Sowing Environmental Education in Cusco

Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching Short-Term Program (Fulbright DAST) 2023 Project Information

Project Overview

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City, Country: Cusco, Peru

Project Dates: May 29 - July 9, 2023

Project Length: 6 weeks

Summary: A U.S. environmental education expert will help the regional Ministry of Education develop and implement an environmental education program at schools across the region.

Host Institution Information

Name: Cusco Regional Education Directorate (GEREDU Cusco)

Type: Regional office of Peruvian Ministry of Education

Website: https://www.gereducusco.gob.pe/

About: The Cusco Regional Education Directorate (GEREDU Cusco) is an administrative entity in Cusco, Peru, with more than 20 years of serving Cusco’s population. The GEREDU Cusco oversees the quality of educational services for nearly 300,000 students in the Cusco region to ensure the region's development in a decentralized, democratic, and transparent manner. In addition to educational services, the Directorate promotes culture, science, technology, sports, recreation, intercultural education, and the study of native languages. While the GEREDU Cusco manages a total of 14 Local Education Management Units (UGELs) in the Cusco region, this Fulbright DAST project will focus on only 5. Schools under the GEREDU Cusco are all currently operating in person.

Project Information

Background: The Peruvian Ministry of Education is the government entity that formulates the national educational policy. One outcome of its policies is the creation of national curriculum that encourages the development of environmentally-conscientious citizens who can contribute to the fight against climate change at the local and regional level. However, at the level of local and regional educational institutions, few environmental initiatives are carried out and often without specific objectives or sustainable goals. Therefore, there is an urgent need to plan and launch sustainable environmental education projects at the local and regional level.

The Cusco region has not yet been able to implement a successful environmental education plan, despite its unique natural and historical context. Cusco was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1983 and is rooted in traditional Incan culture which is respectful to nature and the environment. Two primary challenges face the Cusco region in trying to successfully implement the national environmental curriculum: strengthening the capacity of teachers to teach environmental education, and adapting the environmental curriculum to meet the reality of daily life of students and families.

Goals: The U.S. environmental education expert will work to build the capacity of education specialists at the GEREDU Cusco and help develop a sustainable environmental regional program that is adapted to the region’s context and with activities for teachers and students to implement at schools. It is hoped that this program will be able to be replicated in schools across the Cusco region. In addition to working with staff at the GEREDU Cusco, visits to different UGELs in the Cusco region will be organized for the U.S. expert to share their knowledge of best practices in environmental education with different audiences. The U.S. environmental education expert will also help develop content, provide training, and participate in a pilot 5-day Cultural and Environmental Camp in the Urubamba province for a group of student and teachers. Therefore, from the U.S. expert’s input and guidance, a local education program can be developed to connect the region’s history, culture, and the environment, and make an important impact in the education of students and the development of the Cusco region.

Activities: Leading seminars, workshops or other teacher professional development for educators; conducting needs assessments, surveys, institutional or programmatic research; consulting with administrators and/or instructors on faculty development; developing academic curricula or educational materials; other education capacity building activities that meet host institution goals.

Target Beneficiaries: Education leaders at the GEREDU Cusco, school administrators, teachers, and students

Qualifications of Selected Applicant

Teaching Level: Secondary (grades 7-12)

Years of Teaching Experience: 3+ years

Subject Area Expertise: Science; Environmental Education; Teacher Training; Curriculum Specialist

Language Requirement: Advanced Intermediate Spanish (B2)

Program Resources

Contact

If you have any questions, please contact FulbrightDAST@irex.org.