Environmental education in Denmark has been popularized at the school level through the international Eco-Schools program, known as Green Flag Green Schools in Denmark. In addition, Denmark’s Ministry of Education and Ministry of Environment have collaborated to develop a national Education for Sustainable Development strategy in conjunction with the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development. Danish environmental educators engage in professional development through participation in professional teachers’ associations and the Eco-Schools network. The Danish Outdoors Council is also instrumental in promoting environmental education through the Green Flag and Green Shoots programs.
Policy & Practice
While Denmark does not have a specific environmental education mandate, Denmark’s Ministry of Education developed an Education for Sustainable Development strategy in conjunction with the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005-2014). The strategy included actions such as strengthening a formal organizational framework linking the education field and education for sustainable development; incorporating education for sustainable development in legislation, regulations, and curricula; strategic efforts such as youth climate change summits; and continuing education and training opportunities.
EE in K-12 Education
Environmental education is not a formal part of Denmark’s K-12 curriculum. However, Denmark’s Education for Sustainable Development strategy included elements relevant to primary and secondary education. For example, sustainable development is a dimension of upper secondary school curricula in biology, physics, natural geography, and social sciences. Further, Danish schools may opt to participate in the Eco-Schools program, which engages schools in a seven-step change process and empowers young people to engage in sustainable action.
Professional development courses for environmental educators are voluntary, and offered by environmental education organizations and at teachers’ colleges. Secondary educators responsible for teaching content related to environmental education, such as biology teachers, may receive professional development through professional associations. Teachers involved in the Eco-Schools program may also receive professional development through opportunities provided through the Eco-Schools, or Green Flag Green Schools, program.
EE National Associations
Denmark does not have an association specifically dedicated to environmental education. Groups of educators such as biology teachers who are involved in environmental education may participate in other professional associations such as the Association of Danish Biologists.
EE in the National Government
In Denmark, the national government does not have an office whose role is specific to supporting environmental education. However, Denmark’s Ministry of Education and Ministry of Environment have collaborated at times on initiatives to support environmental education, such as the Education for Sustainable Development strategy.