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Gaia in Schools Programme is a school programme based on Gaia Education Whole-Systems Design for Sustainability curriculum and conducted over a particular time period during one schoolyear. The programme aims to incorporate teaching and learning for sustainable community development and calls for sustainable development to be integrated throughout the School’s curriculum in a holistic manner, rather than being taught on a stand alone basis. This approach supports the notion that Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) is education for sustainable development rather than education about sustainable development.

Gaia Education whole-school approach to ESD presents a significant opportunity for Schools. Not only can it enhance the environmental performance of schools as institutions, but it can promote integrated governance, stakeholder and community involvement by imparting the values and tools that today’s children and youth will need to build and maintain more sustainable societies.

Gaia in Schools approaches also advocate for active and participatory learning, a hallmark of ESD, and call for the entire school, including students, educators and administrators, to be actively engaged in working towards a sustainable school with ESD fully integrated into the curriculum as the driving factor.

A school interested in developing a certified Gaia in Schools Programme will design and adopt its own programme following Gaia Education core curriculum, certification criteria and local context. After that the school can apply for certification and when certified, it becomes officially certified Gaia in Schools Programme.

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certification requirements 

  • A minimum of 40 contact hours. It is recommended to divide the allocated time into several intensive periods (some intensive weeks or months throughout the year) leaving time to reflect and internalise the knowledge in between them.
  • Intention to cover most of the 20 modules within each of the four dimensions of sustainability.
  • A minimum of 10 hours devoted to applying design methods and processes into real-life scenarios through group projects related to school and its larger community. Results of the programme - designs, practical projects - are recommended be presented to wider community (parents, people involved in projects) during the concluding event (celebration).
  • A skilled team of educators with sufficient knowledge and experience in Education for Sustainability and at least one mentor who has completed a Gaia Education certified programme.
  • An appropriate environment, in school and ideally partly on living and learning sites (sustainablie communities, ecovillages) that are demonstrating integrated application of design for sustainable settlements. Classroom setting should enable forming of circle(s), study groups, open space etc. Also a quiet area is needed for individual study, reflection and other silent activities. Whenever possible and appropriate, schoolyard and other outside areas should be used for various learning activities.
  • A commitment to complete and submit course evaluation and report.
  • A commitment to follow international branding guidelines.
  • A commitment to contribute to Education for Sustainable Development activities in your region.
  • For becoming a Gaia Education contributor to UNESCO Global Action Programme on Education for Sustainable Development application form should be filled.

You can find more information on certification requirements in the application form.

Application form and review dates

You can request the Gaia in Schools Programme application form from This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Applications received in this periodWill be reviewed by
January 1 – April 30 June 30
May 1 – August 31 October 31
September 1 – December 31 February 28