University Educators For Sustainable Development

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ISE action research: Reorienting teachers' dispositions towards ESD

Organisations: UNESCO/UNITWIN chair at Daugavpils University, Latvia
Center of Sustainable Education at Daugavpils University, Latvia

Authors: Dzintra Iliško, Daugavpils University, Latvia,
Ilga Salite, Daugavpils University, Latvia
Ilona Micule, Daugavpils University, Latvia


This example is taken from the UE4SD Leading Practice Publication, 2015.

Sustainable development is the biggest challenge to universities in the twenty‐first century. A university has also to play a vital role as catalyst in fostering change for sustainability in society. However, universities are deeply involved in current world‐wide patterns of unsustainability, thus, existing university structures need to be replaced by a concept of a complex and adaptive system. This can be done at all levels, including structural, administrative and by redesigning the learning process.

ESD Focus

Daugavpils University uses an ESD framework aligned with the UN Decade of ESD. It aims at strategic change in ESD, across courses by introducing action research. The transformative potential of action research is proven in teacher education by providing help to prospective teachers to become reflective practitioners through involvement in exploration of the meaning they attribute to issues and a transformation of the participants’ frames of reference, paving the way to a more profound sense-making of the issue and developing alternative options of a more sustainable future.

Professional Development Approach

Daugavpils University provides staff with professional learning on ESD and integration of action research in educational programs, through action projects connected to their work, supported by ESD experts and other colleagues.

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