Environmental awareness, combating climate change and attention to sustainability have become increasingly topical issues in recent years.
In the context of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) identified by the United Nations, as well as from numerous insights and analyses carried out by specialized agencies and academia, education is recognized as one of the most appropriate responses to address with a systemic approach the growing challenges related to sustainable development. Indeed, through education and knowledge it is possible to acquire the tools that enable more responsible action, in the direction of the desired change for the protection of the Planet and for a new balance between people and the environment.
Starting from these assumptions, we have decided to support a research path on education for sustainable development in Italy, together with Fondazione Giangiacomo Feltrinelli, an integrated cultural center of national and international importance, which promotes research and debate on the most urgent challenges of contemporaneity, on transformations taking place and their impact on future scenarios of coexistence and quality of life for citizens.
The path, undertaken at the end of 2022, promotes the launch of two parallel two-year research programs, carried out with the involvement of the academic world with the aim of deepening education for sustainable development in the Italian context, also through a comparative analysis with other countries.
The first program, “The School that Matters. Contents and techniques for doing education for sustainable development” focuses on the school system and aims to investigate:
- The status quo of education for sustainable development in the Italian public school. Where are we in comparison with other European countries? For what do we differ? Which results and benefits were produced so far in Italy?
- Actions to be taken. What programs and interventions appear necessary to strengthen our school system? What teaching methods and methodologies are most effective for doing education for sustainable development?
The second program, “Educating Cities” focuses on out-of-school settings and aims to explore:
- the spaces, languages and tools, out of school, through which young people are informed and educated about sustainable development issues. What role do social media play?
- what are the out-of-school practices and projects, promoted by civil society and the third sector, that have a virtuous impact on young people’s education for sustainable development?
- what is and what can be the role of the private sector in promoting and enabling formal and informal education pathways on sustainable development issues?
The research, which began in January 2023, will result in two interim reports by December 2023 and two final research reports by December 2024.