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Education for Sustainability

Education for Sustainability: Overview of Education Initiatives

Teachers in Galapagos.

Photo © Brian Goodman Photography.


K-12 Education: The Missing Piece of the Conservation Puzzle

Galapagos Conservancy believes that the extent to which Galapagos remains the world’s most environmentally-intact oceanic archipelago depends largely on how well those who live in Galapagos understand and embrace their pivotal role in shaping a sustainable society. High-quality Education for Sustainability can help lay the foundation for such a society.

The concept of Education for Sustainability (EfS) has become commonplace in public and private education in the US and other countries, both at the K-12 level and in higher education. Definitions vary, but at its core, EfS helps young people to understand the inter-connectedness of the social, environmental, political, and economic issues affecting their communities and the world beyond. It also increases the connection students feel with the natural environment and brings relevance to their daily lives. But beyond developing knowledge and understanding, EfS prepares young people to act on their knowledge to make a positive difference in their communities.

Program Need

Historically, Galapagos education has faced chronic challenges: due to the isolation of the islands, teachers received little training in effective pedagogical practices or the content of areas they teach; instruction relied heavily on rote memorization; and past curricula failed to develop competencies required in the local work place or for university study. National standardized tests confirm that the performance of Galapagos students across is below that of their counterparts on the mainland, across all subject areas and in the areas of verbal, reasoning, and abstract thinking skills.

Our Multi-Pronged approach

GC is working to transform education in Galapagos through two inter-connected areas of activity: 1) Intensive teacher professional development for every preK-12th grade teacher in Galapagos (325+) in research-based education strategies related to EfS, and 2) establishing the Tomás de Berlanga School as a demonstration site of best practices in action and a teacher training center for all Galapagos educators.

Our Partners

GC main partners in this work include: Ecuador’s Ministry of Education, the Galapagos Governing Council, the Galapagos-based Fundación Scalesia, educators from the Simmons School of Education and Human Development (Southern Methodist University) and Teachers to Teachers Global.

Our Funders

Teacher Professional Development 
Individuals: Gretchen Bauta, Kirke Lathrop, Judie Muggia, Kathleen Diamond, Elizabeth Javens, Sally Kleberg, Katie Burdick, Ken and Diane Saladin, Emily Shepherd, Judy and Normand Smith, Janice Swab, and Edward and Judy Schwartz.

Governments and Foundations: Ministry of Education of Ecuador, The Bay and Paul Foundations, Tinker Foundation, Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic Fund, Galapagos Conservation Trust, Celebrity Xpedition Fund, the Philecology Foundation, Moritz Foundation, and the Schaffner Family Foundation, and the United States Government. 

TdB School as a Demonstration Site and Training Center
Individuals: Regina Colasacco, Judie Muggia, Cleve and Rae Hickman, and Randall and Sally Knight.

Foundations: Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic Fund, Celebrity Xpedition Fund, Dalio Foundation, Pistell Family Foundation, and the Gallagher Family Foundation.

For more information, please send us an email.

Read more about education in Galapagos on our blog.

View the ESG Midpoint Status Report (2019).

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