Sustainable Schools

Juscelino Antonio Dourado , Fernanda Belizário , Alciana Paulino

The purpose of this book is to show a realistic path of sustainable schools. How to develop transformative collective projects if the lengths of pedagogical meeting are so short and the agendas so extensive? How to plan extracurricular work with students if educators end their shift in a school and have to leave immediately to start their job in another unit? How to bond with community if PTA meetings are always empty? All these challenges were faced by the Estre Institute in its projects with schools and, although this book does not present a magical solution, it was elaborated as an exchange of experiences – a fundamental journey for the construction of knowledge.


The term “sustainable schools” is associated with schools that practice environmental education in a consistent way, based on a political-pedagogical project (PPP), and many different strategies can be drawn accordingly. The Ministry of Education and the Estre Institute follow a methodology that starts from four elements: curriculum, buildings, management and relationship with community.


The book discusses these concepts and presents actions developed in partnership with the Municipal Department of Education of Piracicaba and with the Municipal Secretariat of Education of Curitiba. Organization forms, planning and schedule, open classes, school collectives, co-creation workshops and several other practices are described and analyzed by the authors. The work is concluded with an important reflection on sustainable schools and public policies.

Original title
Escolas sustentáveis
Year of publication

About the authors

Juscelino Antonio Dourado

Juscelino Antonio Dourado is an environmental manager, studied Chemistry at the University of Campinas (Unicamp) and at Lomonosov University (Moscow, Russia) and Business Administration and Environmental Management at he University of São Paulo (USP). He was director of public and private companies, among which he worked as Head of Cabinet of the Finance Minister and as Director of Management of the Estre Ambiental. He is Executive Director of the Estre Institute and and works in the areas of education and environmental management, focusing on waste technology management, sustainable management plans and environmental quality improvement actions. He is co-author and organizer of the books Reflexão e práticas em educação ambiental: discutindo o consumo e a geração de resíduos and Resíduos sólidos no Brasil: oportunidades e desafios da Lei Federal n. 12.305, in addition to publishing scientific articles in the area of sanitation. He is founder and adviser to the Fundo Brasileiro de Educação Ambiental (FunBEA) and owns a blog about environmental management (

Fernanda Belizário

Fernanda Belizário is a PhD student in Postcolonialisms and Global Citizenship in the Center for Social Studies at the University of Coimbra in Portugal. She is Master in Communication and Consumer Practices from the Superior School of Advertising and Marketing (ESPM, São Paulo) and holds a degree in Social Sciences and Social Communication from the University of São Paulo (USP). She has worked as a manager in public and private institutions in the areas of education and communication and was a college professor in Brazil. She was Education Manager of the Estre Institute until 2013.

Alciana Paulino

Alciana Paulino is a social scientist, educator, writer and project manager in the areas of education, culture and diversity. She graduated from the University of São Paulo (SP) and fell in love with environmental education when she started working at the Estre Institute in 2012.

The environmental education we plan, the environmental education we want

The environmental education field

The crisis of science as a model for explaining the world

The crisis of science and the environmental crisis

From dichotomies to entireties: a place for environmental education

The idea of sustainability and the critical and emancipatory environmental education


Planning a sustainable school

The social role of the school

Sustainable schools: schools that care and educate

School spaces and buildings



Participation and engagement

Getting ready to build sustainable schools


Building sustainable schools: the experience of the Estre Institute

The first experience

Coordination of work and meetings in schools

Working Saturdays

Open classes

The expanded experience: the sustainable schools in Curitiba

Set of reflections on the Estre Institute process with sustainable schools


Collection of ideas on sustainable schools: an example

Module I – Presentation of the Sustainable Schools Project

What is the Sustainable Schools Project?

What are the school collectives?

What are the co-creation workshops?

Which are the expected results?

What is the schedule?

Which are the support materials?

Module II – Ideas about me, about you, about us

Module III – World, vast world

Some important documents

Among dogs and horses: our school

How to begin

Forms and forms of participatory diagnosis

Process and diagnostic models

Module IV – The journey is made when walking

Module V – The walker – Developing the action plan

Module VI – The walker


Strengthening public policies in environmental education

Environmental education in public policies

Sustainable schools as public policy


About the Estre Institute of social and environmental responsibility

About the authors

Bibliographical references