Empowering educators : Training for sustainable futures

Empowering educators : Training for sustainable futures

By Dr Beena Nayaken, The Universal School Ghatkopar

Empowering educators : Training for sustainable futures


The vital connection between education and sustainable development

In our journey towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), education stands as a powerful driver of change.

At Universal School, we recognize the critical role of educators in shaping a sustainable future. Recently, our teachers embarked on an enlightening online learning journey led by Andreea Gatman, exploring the transformative potential of online training for SDGs.

Guiding us through this endeavor are luminaries such as Dr. Carol Williams from the University of Wisconsin and Professor Karen O’Brien from Oslo University, Nobel Prize Winner for her contributions to understanding climate change. Their pioneering work underscores the vital connection between education and sustainable development. Dr. Williams’ modules, rooted in neuroscience and the science of well-being, foster empathy and reflection essential for driving sustainable action. Meanwhile, Professor O’Brien’s insights highlight the interconnectedness of environmental and social systems, urging us to adopt a holistic approach to sustainability.

Inspire students to become active agents of change

The power of online training for SDGs lies in its accessibility and inclusivity.

Regardless of background or location, individuals can access resources tailored to SDG priorities, democratizing education and amplifying diverse voices in the pursuit of sustainable development. Through interactive resources and virtual collaboration tools, they can inspire students to become active agents of change, equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to address pressing global challenges.

Every individual can thrive in harmony with the planet

As we conclude this journey, Universal School stands poised to embrace the transformative potential of online learning in advancing SDGs.

By empowering educators with the tools and knowledge to integrate sustainability into their teaching practices, we are nurturing a generation of global citizens committed to creating a more just, equitable, and sustainable world for present and future generations.
In collaboration with visionary leaders, we are paving the way towards a brighter, more sustainable future, where education serves as a catalyst for positive change on a global scale.

Together, let us continue to harness the power of education to build a world where no one is left behind, and every individual can thrive in harmony with the planet.

A learning journey

A learning journey

By Naseema Saiyad, Agrupamento de Escolas de Albufeira

A learning journey


“Look at the mirrors!”

Once upon a time a group of teachers decided to do something different. So they talked to a trainer and she agreed to take them across a land they had never seen before, but only heard about.

The first stop was in a cave. Inside, it was very dark, and they could see nothing, not even their trainer. But they could hear her voice: “Look at the mirrors!”, she said.

The group of teachers was surprised with this demand. How could they look at the mirrors? Where were they? They were so confused and didn’t know what to do.

So they started looking at themselves and realised that this was what the trainer meant. For what they had to do was to close their eyes and listen to their own breath, hear the echoes in their minds and look at the images passing through their heads. In this land, they learnt a bit more about themselves, and they learnt how to be aware of their inner thoughts.

This is what communication is about

After this precious lesson, their travel continued.

The next stop took them to a beautiful land, full of colours. And beautiful trees and flowers. And huge gardens and lakes. They started looking at the landscapes and said “Wow! This is really beautiful!” And suddenly they felt an urge to share with their partners what they saw, what they smelled. Share the joy they felt, their happiness. And so they started to talk to each other. They shared their views and feelings. They shared their experiences and felt happy about it.

They realised that happiness is not about experiencing something wonderful, but sharing it with the others. As they started to share, to communicate, they listened to their partners. And they realised this is what communication is about. This is what sharing is about. Talking, listening, asking, understanding the other’s feelings and experiences. And they felt a happiness they had never sensed before.

Their old world was transformed into a new one

The third stop led them to a land that looked similar to their own.

There was nothing different in it. The same things around them. Their everyday life presented in front of them. And the teachers were surprised, even disappointed. What was special about this new stop? Why had she taken them to this land? And, as if guessing what they were going through, looking at their confused faces, the trainer told them: “Look at all the things around you. But don’t look at them as before. Look at them in a special way. Find something new in them. Look at them in a different perspective!”

So they started looking at the things in a different way. And, all of a sudden, it all made sense. Their old world was transformed into a new one.

The same table, where they sat for hours, working, was now a witness to their hard work. The same vase, a vase for decoration, became a remembrance of a special moment. Everything gained a new meaning. And they started to feel thankful for what they had. Their lives took on a new dynamic.

Take advantage of the opportunities, but beware the threats

The fourth and final stop was a beautiful garden full of flowers.

Needless to say, the trainer asked them to pick a flower. They looked so nice, so full of indescribable and mysterious colours and perfume.

As they stretched their arms, they realised that as soon as they picked a flower, its smell would disappear and its colour would fade. So they had to think of some way to pick the flower so that it would continue to be as perfumed and beautiful as before. So they thought of pick it and putting it in a jar full of water. But there was a problem – when stretching the arm to pick the flower, the jar could break and, consequently, the water would spill and the flower would lose its colour and perfume.

Now their journey had come to an end. So the trainer said: “This is as far as I can go with you. In your lives, you will find lots of flowers like these. You will make plans to achieve your objectives. But there will be weaknesses in your plans. You should take advantage of the opportunities, but beware the threats! And always remember the teacher’s tools!”

And thus their journey came to an end. They all felt they wanted to learn more with this trainer. But she had to go. They felt happy and sad at the same time – happy to have had this marvellous experience, but sad because the journey had ended.

ODDience2030, la formation des enseignants

ODDience2030, la formation des enseignants

Par Caroline Gomes, Lycée Bel Orme

ODDience2030, la formation des enseignants


C'est parti !

Le projet ODDience est lancé. Nos cerveaux en ébullition à la sortie de la semaine de lancement, n’attendent plus qu’une chose : en apprendre plus sur les compétences du 21ème siècle !!!!

Mais que sont ces compétences ? Comment les intégrer dans nos enseignements ? Comment peut-on développer notre propre pensée critique ?  Tant de questions restent encore en suspens.

Un premier questionnaire arrive. Mais de quoi s’agit-il ? Comment répondre à des questions si différentes de celle abordées habituellement ?  C’est parti ! Nous commençons à nous questionner sur nos modes de pensée.

Lacher prise

La formation commence enfin. Nous voilà installés face à nos écrans. Prêts à se connecter. L’inconnu nous attend.

Le lâcher prise sera le maitre mot de ce début de formation. La relaxation, la prise en compte de notre environnement, libérer notre esprit des contraintes environnementales, voilà les premiers jalons de la formation.

Au début décontenancée, ne sachant vers où je m’engouffrais, je réussis au fur et à mesure des séances à me laisser aller et à me projeter vers un autre mode de pensée.

Ce lâché prise, surprenant au départ, m’a finalement inspirée. Je me suis laissée transportée vers d’autres approches.

Ce mode de travail et de pensée, tourné vers la nature, vers l’autre, est une opportunité, nous amenant vers d’autres méthodes de travail. Le changement climatique, les enjeux des 17 ODD  pour transformer notre monde, sont un tremplin, un prétexte aux nouvelles méthodes d’enseignement.

Réimaginer l’enseignement, prendre du recul, il s’agit de déterminer  “Qu’est-ce qu’est la pensée critique, la pensée scientifique ? En quoi les compétences du 21ème siècle, nous permettrons d’être interconnectés au monde ?”

Comment ouvrir nos perspectives ?

Ces formations tournées vers l’autre, se sont organisées en groupes de travail interdisciplinaires et internationaux. Une forte représentation de l’Inde dans chaque groupe, apporte une approche et angle différents concernant nos attitudes, nos croyances, hypothèses. Cette richesse nous amène à voir notre monde de manière interconnectée, à ouvrir nos champs de vision sur le monde et nos salles de classe.

Nos angles morts sont le centre du problème, de nos réflexions.

– Comment ouvrir nos perspectives ?

– Comment connecter les savoirs au monde qui nous entoure ?

– Comment se reconnecter à la nature ?

Ces formations nous ont tout d’abord bousculé. Changer sa façon d’aborder un sujet, n’est pas si facile. Mais comment faire évoluer l’enseignement si nous ne passons pas par cette étape ?

Nous nous tournons à présent vers un coapprentissage. Etudiant et enseignant œuvrent ensemble pour se décentrer vers une pensée critique, tournée vers les objectifs du développement durable. Connaissances et compétences demeurent interconnectées pour donner un sens au monde, former les jeunes à être des acteurs citoyens de demain.

Nous voilà engagés vers un nouvel apprentissage qui deviendra possible pour les élèves et les enseignants dans le cadre de l’éducation durable.

Teaching with SDG’s

Teaching with SDG’s

By Nina Tervala, Vaskivuoren lukio

Teaching with SDG's


A meditative moment

Andreaa Gatman gave our Erasmus group and their colleagues training in four separate sessions of 90 minutes from Feb24 to April 24.

Each session started with a mindful moment where we focused our attention on breathing or images or thoughts. A meditative moment is a good way to start a training session.

For us it was afternoon, the moment of hunger and fatigue. A little meditation can be something that wakes up the the spirit and gives strength to take up new tasks. I have to admit, that my ability to stop, close my eyes and focus on anything was not that great. Being on-line makes it significantly more difficult.

the sessions were full of information

Andreea has done a lot of research and the sessions were full of information and quotes from different articles and books individuals. We were given tasks and reading to do before each session and I managed to do part of the tasks in time.

In each session we had tasks to do in smaller groups in break out rooms. It was interesting to share ideas with new people from different countries i.e. France, Portugal and India. At times we understood the directions differently and probably did not execute the exercices as they were meant, but we did have a lot to talk about.

School is at the same time different and similar in different countries. People are the same and completely different at the same time.

It took me a while to understand that I won’t necessarily be getting any concrete tools from these sessions for my teaching. I could of course use the practices we had done, but having done one practice on-line once doesn’t qualify me for anything. The target of these sessions didn’t seem clear to me during the course.

Now I think that the aim was to start a change in us. Towards, maybe, understanding the importance of change.

There is so much to do and so little time. I think Andreea struggles with this too and maybe gave us so much information, shared so many names and thoughts that I didn’t have time to digest it all.

letting the new generation become the best possible version of themselves

The challenge in on-line communication for the coach is that they don’t get the reactions of their public. Many of us failed to see what was written on the slides and some had difficulties with the English language.

The on-line pedagogy cannot be the same than teaching in class. This problematic needs more attention in future sessions.

“ When we teach with SDG’s” was said many times. What does it actually mean? I have ideas, I may be right, I may be wrong or at least haven’t gotten everything in consideration.

Anyway, my teaching equals to my being with people in general. I hope to be at all times not judgemental, look at the person in the eyes and hope to understand what they need right now.

Teaching is not about me it’s about them, letting the new generation become the best possible version of themselves.

The task is simple and difficult. There are so many factors interfearing, threats and misinformation, you name it. But there is no option, we have to keep on believing in good. I refuse loosing hope.