CoDeS - School and Community Collaboration for Sustainable Development


CoDeS is a network initiated by ENSI, that gathers 29 experts and their working environments from 17 countries. The project has been funded by EU Comenius funds and it was installed for active work from 2011 to 2014. After the project‘s end it is carried on by ENSI.

Collaborations between schools and their surrounding communities are crucial for real development and change in society. The focus of CoDeS network is set on school-community collaboration addressing sustainability.

CoDeS activities aimed to provide a fresh perspective for inquiry based science learning and improve students’ motivation, deepen knowledge in science and develop civic competencies. Successful implementation is challenging: it requires special skills from teachers and sophisticated communication techniques on all sides.

CoDeS work was conducted in three complementing strands:

  1. Research on keystones for successful school-community collaborations, based on existing case studies. Publications. “Keystones on school-community collaboration” and the “CoDeS selected cases of school-community collaboration” Link:
  2. Practice oriented tools for cooperation partners, supporting their work in collaborations. Publications: “Travelling guide” for the reflective practitioner and also the “Toolbox for school-community collaboration”. E-tools: “Digital handbook for local authorities” an interactive website for schools and communities ( All outcomes are translated in several languages. Link
  3. A new research topic on how collaboration projects could contribute to the integration of isolated communities was launched in CoDeS also and is carried over the end of projects lifespan. Publication: “Profiles of isolated communities and ways into integration” Link

CoDeS itself was a ‘learning organisation’(Senge 1990) and has been reflecting on own developments, challenges and success factors over its full lifespan. Internal and external evaluation, conducted by independent evaluators played a crucial role for the reflection on learning processes, on differing working traditions and own values. CoDeS understood itself as prototype of community learning as indicated in the heart of the networks activities.


CoDeS has been funded from 1.10.2011 to 30.09.2014

The development of the project started in 2010 in Budapest and a preparatory seminar was held in January 2011 in Helsinki.

Various activities of CoDeS network

Working Conference in Vienna, May 1-3, 2012 Aims of the Conference:
- Disseminate case studies on European school community collaboration on SD
- Reflect on processes of learning, values, models and tools for successful school community collaboration on SD
- Initiate a forum to involve the diversity of stakeholders participating in school-community collaboration on SD such as local administrations, municipalities, NGO,local enterprises, teachers, students, families and others.

Working Conference in cooperation with RCE Kerkrade NL May 13-15, 2013 Aims of the Conference:
- Include all stakeholders of school and community collaboration for learning from each other
- Reflect on key stones and experiences in collaboration
- Explore new learning environments and new partnerships (inclusively poster presentations)
- Explore CoDeS products for stakeholders:
   - Digital handbook for authorities
   - E-platform for collaboration
   - Toolbox
   - Travelling guide
   - Challenges in isolated communities.

Working Conference in Barcelona May 21-23, 2014 Goals of the Conference:
The goal of the conference is to provide an interactive space to learn from each other and to be encouraged and strengthened to fostering local sustainable development collaboratively i.e. schools, education actors and community - especially in times of rapid change and crisis. Findings from CoDeS network will be presented and shared so that they can become potential tools to promote collaboration between schools and communities committed to SD. Through interactive participatory formats attendees will identify the key challenges schools and communities face when working together at the entrance of UNESCO post decade

Partner Meetings of CoDeS community All CoDeS partners gathered for seven partner meetings, back to back to the Conferences and between the Conferences (Friedrichsdorf/DE, Györ/HU, Larnaka/CY and Ljubljana/SLO). Partner meetings were precious moments for discussion of work packages, for exploring values and experiences and for reflection on projects own learning and developments.


CoDeCases Blog This blog includes all cases that constitute the CoDeS case universe.


CoDeS-Publications A Database with CoDeS publications - available for downloading read more


- Stiftung Education21, Berne, Switzerland (Coordinating Organisation)

- Environment and School Initiatives (ENSI), Leuven, Belgium

- Federal Ministry for Education, Arts and Culture (bmukk), Vienna, Austria

- Alpen-Adria-University, Klagenfurt, Austria

- Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH, Vienna, Austria

- Association Local Agenda 21, Vienna, Austria

- Municipality Vienna Neudorf, Austria

- Hogeschool-Universiteit Brussel, Belgium

- Cyprus Pedagogical Insitute, Nicosia, Cyprus

- Frederick University, Nicosia, Cyprus

- University of Helsinki, Finland

- Arbeitsgemeinschaft Natur und Umweltbildung – Hessen E.V.
      Wetzlar, Germany

- Environmental Education for Frankfurt, Frankfurt, Germany

- National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece

- University of the Aegean, Mytilene, Greece

- Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Budapest, Hungary

- Hungarian Research Teachers Association, Budapest, Hungary

- Hungarian Institute for Educational Research and Development (OFI)
      Budapest, HU

- Legambiente, Roma, Italy

- Regional Centre of Expertise Rhine-Meuse, Kerkrade, Netherlands

- Wageningen University, Wageningen, Netherlands

- Norwegian Centre for Science Education, Oslo-Blindern, Norway

- Healthy Environment Regional Organisation (HERO), Cluj-Napoca, Romania

- National Education Institute Slovenia, Ljubljana, Slovenia

- Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain

- De Monfort University, Leicester, UK

- MF Associates, Evington, UK

- Sense and Sustainability Training, Shrewsbury, UK

- Cheongju National University of Education, Heungduk-gu, Cheongju, Republic of Korea

Associated Partner Organisations:

- Finnish National Board of Education, Helsinki, Finland

- University of Linz, Austria

- University Sains, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia