*** 1 - IATED

C. Stefanou1, D. Vlachopoulos2
1Open University of Cyprus (CYPRUS)
2European University of Cyprus (CYPRUS)
• Constant degradation of the natural environment and quality of life and
interdependence with political, economic and social issues
• Need to adopt Environmental Education (EE) and Education for
Sustainable Development (ESD) as competent means to ensure the
sustainability of the planet [1], [2].
• National Strategic Plan of Action for the EE/ESD in Cyprus:
 introduction of EE/ESD as an autonomous discipline in the Curricula of all
public education levels
 priority in training teachers of all levels in order to prepare them in promoting
EE/SDA in school [3]
• Difficulties and limitations:
new scientific field with ongoing developments
subject not included in the curricula of the pedagogical departments
incomplete initial training of teachers
risk of failure unless training opportunities are offered
• Any initiative to plan and implement an in service training program, such
as the one proposed by this paper, must take into account the principles
of EE and the steps for Adult Education (AE) program [4], [5], [6].
EE/ESD as a subject
and the role of educators
 a generalized and continuous process of awareness, acquisition of knowledge
and experiences, cultivation of attitudes, values and skills [7], [8], [9] that aims
at attaining Sustainable Development (SD) [2]
 a philosophy that refers to and conforms with that of Lifelong Learning (LLL)
[8], [10]
 according to references in the Belgrade Charter and UNECE’s Report on
Education and SS, must be informal, non formal or formal, covering the range
from preschool to higher education, as well as the education or training of the
educators themselves [2], [9]
• The educators:
 promoters of reforms and co-formulators of the school reality [5]
 must have the necessary knowledge, attitude and skills [1], [11], [12]
 maintain a positive attitude but lack in basic knowledge of content or
methodology [13]
 need training in order to implement such programs successfully [1], [10], [14]
Training educators
within the context of Lifelong Learning
• The explosion of scientific knowledge, in the Knowledge Society, and the
need for continuous training for the modernization of their work [5], [6],
have turned the educators into professional scientists [15].
• The training of the educators, as a part of the Adult Education (AE), must
meet the principles of planning, organization and evaluation programs
addressed to adults:
 carefully organizing all aspects by researching potential obstacles and ways to
overcome them
 choosing the context based on the experiences and needs of the trainees
 encouraging active participation
 respecting trainees’ personal rhythm and learning profile
 forming a learning climate governed by communication, cooperation and
mutual respect
 variety of teaching approaches
 activities that associate theory to practice and promote the heuristic course
towards knowledge [5], [16], [17],[18].
The planning of an AE program must be systematic and structured in successive
levels, in order to stop the internal factors that hinder the learning process and
the external limitations connected with its organization.
The suggested program for the training of educators in EE/ESD adopts the CIPP
model, which conforms to applied and tested programs of EE/ESD and aims at
improving and ensuring its sustainability [19].
Both EE/ESD programs and CIPP model are structured on the basis of four
stages, which are in a circular sequence, each one integrating the element of
evaluation that guarantees the programs flexibility [19], [20], [21].
Course initiation
Course development planning
Course implementation
Course accountability
Study of the
present situation
OECD’s research data report that the professional development and training of
educators in Cyprus has not yet evolved into a structured practice, but remains
informal, individual and voluntary [22].
Educators largely participate in inspector seminars, conventions or optional
training seminars hosted by the Cyprus Pedagogical Institute [23] without being
absolutely satisfied by their context, organization, conduct and results [22].
The opportunities for the teachers to participate in continuing education programs
in EE/ESD are limited [13].
Since the introduction of EE/ESD as a subject in the Curricula of public primary
schools in Cyprus, the gaps of the relative training and education seem larger
than ever.
The suggested program for training educators in EE/ESD aims to address the
problem of lacking vocational training faced by educators in Cyprus' elementary
schools. It is addressed to educators in the level of school units due to the fact
that, according to the Curriculum for EE/ESD [24], each school must plan and
develop their own Sustainable Environmental Educational Policy.
educational needs
In the case of educators, who, being professionals have their own experiences
and pre-existing knowledge, it is necessary to take into account their concerns
and needs [1], [25], or else the results of the training will be inconsistent with the
reality of education [8], [13].
Relevant researches abroad have shown that the active educators must be
trained both in cognitive and in the methodological sectors of EE/ESD [8].
The Cypriot educators request a training that is relative to educational innovation,
such as the one that introduces EE/ESD in the Curricula, and to be trained in new
methods and teaching techniques [22].
In order to compare the conclusions of the existing researches with the
educational needs of the specific target population, we will follow a multimethodological approach by combining qualitative and quantitative research
methods and triangulation of data [21], [26].
 a questionnaire to identify the degree of the environmental literacy of educators and to
evaluate the attitudes of educators towards the specific subject [11]
 individual interviews in a subgroup of educators to cross-check their attitudes [27]
 a non participative observation of the subgroup of educators during teaching in school
classroom, to examine their needs in relation to EE/ESD methodology [26]
Suggested program
for training educators in EE/ESD
Title: “Training educators on the effective integration and successful implementation of EE/ESD in the Curricula”
Time: 5-5 hour meetings on the first week of the school year (training week in absence of students)
Location: 80% (20 hours) of the meetings will be performed in the premises of the participating school and 20% (5 hours) in an
Environmental Education Centre (EEC)
Contractor – Funding Agency: Ministry of Education and Culture
Implementing body: Cyprus Pedagogical Institute
Target-group: A primary school unit’s teaching staff
Trainers: Educators who have been seconded to Cyprus Pedagogical Institute or to Environmental Education Centers, with
scientific specialization in EE/ESD and training relative to AE
Program's objective: To give the educators the necessary knowledge, skills and attitude for a smooth integration of EE/ESD in
the Curricula and its successful implementation in schools
Program's objectives: some of those are taken as is from the Curricula of the EE/ESD (page 257-258) [28]
(a) Knowledge:
To determine and describe contemporary environmental issues, which are at the same time the subjects of the curriculum
(forest, litter, energy, water, biodiversity, desertification, culture, urban development, production – consumption)
To associate the aforementioned environmental issues between them, in order to be able to interpret the interrelation of the
environmental problems and the chain effects that these bring in all sectors of life.
(b) Skills:
To realize that the complex nature of the matters pertaining to environment and sustainable development calls for
reorganization of the learning course and adoption of pedagogical approaches based on an active, cooperative and
experiential learning.
To examine, experiment on and develop those teaching techniques that are proposed in EE/ESD.
(c) Attitude:
To maintain a positive attitude towards developing EE/ESD in school.
To develop their interest and motivation in order to participate in planning and actions to improve school in order to change its
culture and make it sustainable.
Suggested program
for training educators in EE/ESD
Subjects – Units
Teaching hours
1. The necessity to introduce EE/ESD in School 5
Educational Techniques
Brainstorming, concept mapping,
group examination, suggestion
2. Benefits from its introduction for students,
educators, school and society
3. Processing the environmental issues –
subjects included in the Curriculum
work groups, project method,
problem solving
4. Correlation of environmental problems
5. Field study and other experiential methods of 5
6. Steps for planning Sustainable
Environmental Educational Policy
7. Planning and evaluating the school unit’s
Sustainable Environmental Educational Policy
field study (visit to a EEC), role
playing, simulation
snowballing method, group
laboratory work
group laboratory work, question –
The suggested training program takes into account the structure of the context of a respective
program by UNESCO (2005) entitled “Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future”, which
was planned with the participation of educators from various countries and successfully
implemented worldwide [10].
Evaluation of the program
• Stufflebeam’s CIPP evaluation program:
monitors the educational program throughout its planning
allows a better introspection of the areas that require improvement
is formative and summative at the same time
conforms with the principles set by the Joint Committee on Standards for
Educational Evaluation (1993, 1994, 2003), which focus on utility, feasibility,
propriety and accuracy of the program under evaluation [19], [20], [29].
• Formative evaluation as to the procedure and results:
 at the end of every meeting there will be a reflection on the learning
• Summative evaluation:
 assignment to the participants to prepare their school’s Sustainable
Environmental Educational Policy
 a questionnaire, with which the educators and their trainers will
evaluate the program in which they participated [18].
• The training of the educators is a sine qua non element in every state's
educational policy.
• The introduction of EE/ESD as a subject in the Curriculum of the public
educational institutions of Cyprus must be accompanied by the relative
training of the educators on its content and methodology, in order to be
positively received and successful.
• The suggested program’s parallel structure with Stufflebeam's CIPP
evaluation model offers a solid base for a continuous monitoring of all
aspects and stages of implementation.
• The freedom of speech given to all the parties involved may ensure its
wider acceptance by the educators and contribute to the program’s
sustainability [20], [21].
• What remains is for theory to become practice and the suggested
program for training educators to be implemented and tested.
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