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.
1. Marcinkowski T.J., Contemporary challenges and opportunities in Environmental Education: where are we headed and what deserves our attention? J Environ Educ, 2010, 41 (1), 34-54, doi: 10.1080/00958960903210015.
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].
3. Freitas M., Evolution of the sustainable development concept [in Portuguese]. Perspectiva, 2004, 22 (2), 547-575. Available from: URL: http://www.ced.ufsc.br/nucleos/ nup/perspectivas.html [accessed May 11, 2005].
4. Chen W., Cone T.P., Cone S.L., A collaborative approach to developing an interdisciplinary unit. Journal of Teachingin Physical Education, 2007, 26, 103-124.
5. Collares M.E.B., The environmental education as an inter and transdisciplinar theme in the educational process: a case study in Petrópolis [in Portuguese]. Master’s Dissertation in the Engineering Department of the Federal Fluminense University, Niterói 2002.
6. Brasil. Act guidelines and bases for national education 9.394, of december 20th 1996 [in Portuguese]. Brasília. Available from: URL: http://portal.mec.gov.br/seed/arquivos/pdf/tvescola/leis/lein9394.pdf [accessed: August 22, 2012].
8. Flick U., An introduction to qualitative research [in Portuguese]. 2nd ed., Bookman, Porto Alegre 2004.
9. Wolcott H.F., On Ethnographic intent. In: Spindler G., Spindler L. (eds.), Interpretive Ethnography of Education: At Home and Abroad. Erlbaum, Hillsdale 1987. Available from: URL: http://www.indiana.edu/~educy520/readings/wolcott87.pdf [accessed: November 11, 2011].
10. Merriam S.B., Qualitative research and case study applications in education. 2nd ed. rev., Jossey-Bass, San Francisco 1998.
11. Neto O.C., Fieldwork as discovery and creation. In: Minayo M.C.S. (ed.), Social research: theory, method and creativity [in Portuguese]. Vozes, Petrópolis 2002, 51-66.
12. Patton M.Q., Qualitative evaluation and research methods. Sage, Newbury Park 1990.
13. Miles M.B., Huberman A.M., Qualitative data analysis: an expanded sourcebook. Sage, Thousand Oaks 1994.
14. Bauer M.W., Gaskell G., Qualitative research with text, image and sound [in Portuguese]. Vozes, Petrópolis 2007.
15. Deal T.E., Peterson K.D., Shaping school culture. Jossey- Bass, San Francisco 1999.
16. Kerensky V.M., Community educators: The high touch people. Community Education Bulletin, 1982. An Occasional Paper, June 1982.
17. Carvalho R.O., The development of a community-school partnership in a Brazilian elementary school: a case study. Doctorate thesis in Education, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton 2002.
18. Sauvé L., Environmental education and sustainable development: a complex analysis [in Portuguese]. Revistade Educação Pública, 1997, 10. Available from: URL: http://cgi.ufmt.br/revista [accessed: May 18, 2005].
19. Bracht V., Almeida F.Q., The politics of school sport in Brazil [in Portuguese]. Revista Brasileira de Ciências doEsporte, 2003, 24 (3), 87-101. Available from: URL: http://www.rbceonline.org.br/revista/index.php?journal=RBCE&page=article&op=view&path%5B%5D=765&path%5B%5D=439. [accessed: July 1, 2010].
20. Darido S.C., Neto L.S., The physical education context in schools [in Portuguese]. In: Darido S.C., Rangel I.C.A. (eds.), Physical education in schools: implications for pedagogical practice [in Portuguese]. Guanabara Koogan, Rio de Janeiro 2005, 1-24.
21. Tokuyochi, Portrait of Physical Education teachers from state schools in the state of Sao Paulo [in Portuguese]. Motriz, 2008, 14 (4), 418-428. Available from: URL: http://cecemca.rc.unesp.br/ojs/index.php/motriz/article/view/1361/1900. [accessed: July 1, 2012].
22. Murad M., Sociology and Physical Education: conversations, body language, sports [in Portuguese]. FGV, Rio de Janeiro 2009.
23. Figueiredo R.P., Physical Education for environmental education: a relationship to be built on transience [in Portuguese]. Master’s Dissertation in the Brasília University, Brasília, 2002.
24. Gadotti M., Educating for a sustainable life [in Portuguese]. Pátio Revista Pedagógica, 2008, 12, 12-15. Available from: URL: http://www.revistapatio.com.br/sumario_conteudo.aspx?id=629 [accessed: August 30, 2011].