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Author's note
What is E S D?
Reorienting Education
Localizing the Global Initiative
Challenges and Barriers to E S D
Community Sustainability Goals
Case Study: Toronto, Canada Board of Education
Managing Change
Public Participation
Concluding remarks
Tools to Introduce the Concept of Sustainable Development
Tools to Create Community Goals
Tools to Reorient Education to Address Sustainability
Tools for Managing Change
Web resources

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Participants gain insight into the influence of values on community decisionmaking.


To identify values, underlying opinions, or positions expressed at a community meeting.

Group size

1 or more participants - for attendance at town or community group meeting. Extension exercise: 2 to 4 participants.

Time Needed

Length of town or community group meeting (typically 30 minutes to 1 hour).



  1. Read Description of Values sheet before attending a community meeting.
  2. Bring the Recognizing Values in Action worksheet to a community meeting.
  3. Listen to each speaker carefully. Analyze each speaker's words for meaning and strategy. Determine which values are being expressed either directly or indirectly. Check all boxes on the worksheet that apply.


  1. In small groups of 2 to 4, discuss the underlying values observed at the meeting you attended.
  2. On your worksheet use one color to draw lines connecting underlying values that conflict with one another. In a different color, draw lines between underlying values that can coexist peacefully.
  3. Analyze the connecting lines. Does this analysis reveal opportunities for progress?


The worksheet for the exercise Identifying Communication Strategies is combined with the worksheet for the exercise Recognizing Values in Action. It can be useful to do both exercises simultaneously.

Sources for this exercise and Descriptions of Values sheet:

Heifetz, Ronald A. 1994. Leadership Without Easy Answers. Belknap Press of Harvard University Press. Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Ramsey, John M., Harold R. Hungerford, and Trudi L. Volk. 1989. A Science-Technology-Society Case Study: Municipal Solid Waste. Stipes Publishing Company. Champaign, Illinois

World Health Organization.

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