. In these schools we usually find a strong and engaged school head who is concerned about sustainability and pedagogical development.

Most schools don’t have a whole-school approach to ESD. Teachers are organised in teams to do this kind of teaching or individual teachers integrate ESD into their classes and subjects.

Whatever your school’s particular situation and approach is, CO2nnect can be used to learn about ESD and build the competence of the school and its teachers to deliver this kind of education. Because CO2nnect is flexible it can be adapted to your situation and ambitions.

The competence-building benefits of participating in CO2nnect are actually quite wide in scope and are relevant for school’s organisational and pedagogical development in general. The CO2nnect activities can give your school a platform of practical experience and build an understanding of:

High quality ESD involves new kinds of relationships between the school and society and focuses on developing the potential of pupils to think and act independently and critically. Participating in CO2nnect will give the school leadership and staff an opportunity to see how this can be done in practice.

Organisational learning and school development are processes over time, and they require strong leadership and strategic plans at the school level. The same is true of integration of ESD. There are many common points between ESD and school development and it can be very productive to link them in the school’s vision and strategy.

Most countries have programmes or centers of competence where it is possible to get help and information about school development and school leadership. These links can also be a good start.

Recent work in the United Kingdom on linking school leadership, school development and a whole-school approach to ESD:

The publication: ”Building capacity and empowerment through ESD” (pdf) from the SEED Comenius network provides an international discussion of the relationship between ESD, school leadership and school development.