The main aim of the research was to identify, collect and systematically present the existing content most relevant to Sustainable Development in the national curricula of the participating countries in order to provide evidence for policy change.
The authors’ findings show that most of existing ESD-knowledge in almost all the countries is about social and cultural aspects of SD, which was unexpected given the roots of ESD in environmental education and the presence of latter in schools in the region for over 20 years. However among the said socio cultural aspects ‘Gender equality’ is the least represented and it is not included at all in some countries. ‘New forms of governance’ is the second least represented socio-cultural element. Of the economic elements ‘Market economy’ and ‘Corporate social responsibility and accountability’ seem not be among the topics present in compulsory schooling.
There seems to be no need for new subject or special schooling material. Having said that, economic and environmental elements need greater inclusion in the national curricula in some countries. The most striking message is that the educational documents currently do not concentrate on education for individual empowerment, personal action and or responsibility.