Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore the relevance of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) in East Timor and proposes a set of ESD indicators to be implemented in the formal education sector. Design/methodology/approach – A detailed analysis of relevant literature concerning national development plans (Republica Democrática de Timor-Leste, 2011), literature centred in East Timor and international perspectives about ESD principles, policies and values (UN reports) was carried, in order to examine the relevance of ESD in East Timor and to assist the selection of a set of ESD indicators. These indicators are proposed in order to assess and monitor if the current national policies, educational programmes, secondary school content, learning goals and activities in formal education express concerns related with ESD promotion in terms of specific curricular themes, learning characteristics, learning resources, skills, values and attitudes. Findings – This paper argues that the East Timor government has intentions in ESD promotion and implementation. Thus, ESD indicators could be helpful in assessment of new curricular practices. However, even though ESDI may indicate that secondary school programmes, content, learning goals or activities are aligned with ESD principles, it is also important to assess if they then contribute effectively to sustainable development. Originality/value – The case study of East Timor adds to the literature about the current interests of young countries such as this in progressing towards a sustainable future, starting from the selection and implementation of ESD indicators in the current curriculum reform. If it is successful, ESD will contribute to transforming not only education but also the quality of life of the East Timorese.
Asian Education and Development Studies – Emerald Publishing
Published: May 6, 2014