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4.1. Education and learning for sustainable development

Aim: “Learning to change our world” – is how the UN decade for education for sustainable development was introduced. The decade challenges all countries to develop a new competence of action, where practice, theory and the making of choices are all of equal importance. The session will present 5 approaches to the challenge from the primary school, higher education, local authority, workplace and life long learning sectors. Both Local and National authorities have an important role and responsibility in organizing this kind of development – alone and in partnership with different kind of groups of actors that need to be involved in the society.

Facilitator: Kirsten Paaby, Senior Adviser, the Ideas Bank Foundation, Norway
Rapporteur: Sinikka Suomalainen, MSc, Centre for Continuing Education, Åbo Akademi, Finland

Sustainable development programmes into all schools and educational units

Finnish National Commission on Sustainable Development and the Ministry of Education and Culture have in their Sustainable Development strategies set the target, that all Finnish schools and educational institutes would develop their own programme for sustainable development. With the help of that programme the learning a sustainable lifestyle would be made a systematic part of education and everyday life in the schools. The entire school community takes part in building up the programme. To support the process there are several tools, such as the international Green flag-programmes (Eco-Schools) and national certification of the sustainable development for educational institutes.
Aino Alasentie, Green flag - chief, The Finnish Association for Environmental Education, Finland and Erkka Laininen, Head of planning, OKKA-foundation, Finland

Green buffé - success, special lunch time in schools

The consumption of vegetables (fibres, vitamins and minerals) has increased among children and teenagers by introducing sapere, i.e. ”taste training”, in the school’s education and at the same time introducing a vegetarian buffet in a school’s food project, Operation food in school. The project introduces the importance of the meal’s central role in the school, in the educational work, among the parents and as a priority in economic and political decisions.
Harriet Strandvik, Project leader for Operation Food in school, Finland

Case AALTO-ICE – Integrating Continuing Education and Sustainable development

The continued education units of the Aalto University were joined in year 2010 and this required adoption of common working methods. In the AALTO-ICE –project the continued education providers have developed a working model, where by combining technical, design and entrepreneurship the offers of sustainable development education are planned. In addition to this, practices for integration of sustainable development perspectives into existing education were developed. The presentation shares the learning outcomes for orientation towards sustainable development thematics of the project group, presents the challenges of integration and examines the meaning of the sustainable development for continued education.
Heli Paalamo, Head of Education, Aalto University, Finland

Civic formation sustains

Each of us influence the earth’s future by our daily choices, our knowledge and our values. Civic formation and citizens’ participation is a key to sustainable community development – and need to go hand in hand with the technology. In the Nordic countries we have a strong tradition for both approaches. Some years ago The Nordic Network for Adult Education took the initiative to collect and disseminate best practices which tell stories about how each of us and in community can contribute. The best practices can be used in study circles and together with related articles they address the following questions: How can we – at both the local and national level – develop and improve the dialogue between citizens and the local authorities and how does improving knowledge help creating political pressure towards a more sustainable future?
Ellen Stavlund, Project Leader, NVL, Norway

Environmental management trainings in Oslo Green Capital - life long learning at the workplace

Environmental management implies efforts towards transport, use of energy, waste and procurement. The City of Oslo has decided to implement environmental management by certifying all entities in the municipality as Eco-Lighthouses or ISO 14001. To motivate the employees in contributing actively to a sustainable development employees are participating in training courses concerning sustainable practice. The Eco-Lighthouse foundation in Norway is an environmental managing system and improves environmental efforts in small and medium sized companies. It is aimed towards all activity in public entities, industry, transportation, trade and commerce. Companies that go through an environmental analysis and match criteria set by the Eco-Lighthouse Programme are awarded with certificates. The dimension of education plays an important part. At the moment 552 entities have been certified in Oslo, of these 350 public entities.
Kjersti Helgeland Bohlin, Senior Adviser, The Department of Transport and Environmental affairs, the City of Oslo
Mads B. Nakkerud, Senior Adviser, the Ideas Bank Foundation

Summary of parallel session 4.1 Education and learning for sustainable development

Aino Alasentie and Erkka Laininen: Sustainable development programmes into all schools and educational units
The presentation told about development of own programme for sustainable development in all Finnish schools and educational institutes, where the entire school community takes part in building up the programme. To support the process there are several tools, such as the international Green flag-programmes (Eco-Schools) and national certification of the sustainable development for educational institutes.

Harriet Strandvik: Green buffé - success, special lunch time in schools

The presentation highlighted the project Operation food in school introducing the importance of the meal’s central role in the school, in the educational work, among the parents and as a priority in economic and political decisions thank to which the consumption of vegetables (fibres, vitamins and minerals) has increased among children and teenagers.

Heli Paalamo: Case AALTO-ICE – Integrating Continuing Education and Sustainable development

The presentation introduces the AALTO-ICE –project where the continued education providers have developed a working model, where by combining technical, design and entrepreneurship the offers of sustainable development education are planned. In addition to this, practices for integration of sustainable development perspectives into existing education were developed. The presentation shares the learning outcomes for orientation towards sustainable development thematics of the project group, presents the challenges of integration and examines the meaning of the sustainable development for continued education.

Ellen Stavlund: Civic formation sustains

The presentation was devoted to the initiative of the Nordic Network for Adult Education to collect and disseminate best practices which tell stories about how each of us and in community can contribute, how the dialogue between citizens and the local authorities can be developed and improved and how improving knowledge helps creating political pressure towards a more sustainable future

Kjersti Helgeland Bohlin and Mads B. Nakkerud: Environmental management trainings in Oslo Green Capital - life long learning at the workplace

The presentation described the decision of the City of Oslo to implement environmental management by certifying all entities in the municipality as Eco-Lighthouses or ISO 14001. It is aimed towards all activity in public entities, industry, transportation, trade and commerce. Companies that go through an environmental analysis and match criteria set by the Eco-Lighthouse Programme are awarded with certificates. At the moment 552 entities have been certified in Oslo, of these 350 public entities.

Panel discussion