The year 2014 marks the end of the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). All educational domains and levels, including primary and secondary science education, have been working to contribute to education enabling younger generations to become responsible citizens and promote sustainable development in our world. This paper gives insights into some theoretical foundations of the UN Decade for ESD. Different models of implementing ESD in the teaching of science and technology are presented and illustrated by various case studies, which were developed by the University of Bremen chemistry education group. These examples and the corresponding evaluation case studies show that thoroughly combining the ESD framework with science teaching that follows a socio-scientific issues-based approach to education has great potential for helping students develop many general educational skills. It also opens a path to a more balanced view of science in its societal and professional context. This allows career orientation both in and beyond science and engineering.
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