UNESCO Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future

Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future is a multimedia teacher education programme published by UNESCO. It contains 100 hours (divided into 27 modules) of professional development for use in pre-service teacher courses as well as the in-service education of teachers, curriculum developers, education policy makers, and authors of educational materials.


Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future contains 27 professional development modules, organised in four thematic sections.

Curriculum Rationale

A sequenced introduction to global realities, imperatives for sustainable development and educational issues that form the rationale for Educating for a Sustainable Future.

  • Exploring global realities
  • Understanding sustainable development
  • A futures perspective in the curriculum
  • Reorienting education for a sustainable future
  • Accepting the challenge

Sustainable Development Across the Curriculum

An overview of ways in which Educating for a Sustainable Future can be integrated into all areas of the curriculum, especially into cross-curriculum themes such as citizenship, health and consumer education.

  • Sustainable futures across the curriculum
  • Citizenship education
  • Health education
  • Consumer education

Contemporary Issues

An illustration of how different curriculum themes may be reoriented to integrate an interdisciplinary emphasis on sustainable futures.

  • Culture & religion for a sustainable future
  • Indigenous knowledge & sustainability
  • Women & sustainable development
  • Population & development
  • Understanding world hunger
  • Sustainable agriculture
  • Sustainable tourism
  • Sustainable communities
  • Globalisation
  • Climate change

Teaching & Learning Strategies

Practical advice on using teaching and learning strategies that can help students achieve the wide range of knowledge, skill and values objectives of Education for Sustainable Development.

  • Experiential learning
  • Storytelling
  • Values education
  • Enquiry learning
  • Appropriate assessment
  • Future Problem Solving
  • Learning outside the classroom
  • Community Problem Solving


  • Link to Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future ( Visit

Intended Audience and Usage

For use in pre-service teacher courses as well as the in-service education of teachers, curriculum developers, education policy makers, and authors of educational materials.


© UNESCO, 2010. All Rights Reserved

This programme and its contents including text, graphics, audio, interactive components and programming code are protected by international copyright. This copyright is owned by UNESCO or, in the case where additional resources have been acknowledged, third parties.

You may freely view this programme and its contents using your web browser, save an electronic copy, print out a copy (or sections) or distribute a copy over your local area network if:

  • your use of this material is for non-profit research, study or education; and
  • you acknowledge UNESCO’s copyright by including the copyright notice “© UNESCO, 2010. All Rights Reserved” on the copy.

The reproduction and republishing of text, graphics, interactions or programming code or any other information contained in this programme for commercial and non-educational purposes is strictly prohibited. You may not reproduce, transmit, adapt or otherwise exercise the copyright in the whole or any part of this programme for any other purpose except as permitted by UNESCO’s written consent.


Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future has been developed within the UNESCO programme on Educating for a Sustainable Future. It was initiated in partnership with the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Centre of Educational Innovation for Development.

The project was originally undertaken by UNESCO in its function as task manager for the International Work Programme on Education, Public Awareness and Training for Sustainability of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development and in preparation for the World Summit on Sustainable Development (Rio+10) to be held in 2002. Versions 4-6 were programme updates in anticipation of and during the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development 2005-2014.

Prepared for UNESCO with extensive contributions from staff at Griffith University, RMIT University and SWEDESD.

Project Coordinators: John Fien and Clayton White
UNESCO Project Manager: Jeanne Damlamian

The advice of an international reference group and over 50 Programme Specialists within UNESCO was invaluable in the development of Version 1 of the programme. Version 2 was developed from an extensive evaluation supported by UNESCO field offices, members of the UNESCO Associated Schools Project, UNESCO Clubs, the International Network for the Reorientation of Teacher Training to Address Sustainability managed by the UNESCO Chair at York University (Canada), the Network of UNESCO Chairs for Teacher Education, the International Baccalaureate Organisation, Education International and the World Confederation of Teachers.

UNESCO acknowledges the contribution of these organisations, groups and networks who recruited and supported many individual teachers and educators, experts on sustainable development and multimedia specialists for the trial and evaluation process.

The Version 6 update (2010) and the addition of the modules on Climate Change and Globalisation was made possible with a grant from the Japanese Fund in Trust.


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