Educacion Archives - Earth Charter

Education for sustainable development and cities in Latin America and the Caribbean

IMG-20170426-WA0001The Earth Charter Center for Education for Sustainable Development was invited to participate in the Latin America and Caribbean Workshop on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) and cities, organized by the Global Action Programme on ESD, which took place on 26-28 April 2017 in Villa María, Argentina.

This workshop was part of a series of regional workshops that have been taking place in all regions of the world, with the aim to sensitize about the integration of ESD at the local level, supporting the implementation of the sustainable development goals (SDGs).
The occasion helped participants to learn about different initiatives that municipalities and different institutions associated with local governments are doing to put in practice education for sustainability.

rgentina-Education-Sustainable-Development-citiesThe Earth Charter Center supported UNESCO in the identification of several participants, and during the event, Alicia Jimenez represented the Earth Charter and had different roles, such as moderating, speaking and facilitating several sessions.


In parallel, the Regional Workshop on Learning Cities was held, organized by the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning. Although both events had their defined objectives, the idea was to seek synergies to promote ESD within the network of learning cities.

Villa María was the host city of this event. It is a city of 100,000 inhabitants with an advanced local government, which is putting into practice very interesting projects of education and citizenship empowerment, such as the Children’s Parliament. This initiative invites children to participate in democratic processes, and to implement projects of their interest with a budget that the Municipality gives them.

Argentina Learning Cities

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Earth Charter presentation in California by Professor Sam Crowell

Photo workshop Sam


On February 20, Sam Crowell presented an introduction to the Earth Charter to almost 150 people from a local community action group in Idyllwild, California. Idyllwild is a small mountain village in southern California that is surrounded by national and state forests, with snow-capped peaks rising to almost 11,000 feet in elevation. It is a community noted for its commitment to the arts and to the environment.


Photo 1

The group, “Indivisible Idyllwild,” was formed to engage the Idyllwild community in an on-going dialogue around issues and policies affecting the poor and disenfranchised, sustainability, and social equality of women, LGBT, and immigrants – all impacted by the rhetoric and mandates of the Trump administration. The group’s mission is to work toward “sustainable economic, environmental, and social justice for all,” focusing first on the community and region, but also joining with others to advance these causes nationally.

Sam pointed out that the Earth Charter offers a compatible vision that emphasizes respect for diversity, care for the environment and all communities of life, a call to social and economic justice, and the commitment to peace and non-violence.  Sam suggested that the Earth Charter principles and values can offer two significant things for the group: 1) inspiration and guidance for engaged action; and 2) a planetary vision that connects what is done locally to a shared vision of peoples around the world.

Foto SamLocal efforts make a difference. When the energy of those actions is combined with a planetary vision of love, care, and compassion, then it is amplified in positive and profound ways. Finding a role for the Earth Charter in these contexts makes the Charter relevant to today’s world. “Let ours be a time remembered for the awakening of a new reverence for life, the firm resolve to achieve sustainability, the quickening of the struggle for justice and peace, and the joyful celebration of life.”

For the seventh time, Sam will be co-facilitating with Mirian Vilela a master class on Education, Ethics, and Values for Sustainability: Transformative Teaching and Learning with the Earth Charter at the Earth Charter Center in Costa Rica, on July 3 – 7, 2017.

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Transformative Learning and the Earth Charter Course

transformative-learning-hathawayFrom February 20 to 24, the Earth Charter Center for ESD successfully offered for the 3rd time the Executive Programme: “Education for Sustainability, Transformative Learning and the Earth Charter” facilitated by Mark Hathaway and Mirian Vilela.

A group of 23 people from different sectors have immersed themselves in this intensive week long programme to expand understanding on the Earth Charter, Education for Sustainable Development and experience related pedagogies of learning based on values for sustainability.

“(In this course I have acquired new knowledge) which has made me think about how we could explicitly apply the Earth Charter in organizational processes.” Participant’s evaluation (Costa Rica)

The course has been very interactive. Using hands, body, mind and spirit, participants have deepen their knowledge of the Earth Charter principles and transformative learning.

This course is offered in Spanish once a year, in February. We look forward to seeing you next year!

“I was fascinated by this course and for having the opportunity to meet such special people … The experience was both fabulous and necessary.” Participant’s evaluation (Costa Rica)



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Doctoral thesis on traditional stories as educational tools based on the Earth Charter

Tesis portadaIn 2016, Dr. Grian A. Cutanda, from the University of Granada, Spain, presented his doctoral thesis on the use of traditional stories as educational tools to convey a complex-systems worldview on the basis of systems thinking and the values and principles of the Earth Charter.

Dr. Cutanda analyzed and collected 336 myths, legends, fables and folktales from all around the world to illustrate the different principles of the Charter. His thesis advisors, Dr. Alfonso Fernández Herrería and Dr. Francisco Miguel Martínez Rodríguez, from the Faculty of Education of the University of Granada, have been involved for many years in the Earth Charter and in education research related to the role of emotions in education processes. Dr. Jane Brown, from Moray House School of Education of the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, was the methodology director of the research work.

The author believes that the Education Sciences are called to play a decisive role in the necessary change of mentality that lead us to overcome the state of true planetary emergency in which systems scientists forecasts point to a breakdown, as the different “educations for change” have proven ineffective in achieving this social transformation.

Tesis 2The thesis attempts to offer two different contributions: a theoretical proposal, which aims to overcome the shortcomings of educations for change; and a practical proposal, based on the previous one, which seeks to provide a vast repository of educational resources aimed at social change in worldview.

The theoretical proposal, set up on the works of Stephen Sterling, Gregory Bateson and Donella H. Meadows, among others, includes the development of a worldview education as a confluence node for the different educations for change, as well as the introduction of transpersonal education in teacher training.

The practical proposal is based on Ecopedagogy, Ethics of Care, Deep Ecology and the Earth Charter, and offers some initial tools for education in a complex-systems, integrative, holistic and ecological worldview.

Dr. Cutanda´s research was awarded the ¨sobresaliente cum laude¨ distinction and it was included among the candidates to the special prize of doctorate at the University of Granada, which means that if it results winner of the prize, the doctoral thesis will be published by the university. This excellent piece of work is available in Spanish, with an English summary.

Click here to read the English summary of the thesis.


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Earth Charter Affiliate shares case studies on Leaders in Education for Sustainability

Kim Corrigan photoKimberly Corrigan, Vice President for Global Leadership at Global Visionaries and Earth Charter International Affiliate, wrote an article with three case studies on Leaders in Education for Sustainability, published in the Shelburne Farms Sustainable Schools Project 2016 on Educating for Sustainability.

The article includes a triple case study involving Noah Zeichner, award-winning high school social studies teacher at Chief Sealth International High School in Seattle, Jing Fong, inspiring storyteller and manager of YES! Magazine, a nonprofit and subscriber-supported independent media organization, and co-founders of The SEED Collaborative, Stacy Smedley and Ric Cochrane, two architects focused on transforming schools into exceptional environments for learning.

¨In my view, educating for sustainability, by its very nature, demands that we offer our K-12 students hands-on, inquiry-based, interdisciplinary curricula that build core academic knowledge, as well as skills in critical-, creative-, and systems thinking¨, expressed Corrigan.

The author offers a context for educating for sustainability: global issues, and suggests a tool to explore the world as a Community and to help students and teachers engage in robust discussion and take on action projects using the world as community. This tool is the Earth Charter.

Kim Corrigan article 2Corrigan stated: ¨Global sustainability education encourages educators and students to engage together in developing the skills and knowledge needed to understand 21st century challenges, envision effective and equitable remedies, and implement positive solutions that serve the common good and the planet upon which we all rely¨.

 The author describes The Charter as a powerful and provocative primary document that calls for interdependence and universal and differentiated responsibility for creating a more just, sustainable, and peaceful world, and says it is ideal for educators and students to discuss how it was created and what it proclaims, and to debate its vision and values.

Corrigan suggests that teachers and students can also use the 16 principles of the Charter (which are available in over 50 languages), to learn about other complex topics and perplexing tensions, such as independence and interdependence, individual action and structural change, mitigation and adaption, and the role and value of certain realities often missing from discussions in our particular culture of surety and rugged individualism: realities of limits, doubt, forgiveness, empathy, fragility, insecurity, and impermanence.


To read the three case studies mentioned by the author go to:

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Earth Charter article published in Ambientico Magazine, UNA Costa Rica

Revista AmbienticoWe would like to share the October 2016 issue of Ambientico Magazine, published by the School of Environmental Sciences at the National University of Costa Rica. The publication develops an analysis of the work that has been done in 2016 in the public universities of Costa Rica, as part of the initiative of the Universities for Mother Earth year.

This volume includes an article on the Earth Charter and its integration in efforts to hold, within the universities, an ethic of respect and care for Mother Earth.

This issue of the Ambientico magazine is available here (available in Spanish only). To have access to the printed version please write to:

Content of this issue:

  • José Luis Zúñiga Zúñiga. EARTH ASKS FOR JUSTICE




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International Conference: The values to face the world’s challenges in Puerto Rico

congreso-conference-puerto-rico The Earth Charter Center for Education for Sustainable Development was invited to participate in the International Conference: The values to face the world’s challenges, that took place in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on February 12th and 13th, 2016. Around 200 people participated, mostly teachers from different areas of Puerto Rico.

The conference was organized by the Metropolitan University of Puerto Rico with the support of the University of Granada, Spain. One of the main objectives was to present the preliminary results of the research that these universities have conducted over the past two years on the values of young people in Puerto Rico. In addition to presenting these results, six different workshops related to education and values about sustainability and peace were offered.

The Earth Charter Center for ESD organized one of these workshops, “Educating for sustainability with the Earth Charter”, which was facilitated by Alicia Jimenez. Other Earth Charter related workshops were offered by Dr. María Vilches, of the Metropolitan University, whose workshop title was “Connecting with ourselves, activities for using the Earth Charter”. The other one was offered by Dr. Alfonso Fernández, of the University of Granada, who presented the workshop “Reconnecting with nature. Relaxation and guided visualization”.

The Secretary of Education, Prof. Rafael Roman, gave the opening address in which he reflected on the importance of knowing what young people think are the values that guide their lives. With regards to education, he said that one should not “teach” about values, but live and reflect on them.

Dr. Andres Soriano of the University of Granada gave a presentation on the main findings of the research project on the values of Puerto Rico’s youth. This presentation was extended in a parallel session on Friday afternoon. Dr. Soriano started with their working definition of “values”, which refers to anything that has an important quality, that does not leave us indifferent, which produces pleasure or desire, gives value, and directs human life. Values have no meaning if not contextualized. The overall objective of the research was to describe the values of young Puerto Ricans in their individual, social, and cultural dimensions. About 1,800 young people from 11 to 19 years old from all regions of the island were interviewed.

The information collected, which needs to be analyzed in detail, yielded data such as preferences in types and number of friends, and participation in community organizations and social movements, which are popular and highly valued. A majority of young people interviewed highly valued the care of the environment, and they also perceive themselves as having a significant influence on adults. An interesting result is that the majority of interviewees declined to respond on issues related to violence and conflicts.

It is expected that the results of this research will be discussed with teachers and will help influence the formation of educational public policies that will increase the contextualization of values .


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Earth Charter Center for Education for Sustainable Development Executive Programmes 2016


unitwin_cr_earth_charter_upeace_en-2The Earth Charter Center hopes you can make it to one of our cutting edge programmes this year. Have a look at our offerings over the next several months.

Sustainability, Leadership and Decision Making: Learning from Failures and Successes May 23 – 27. An opportunity to share experiences, dialogue, and deepen understanding on core sustainability values and principles. In English. More information here.

Innovaciones en Liderazgo: Sostenibilidad, Ética y Toma de Decisiones Dirigido a tomadores de decisiones de los sectores gubernamental, empresarial y sociedad civil. 13 – 17 junio. En Español. Mas información aquí.

Education, Ethics, & Values for Sustainability: Transformative Teaching and Learning with the Earth Charter This masterclass is designed for educators in formal and informal settings: schools, universities, NGOs, training centers or any learning environment. In English.July 18 – 22. More information here.

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Earth Charter International launches new website

The Earth Charter has a new online home with a new, cleaner look.

The Earth Charter has a new website and this online home for the global movement and for Earth Charter International includes modern aesthetics and tools. ECI is very happy to have moved the online aspect of the Earth Charter movement to a modern and flexible website. The Virtual Library will also be easier to search for visitors doing research or seeking specific resources. ECI will be working on improving the website over the coming months to make the experience of learning about the Earth Charter and finding useful resources better and easier.

We hope that you will visit the site frequently and take advantage of the numerous free resources in our virtual library, as well as stay up-to-date with happenings within the global movement, the youth network, and education programmes. Let us know what you think!

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National Forum on Education for Sustainable Development

esd-forum-costa-rica-nov-2015 In November 2015, the first Forum on Education for Sustainable Development was held in Costa Rica.

Earth Charter International collaborated with the Costa Rican Network of Sustainable Educational Institutions (REDIES) and the Ministry of Education to co-organize the first National Forum on Education for Sustainable Development, held in the Research Center of the University of Costa Rica. About 200 people, most high school teachers participated in this Forum.

The idea of organizing this forum emerged from interest within the Costa Rican educational sector to promote sustainable development. For that reason, the organizers wanted to open a space to present and learn about the current situation of education for sustainable development globally and nationally, the progress in building policies for ESD at the Ministry of Education, and learning about a number of successful experiences through keynote presentations. Earth Charter International Executive Director Mirian Vilela gave one of the keynote speeches.

There was also an interactive space where participants worked in groups to discuss and make recommendations on the following topics:

• Mainstreaming: Theoretical exercise or actual implementation?

• What kind of teaching is required for implementation of ESD?

• Sustainable Schools: Internalization of environmental culture

The experiences of these schools were shared during the forum:

• Technical School Isaias Retana, Pedregoso de Perez Zeledon

• Highschool of Pejivalle, Tuqurrique

• School Jose Cubero Muñoz, Carmen de Guadalupe

• Abraham Lincoln School, Alajuelita

• Primary and Secondary School CEUNA

And other non-formal education initiatives:

• Ecological Blue Flag Program, the National Water Laboratory AyA

• Educational programs of the Organization for Tropical Studies

• System of indicators used in the Costa Rican Network of Sustainable Educational Institutions

• Biological Education Program of the Guanacaste Conservation Area, MINAE

As a result of the Forum, participants pledged in a Final Declaration to: Strengthen and expand Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) in Costa Rican educational institutions, promoting the principles of sustainability including: sustainable lifestyles; good environmental management practices; mainstreaming sustainability in the curriculum; sharing experiences and synergies between institutions; strengthening teaching skills; promoting opportunities for student participation in sustainability projects that promote problem solving and continuous improvement.

All information related to this forum (programme, presentations, final declaration) can be found through this link, in Spanish only:

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