The Basque experience of Education for sustainability: School Agenda21

What is it?

It is an educative program for the sustainability and the quality of the educative centre. It is based on participation of the community and takes part and collaborates with the sustainable development of the municipality.

As a program of Environmental Education its purpose is to develop knowledge, capacities, attitudes, motivation and commitments to do one´s best in the resolution of the environmental problems.

These are its main characteristics:

  • The inclusion of two areas: the school and the place students live in.
  • The participation of the educative community as the pillar of the project.
  • The pupils are the main protagonist (leaders)
  • It fosters the responsibility and sustainability at management.
  • It  promotes the  curriculum innovation
  • It is supported by two Departments of the Basque Government.
  • It includes an advisory board of INGURUGELA composed by 17 training teachers specialized in Environmental Education 

Who are involved in it?

The educative community in its totality:

  • The teaching staff deals with the program and is in charge of the curriculum innovation
  • The pupils (students) are the true protagonist in all the phases of its development.
  • The families participate in the organization and activities and they offer a model of responsible green citizens at home
  • The non-teaching staff participates in the organization of the program, the diagnosis and the management of the resources. 

How is it organized

The program requires an integrated organization in the structure of the school. The following structures and people in charge are fundamental.

  • The Coordinator, person in charge of starting  up the project and  leading it.
  • The Support Team, it is integrated (formed) by teachers and a representation of the direction. Its duty is the daily organization of the project.
  • The Environmental Committee, space of participation for the educative community. All the agents are represented and they decide the main lines of the program (planning, action plan, evaluation…).
  • The local coordination meetings, spaces of cooperation between the educative centers. In them the coordinators of the schools meet altogether with the local environmental technician and the advisor of Ingurugela.

What is it about?

Scholar Agenda21 is developed around an environmental problem which takes as reference the goals of the Basque Environmental Strategy.

The sustainability applies to a great variety of subjects: biodiversity, climatic change, water, wastes, energy, habits of consume, transport and mobility…

The subject must work around these three axes or scopes:

  • The sustainable management
  • The curriculum innovation
  • The participation of the educative community.

How is it developed?

It is developed in five phases:

  • Organization and planning: the bases of the organization and the initial planning are defined by the coordinator and the support team.
  • Awareness and motivation: it is fundamental to obtain the participation of the educative community. It is better to design it as an specific plan.
  • Diagnosis: to picture  the situation of the school at the beginning of the project. The scrutiny reaches the three axes of the program.  It is also the moment to analyze the situation of the environmental situation of the municipality.
  • Action plan: In this phase, depending on the diagnosis results they decide which activities they are going to carry out in their school and their surrounding. In order to develop the plan, improvement objectives, the actions to obtain them, indicators to assess  the positive results.
  • Communication and evaluation: It constitutes an special phase because it is developed through the whole project and because it has some very especial characteristics  

How is it communicated?

The purpose of the communication is to present the (path) trajectory and the results of the Scholar 21 Agenda and that they reach all the members of the educative community. In this phase they have special relevance the forums:

  • Interschool forum: Platform formed fundamentally by the students of the educative centers of the municipality, its assignment is to prepare the Municipal Scholar Forum.
  • Municipal Scholar Forum: place where the pupils present the results of their work, the acquired commitments and the proposals to the local representatives (mayor, councilmen…). 

How is it assesed?

The evaluation is a critical reflection to review, to value and to improve the process of the Scholar Agenda21. The evaluation is made throughout the whole process, but it is end of it the suitable moment to see if the activities have been successful in reaching the targets set at the beginning.  

The evaluation implies three moments in which they are made:

  • The initial evaluation, via the diagnosis.
  • The assessment of the Action Plan, via the indicators assigned to the objectives.
  • The final assessment, via the report submitted in June.  It evaluates the project as a whole,  both its progress and the goals achieved. 

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