Education is at the heart of creating a more sustainable future. A just and peaceful society cannot be attained without everyone learning to live together sustainably. By empowering all of us to change the way we think and act, Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) aims to transform society towards peace and sustainability through reorienting education and learning. As the UN General Assembly recognizes in its resolution 72/222 adopted in December 2017, ESD is ‘a vital means of implementation for sustainable development’ and ‘a key enabler’ of all the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The role of the teacher is crucial in fostering citizens who make informed and conscious decisions for a sustainable future. Teachers can act as key change agents in transforming education and society. By integrating ESD in teacher education, learning methods and content can be reoriented towards sustainability. It is in this context that building the capacities of teachers and educators has been identified as a priority action area by the Global Action Programme (GAP) on ESD, which provides the international framework for accelerating and scaling up ESD actions in countries around the world.
As part of the GAP initiative, this publication, Integrating Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) in Teacher Education in South-East Asia: A Guide for Teacher Educators, was developed. It aims to support teacher educators in exploring their own methods of integrating ESD, thereby making education more relevant and responsive to the critical sustainability challenges of the local community, the country, the South-East Asia region and the world. We hope that this guide will be useful for all those seeking to incorporate sustainability concepts, principles and values in teaching and learning in order to contribute to a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable society.