European RCE Meeting Focuses on Teacher Training, TVET, and Capacity-building in Vulnerable Communities

Sixteen RCEs from 12 countries recently gathered in Vannes, France, for the 2018 European RCE Meeting, hosted by RCE Brittany from 29th – 31st August, 2018. Organised under the theme ‘ESD and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – how can RCEs coordinate both to achieve sustainable development?’, this meeting was the largest meeting of RCEs in Europe that has occurred to date. The Global RCE Service Centre wishes to extend a special thank you to Françoise Laveuve and the rest of the team at RCE Brittany for their tremendous commitment to the outstanding programme and hospitality.

Teacher training, technical and vocational education and training (TVET), and working with capacity building in vulnerable communities were among some of the themes discussed. RCEs from around the continent presented a number of their outstanding ESD projects from over the past twelve months, including projects involving partners from higher education, local government, the private sector, and many more. RCE Brittany shared their fascinating project on teachers’ perspectives about teaching the interactions between the SDGs. Both RCE Crete and RCE Euroregion Tyrol showcased projects that were successfully funded by the Erasmus Programme, working with integrating the SDGs into a Master’s programme and creating competencies for businesses in socio-economic development, respectively. RCE Nuremberg and the Hans Seidel Foundation in Shanghai presented with RCE Hangzhou (the newest RCE in China) on ESD in teacher training in both Germany and China. In addition, Jos Hermans (Regional Advisor to the RCE Community – Europe) along with RCE London and RCE Oldenburger Münsterland highlighted curriculum development and engagement with migrant communities within the context of TVET.

Other ESD projects shared during the meeting included a case of learning cities from RCE Bordeaux Aquitaine, a programme explicitly addressing the SDGs in teacher training from RCE Scotland, universities working with the private sector to supply capacity building for citizens in solving local sustainable development challenges from RCE Nizhny Novgorod, and a municipal education programme around Goal 14 and ocean literacy from RCE Skâne. In addition, one of the newest RCEs in the region – RCE Warsaw Metropolitan – made their debut during the meeting, and shared their work on connecting their urban partners with Warsaw’s surrounding national park.

Workshops during the conference focused on assessment within ESD and the necessity for contextualization within assessment tools, as well as regional communication strategies for the European RCE community. It was unanimously agreed by all in attendance that Ros Wade from RCE London and Detlev Lindau-Bank from RCE Oldenburger Münsterland will continue to serve as communication focal points for the RCEs in the region.

The meeting ended with the beginnings of discussion about creating regional priority areas for ESD among the European RCE community, keeping in mind all RCEs are free to set their own ESD agenda in relation to their local contexts. It was discussed creating a regional agenda in addition to the numerous local agendas can help better position RCEs within Europe to collaborate with the European Union and other regional bodies on education for the Sustainable Development Goals.

Any RCEs interested in following up on these discussions are encouraged to write to the Regional Advisor, Regional communicators, or the RCE Service Centre.

Outcomes from the meeting can be found here. Photos from the meeting have also been uploaded on Facebook here.

Photo credits: Jiří Dlouhý