Education, Training & Exhibitions

This section provides information in relation to Education and Training and to Environmental Exhibitions. In the area of Education and Training in environmental issues, details are provided outlining the programmes and courses currently available and information on which organisations offer courses. The Exhibitions information available includes online exhibitions developed by various environmental organisations and available for download and print for use in public library branches. In addition, details of organisations to contact in order to arrange other exhibitions are also listed in this section.

Education and Training

Education and training in environmental issues and in sustainable development takes place in formal and non-formal education. Environmental education programmes are offered by a wide variety of service providers.

Formal Education

The formal education sector in Ireland constitutes the primary, secondary, third level and further education and training. Primary and Secondary education are guided by a formal national curriculum.

Primary education

The general aims of primary education are:

  • to enable the child to live a full life as a child and to realise his or her potential as an individual,
  • to develop social responsibility, and
  • to prepare the child for further education and lifelong learning.

The primary school potentially provides the perfect opportunity to educate for Sustainable Development (ESD).   The emphasis on the primary schools curriculum is for a child-centred active learning approach; this fits very well within the ethos of ESD.

Name of group Name of Initiative Description of Initiative Contact Details
Department of Education & Science Curriculum Social, Environmental and Scientific Education Social, environmental and scientific education (SESE) provides opportunities for the child to explore, investigate and develop an understanding of the natural, human, social and cultural dimensions of local and wider environments; to learn and practise a wide range of skills; and to acquire open, critical and responsible attitudes.
ECO-UNESCO Environmental Workshop Programmes
 ECO-UNESCO offers workshops on request to schools and youth groups.  Topics include WAste, Energy, Biodiversity, Water and Global Change.

ECO-UNESCO educational resources

Youth events and activities

ECO-UNESCO has produced a reading book called the Environmental Big Book on Waste for use in early stage primary schools.

ECO-UNESCO runs environmental events for young people on key environmental dates throughout the year.

  ECO-UNESCO Educational Resources ECO-UNESCO produces a wide range of educational materials for teachers, children and young people.  ECO-UNESCO produced its first big book called the Great Rubbish Adventure for children.  
An Taisce Green Schools 'Green Schools' is an international programme that focuses on a 'whole schools approach' to environmental awareness.  It promotes responsible behaviour among school children and the wider community towards the environment.


ESD Schools Toolkit ECO-UNESCO undertook a pilot project on Sustainable Development in Primary and Secondary School which explored curricula links to COMHAR's Principles of Sustainable Development and a whole schools approach to ESD.  A toolkit has been developed which is available to all primary schools.  
Environmental Protection Agency    Resources for primary schools on waste, natural resources, impacts of pollution, nature and environmental care.  Contains teacher notes.
Irish Wildlife Trust   IWT run a variety of educational programmes to complement primary schools including nature in the park among others.
National Parks
and Wildlife
North Midlands
It is the role of the Education Unit to raise awareness of the natural world and the importance of conserving and protecting our biodiversity. The North Midlands Education Centre provides programmes and activities for Primary Schools in the region. Programmes are based on the S.E.S.E. curriculum and the centre is Discover Primary Science and Maths accredited. The services provided include school visits to the centre, site visits within the region and outreach services to schools. This is a free service.

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