Teacher training takes on ESD - Mexico

In collaboration with the Mexican National Commission for UNESCO and within the framework of ASPnet activities, the Centre developed a strategy to promote environmental education for sustainable development as an integral part of quality education.


Project objective:

To incorporate key dimensions pertaining to the environment and to sustainability in school curricula from pre-school to adult education

Project implementation:

A collegial, comprehensive and interdisciplinary approach was used to introduce and reinforce environmental education for sustainable development in pre-school, primary, secondary and adult education. Emphasis was placed on in-service training for teachers and academics, the improvement of databases and pedagogical resource materials, and monitoring and evaluation of successes and failures, using external expertise. Topics of social responsibility included gender equality, education for health and for peace, the rational use of resources and care for the environment. One of the main principles that emerged from this initiative was the need to take into account local culture, history, knowledge and customs, while strengthening the feeling of belonging and being an integral part of one’s environment. 

The project was conducted from 1995 to 2008 and included training workshops, seminars, congresses, forums and distance education. A reforestation campaign was launched involving the community and an environmental literacy programme was set up for parents from remote areas. New teaching units were added to textbooks, including such topics as biodiversity, pollution and deforestation, and a new subject entitled Cultural and Natural Heritage in Tabasco was offered in the secondary school curricula. This experience was also shared with other countries such as Costa Rica, Cuba, Germany, Portugal and Spain. The main problem encountered was a lack of funds. It is expected that the project will be pursued by developing new approaches for addressing the issue of global warming.


Project results:

  • Introduction/reinforcement of environmental education for sustainability from pre-school to adult education;
  • Ten publications;
  • An anthology: Our Pedagogy for the Environment (financed under the UNESCO Participation Programme)

Impact of the project:

Many teachers, pupils and students were involved in this project and benefited from it. In the training and re-training of primary school teachers a special “Qualification in Environmental Education and Sustainability” diploma gave recognition to their newly acquired expertise and contributions. Short stories prepared for pre-school children were produced and transmitted by the local television station. The project involved and impacted on many partners from various institutions such as universities, the Ministry of Education, the Sustainable Development Network and the Mexican National Commission for UNESCO.