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Mapping the Future of Adult Education in Environmental Awareness and Sustainable Development

In the modern educational landscape, the realm of environmental adult education has been grappling with certain challenges. While the importance of Sustainable Development in Adult Education (AE) cannot be understated, it often finds itself eclipsed by the Vocational Education and Training (VET) field, which predominantly focuses on professional development. This dynamic has resulted in a significant gap, particularly when it comes to opportunities that nurture environmental awareness among NEETs (low-skilled adults). The pressing need for environmental adult education is evident now more than ever.

World Education Project: Bridging the Gap in Environmental Adult Education

World Education project, a collaboration of seven partners from six EU nations, is a beacon for environmental awareness in Adult Education. Aimed at enhancing the skills of Environmental Awareness and Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), this initiative focuses on adult educators and NEETs, particularly from vulnerable communities. Its objectives range from identifying adult learning needs to developing innovative pedagogical approaches for promoting environmental awareness. The project also envisions an online knowledge HUB to boost the expertise of AE trainers and Adult NEETs.

The “Descriptive Mapping of Adult Education in Environmental Awareness and Sustainable Development” report complements this project. It highlights the current challenges in environmental adult education, emphasizing the need for initiatives World Education project. Together, they underscore the importance of fostering a sustainable future in adult education. Let’s dive into more details of this report.

Purpose of the Descriptive Mapping Report

The descriptive mapping report emerged as a beacon of hope in this context. Designed to address and bridge the existing gap in environmental adult education, the report delves deep into the realm of available learning opportunities, simultaneously spotlighting best practices. By meticulously mapping the unique needs of adult educators and NEETs, the report sets the stage for the development of more holistic and inclusive content in the future.

Research Methodology

To ensure a comprehensive understanding, a dual desk and field research approach was employed across six distinct European nations. This method, encompassing both adult learners and educators, provided a panoramic view of the environmental adult education landscape. The findings were enlightening, revealing a plethora of learning opportunities, be it from governmental initiatives or private sector contributions.

Key Findings

The research highlighted several exemplary practices that can serve as guiding stars for future educational programs and underscored the urgent need for more initiatives in the environmental adult education sector. It’s imperative that educators are equipped with the requisite skills to impart green teachings. The non-formal education approach of AE, when juxtaposed with the VET field, underscores its critical importance, especially in the domains of environmental awareness, active citizenship, and the cultivation of green skills essential for sustainable life choices.


Drawing from the survey results, it’s evident that the proposed training content tailored for NEETs should be intricately woven around specific Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with a spotlight on goals 7, 12, 13, and 15. Moreover, the curriculum should be enriched with green hard skills, encompassing areas like climate change mitigation, environmental health, and safety. Complementing these are green soft skills, which are paramount and should seamlessly integrate into the inclusive training curriculum of environmental adult education.


To wrap up, the report’s detailed findings serve as a compass, guiding the creation of an all-encompassing training curriculum on Environmental Awareness and Sustainable Development in Adult Education. By channelling our energies in these directions, we can invigorate the motivation levels of NEETs during their educational journey, laying the foundation for a sustainable and environmentally conscious future.

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