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Closing - About This Project

   What do you think about this book?  When you first heard the term “ESD,” didn’t most of you think “What on earth is it?”  However, now that you have been able to read this guidebook, do you feel “Hey, this is good.  If this is what it is, I think I can do it.”?

   This guidebook is a result of the project for “A Guide to Developing and Using ESD Materials” implemented by the Asia/Pacific Cultural Centre for UNESCO (ACCU) within the 2008 Japan-UNESCO Partnership Project contract with Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.

   The goal of this project was to introduce case studies of ESD lessons that are being implemented in Japanese elementary and junior high schools in the midst of the present school curriculum using “educational materials” as a point of entry.  Through this, we hoped to enable people to deepen their interest and understanding of such things as what ESD is, ways of thinking that serve as a base for the practices that are implemented, and what would enable ESD to be implemented in various schools in the future.

   In order to accomplish this, we gathered recommended case studies based on criteria we established, determined common items to ask about in interviews, visited the schools that were implementing these practices, and listened to people connected with the projects talk about their implementation.  By publishing the results of this study in a guidebook and making these examples available to the public on the newly developed UNESCO School Home Page, and in other ways, we hope to deliver this information widely to people.  We have also developed and distributed an advertising leaflet about this.

   Our visits to the thirteen schools where we heard about the cases enabled us to meet excellent teachers at every site.  We have expectations for another goal of this project, which is for the teachers, non-profit organisations, public agencies and others implementing the ESD practices at the various schools to connect with one another through this project and create a new network that will serve as a stimulus for ESD to spread within Japan and worldwide in the future.  At a March 7, 2009 presentation conference, we invited teachers from the thirteen schools we visited and each made a presentation about her/his ESD practice. More than 60 people--including steering committee members for developing this guidebook and other educators and facilitators promoting ESD in Japan-gathered, and it became a place for precious exchange among the participants.

-------Voices of Participants at the Presentation Conference -------

“I returned home with a rich heart.  I was so happy to know that in various parts of Japan, all kinds of teachers were working earnestly, and I became eager to work even harder.” (junior high school teacher)

 “I was able to access practices from across the country and interact with others, and I achieved a great benefit from this.  In addition, if there is an opportunity, I would like to have exchange with the schools across the country who are implementing ESD while I implement our school’s activities.” (elementary school teacher)

“Up until now, I only looked at our community as I implemented activities, but I realised that a global point of view was important.” (elementary school teacher)

“I usually don’t have enough opportunity to talk with teachers in other subject areas, so it was a precious opportunity.” (junior high school teacher)

“We just became a ‘UNESCO Associated School’ and today I realised the value of that.” (junior high school teacher) 


   Currently, many ESD practices are being implemented.  With children in the middle, everyone is putting their hands together and taking action in order to ensure that the future is filled with the hope that children are wishing for.
We bring this guidebook to you filled with the hope that seeing the various discoveries and learning of the many people involved with this project as presented in this guidebook will encourage you to switch into action to create a sustainable future for all of us.

March 2009
Asia/Pacific Cultural Centre for UNESCO