Education for Sustainable Development

To actively shape the future, an exploration of this future is essential – in other words, explore, interact, try, test and implement. Pairing up an experience-based learning with the necessary knowledge transfer asks for a fundamental change of current learning and teaching methods. The achievement of various competences is essential in order to allow one's personality to naturally unfold and develop organisational, implementation related and factual subject-specific skills.

The goal of "Education for Sustainable Development" is to address each individual with their own skills and weaknesses, to allow for the development of shaping skills and an individual, satisfactory way of life in a healthy environment. To achieve this, a didactic concept has been developed at the Wuppertal Institute. Research findings are integrated directly into the didactic scope and tested both by operators and learners. This way, target group specific concepts come about.

BilRess conference with Maria Krautzberger
A sustainable transformation of the education sector needs the interaction of various agents. Conference of the Network "Education for Resource Preservation and Resource Efficciency – BilRess" with Maria Krautzberger, president of the Federal Environment Agency (centre). Photo:

Every field of education is addressed: from the level of preschool to school, aprenticeship, advanced training, to universities and extracurricular education inclusive andragogy/professional education. This also includes extracurricular forms of experience-based learning through experiments. The exchange of these areas with agents of the economy and science, for example in learning partnerships between corporations and schools, is also encouraged.

Research is often conducted in exchange with education projects in all of Europe. Numerous of media and educational material has been developed in this way: a toolbox for Sustainable Economisation in Corporations, didactic modules for andragogy, movies, playful learning approaches for children, planning games and material collections. Furthermore, the Wuppertal Institute participates in roadmap processes on how to integrate topics of sustainability into our education system. For this, it is a part of many networks and also initiates new networks.

With its research the Wuppertal Institute contributed to the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005-2014) and many research projects have already been distinguished as official decade projects. Since 2015, the UN Decade is continued by the five-year UNESCO programme, within which the BMBF initiated the National Platform  for Education for Sustainable Development. The Wuppertal Institute also participates in various partner networks of the National Platform BNE.


Dr. Carolin Baedeker

Tel.: +49 202 2492-119

Fax: +49 202 2492-138

Prof. Dr. Christa Liedtke

Tel.: +49 202 2492-130

Fax: +49 202 2492-138


Here you find research activities in the field of education for sustainable development.