The UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (DESD) calls on the Governments to consider the inclusion of measures to implement the Decade in their respective education systems and strategies and, where appropriate, into national development plans’.2 This ESD Lens provides tools to start this process. It can be adapted to different educational contexts, and country specific policy and practice needs. It is not prescriptive, but provides guidelines and starting points for reviewing education policy and practice using an ESD perspective. ESD Lens Review Tools are provided for planning, for building knowledge of ESD, for reviewing national policy and the aims of education, for reviewing quality learning outcomes, and for reviewing more specific and detailed aspects of the education system such as curriculum, learning materials, assessment and teacher education. The tool is flexible and can be used at different levels of the system.
Some of the tools are more suited to policy-makers, while others can be used by teachers and principals in schools. Ideally they should all be used to ensure a more systemic re-orientation of the education system in a country, province, region or district.
The pilot testing of the ESD Lens showed that it helps to build synergy for understanding and implementing ESD at national level and at sub-regional levels. The key question being addressed by the ESD Lens is:
How can education policies, curriculum and other support processes sufficiently integrate the principles of ESD to inform and strengthen the quality of learning experiences for sustainable development?