Sustainability Starts with Teachers - An ESD Action Learning Programme for Secondary Teacher Educators

SUSTAINABILITY STARTS WITH TEACHERS is an action learning programme that supports capacity building for southern African secondary teacher educators to respond to regional sustainable development concerns and opportunities, and to the Global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This is a UNESCO/Southern African Regional Universities Association (SARUA) international ‘Flagship’ programme of the Global Action Plan (GAP) on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). 

This project focuses on GAP Priority Action Area 3 – Building capacities of educators and trainers and is part of the Japanese Funds-in-Trust initiative “Today for Tomorrow: Coordinating and Implementing the Global Action Programme on Education for Sustainable Development”, funded by the Government of Japan (JFIT). 

Sustainability Starts with Teachers works with Secondary Teacher Educators in 60 southern African teacher education institutions (TEIs) where each TEI implements a Change Project. The programme also offers a learning network for these institutions to drive curriculum innovation and transformation of secondary teacher education towards transformation and sustainability. The Sustainability Starts with Teachers programme directly addresses Goal 4 Quality Education of the Global Goals for Sustainable Development and in particular Target 4.7.

What is a Change Project? 
A Change Project is any project that brings about change in a teacher education institution’s policy, strategy, curriculum, learning programmes, learning environments or TEI- community relationships, with implications for sustainable development ‘on the ground’.

Structure of the programme: Five learning actions

Together these learning actions ‘build up’ the Change Project over time.

International Profile
This course provides opportunities to link to international networks that are also working with the Change Project Approach in the context of the UNESCO Global Action Programmme on Education for Sustainable Development. A similar project is being developed in the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) region in partnership with UNESCO, SWEDESD and CAREC. Their programme is called "Sustainability Begins with Teachers", which is also supporting change projects in teacher education.

  • Duration 2015-2018
  • Implementing Partners UNESCO Regional Office for Southern Africa (ROSA); Southern Africa Regional University association (SARUA); Rhodes University Environmental Learning and Research Centre (ELRC); SWEDESD
  • Funders The Government of Japan (JFIT), through UNESCO Paris
  • Contact Heila Lotz-Sisitka, h.lotz-sisitka@ru.ac.za; Patience Awopegba, p.awopegba@unesco.org; Botha Kruger, botha@futurelead.co.za; Shepherd Urenje, shepherd.urenje@swedesd.uu.se