Whole School Approach

for sustainable development

Young people, companies and governments in the region, nationally and internationally... more and more people are aware that the 21st century requires a change in the way we treat each other and the earth. How can we build a circular economy and a sustainable society? To a future worthy world?

More and more schools are asking themselves how they can give learning for sustainable development a place in their education. How do you anchor sustainable thinking and doing in such a way that it becomes more than the work of individual enthusiasts and the school gets sustainable thinking and doing structurally in its DNA?

Experts and educators from various backgrounds developed this foundational document for a Whole School Approach (WSA) to sustainable development. The WSA is an integrated approach in which all domains affecting learning contribute to the question of how to make the transition towards a social and green world.

The UN's seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) show which issues we need to tackle head on. The SDGs were signed by all countries of the United Nations in 2015 as the challenges we face in our time. Policies in all kinds of areas and levels are aimed at realizing these goals, but if we want to have made a solid step in this direction by 2030, it is also up to us as citizens and professionals to learn how we can contribute.

The Whole School Approach (WSA) to sustainable development supports schools to make the complexity of and connections between sustainability issues a permanent feature.

Not only in the curriculum, the pedagogical-didactical approach and the management, but also with regard to what we as educationalists have to learn in this and how the environment of the school can contribute to this. All this from a shared vision. The WSA can be used for all types of education, from elementary school to university.

In addition to explaining what the WSA is and how you can get started with it, the purpose of this basic document is also to be able to talk to each other from a common language about the integral, structural embedding of learning for sustainable development. As authors, we therefore see this as a 'living' document. We have worked on it with a diverse, expert and practically oriented team and sounding board group, but over time we will develop more in-depth and innovative insights based on everyone who is working with the WSA.

Furthermore, it is good to know that the cooperative Learning for Tomorrow has already started a follow-up trajectory based on this document, to develop further WSA tools and handles. The cooperative can also be approached for support.

We hope the Whole School Approach (WSA) to sustainable development helps you and your students and students enjoy building a green, healthy and happy school on a vital planet!

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