Purpose. In light of the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development, an international proposal led by UNESCO beginning in 2005 and continuing until 2014, this study’s objective was to investigate how physical education, at a local level, can contribute to the goal of sustainable educational development. Methods. In order to analyze the research objective, a qualitative method was used. Sixteen professionals from public schools participated in the study. Seven schools and three administrative buildings were visited with data collected by means of interviews, observations and document analysis. Results. The following issues were addressed: school culture; the relationships between Environmental Education, Education for Sustainable Development and physical education; the cultivation of values through cooperative and competitive games; various challenges; and the opportunities for physical education within the UN’s Decade of Education for Sustainable Development initiative. Conclusions. This study concluded that: future partnerships with schools should be aware of and respect school culture; efforts should be made to facilitate schoolwork done outside of school; there is a need for investment in school resources as well in the continuing education of teachers; it is necessary to treat both Environmental Education and Education for Sustainable Development as one symbiotic entity and focus more on the execution of its prerogatives rather than nomenclature.
2. UNESCO. United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development 2005-2014: Draft International Implementation Scheme. Available from: URL: http://portal. unesco.org/education/admin [accessed: May 11, 2005].
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