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The main purpose of the online Teacher Education thematic discussions is to promote inter-RCE networking, foster social learning and encourage collaborative partnerships on teacher education for sustainable development.

Community members

Margaret Fleming
Jos Eussen
Professor Geoff Scott
Niels Larsen
Wan, Lu
Ekaterina Muravyeva
Kiran Banga Chhokar
Abel Atiti
Marlene Mader
Lyle Benko RCE Saskatchewan CANADA

Teacher Education and Better Schools

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Owner: Abel Atiti

Community members: 12


There is need to equip teachers with competencies required to address increasingly complex and contextual sustainable development challenges. One of the core elements of a Regional Centre of Expertise (RCE) is a contribution to the reorientation of existing education programmes to address sustainability issues within a local context.  RCEs, both individually (local level) and collectively (global level) are providing platforms for information sharing, dialogue and collaboration for reorientation of teacher education and ESD. A number of RCEs are active in promoting the integration of principles, values and practices of sustainability to aspects of education and teaching in the regions they operate. This was evident during the 2011 Global RCE Conference in Kerkrade, the Netherlands.

Participants in teacher education thematic discussions shared ongoing collaborative projects on the integration of sustainable development in teacher education. There was broad consensus on the need for a quality teacher education model, though the question remained on how to ensure this would happen effectively. In terms of a concrete path forward, it was agreed that the creation of a global learning space on Teacher Education was necessary. In addition, discussants suggested there was a need to challenge Member States with evidence, to create linkages between the “quality model” and school development processes, and to shift the culture around peer training of teachers. Towards this end, it was suggested that a small working group comprising various RCEs draft a working paper on Teacher Education for wider sharing.

A small working group was constituted early this year and a Skype meeting between some of the members (RCE Greater Western Sydney, RCE East Midlands and RCE Saskatchewan) was held on 20 April 2012. It was suggested that it would be more feasible to focus on developing a position paper that individual RCEs would use to influence the provision of teacher education for sustainable development in their regions. The first step in the formulation of such a paper would be to undertake a simple survey (a stock-take) to provide evidence to support RCEs position on teacher education for sustainable development.

The following points were suggested as initial steps in the stock-take process (mapping survey) in teacher education:

  • Scope the full range of teacher education possibilities.
  • Pick one teacher education sector to focus on (e.g. secondary teacher education).     
  • Develop a methodology based on a simple template for collecting evidence.
  • RCEs contact key leadership groups (e.g. Councils of Deans of Education; departments in School Education) for the selected teacher education sector to identify good practice, indicators and challenges/solutions related to Teacher Education.
  • Draw on the experiences from countries (e.g. Canada, Australia) where a similar stock-take exercise (mapping survey) on teacher education has been carried out.

The purpose of this online discussion is to encourage collaborative reflection on teacher education with a view to coming up with further strategies aimed at influencing policy in teacher education both at local and national levels. Your input and particpation towards implementing the above-mentioned suggestions is required.

By engaging with each other through this online platform, and later during the Global RCE Conference thematic session on 23 September 2012, it is envisaged that we shall identify possible areas for collaborative action on teacher education for sustainable development. In this way, RCEs will play a key role in the creation of new, more sustainable teacher education institutions and schools.

Brief description: The main purpose of the online Teacher Education thematic discussions is to promote inter-RCE networking, foster social learning and encourage collaborative partnerships on teacher education for sustainable development.



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