The didactic concept of Green Pedagogy

The University College for Environmental and Agrarian Pedagogy in Vienna created the concept of Green Pedagogy. The learning activity plans of Green Pedagogy are learner-oriented. Communicative competence is acquired through interdisciplinarity by testing options and decisions for sustainable action in as many situated learning processes as possible.

The preparation of learning activity plans takes place with reference to objectives that determine communicative competence and subsequently competency to shape the future. Show case problems are selected in a participatory process involving interdisciplinary planning and execution together with the learners. The individual attribution of significance is determined by the learners. The next step is an exploratory, cognitively constructing process of development, organization and validation of rational concepts. In this process discourse-oriented topics, so-called “hotspots” are taken up. These arise in the reconstruction of a current state and are characterised by high complexity. By means of research, modelling and visualizations different perspectives become apparent.


In a process of co-construction synergies and divergences relating to the assessment of consequences are recorded, personal attributions of meaning are checked for contingency. The examination of problems on the basis of already existing pathways frequently does not lead to yet new possibilities.

If improvements in a complex pattern are required, however, innovative approaches are necessary. Solutions can already become obvious in the process of reconstruction, but it is important to scrutinize them and assess their sustainability.


The creative process is initiated by an intervention, which invites learners to question routines and simple solutions. This can for instance be done by provocation or irritation. In an ideal case linear patterns of thought can be ruptured by apparently disarranging the order of things. This can also take place by an alternating observation of top-down- and bottom-up-effects. When the sensitivity for different approaches and perspectives is enhanced, an analytical discourse begins that serves critical thinking. In a next step and based on the specific situation, learners look for possible effects, further influences or feedback loops and thus pervade connections in systems. This way a deconstruction of existing knowledge takes place. With the help of as many different analytical methods as possible, potential desired situations are scrutinised and tested for their usefulness. In this process the objective is not necessarily finding solutions. Learners should rather reach a high degree of reflecting capacity in order to evaluate the sustainability of actions in cooperative and deconstructing processes. The actual aim is the reflection on personal learning and the observation of personal development after a learning process.


The elements of the didactic concept are based on pedagogical-psychological theories and yet are special for the site regarding constellation and sequence. For the implementation of the claims of Green Pedagogy in concrete learning activity plans, numerous methodical approaches and evaluation instruments can be employed. This way a multiplicity of approaches is possible. However, those employed need to allow for a critical, participatory, cooperative and reflective examination by the learners with topics in the field of sustainability.


Please find detailed informations about the Green Pedagogy in the following Handbook:


Handbook Green Pedagogy


Green Pedagogy deconstructed