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Charles Hopkins

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UNESCO Chair in Reorienting Teacher Education
Office of the Dean, Faculty of Education
339 Yorklanes
Tel: 416-650-8123

Research Interests

Reorienting teacher education to address the environmental, social and economic issues inherent in sustainable development; Curricula for the twenty-first century; Transforming education, public awareness and training to address sustainable development.


Charles Hopkins holds the UNESCO Chair on Reorienting Teacher Education to Address Sustainability, focusing upon the development of an international network of teacher preparation institutions collaboratively working on the reorientation of teacher education to address sustainable development. Hopkins is also a senior advisor to UNESCO's Transdisciplinary Project, Educating for a Sustainable Future and the Chair of the Education for Sustainable Development Working Group of UNESCO Canada's Man and the Biosphere Committee (MAB). In addition, he is the executive director of the John Dearness Environmental Society and an advisor to Environment Canada's Ecological Monitoring and Assessment Network (EMAN).

Previously, Hopkins was Superintendent of Curriculum with the Toronto Board of Education. In earlier positions with the Toronto Board, he served as Regional Superintendent as well as founder and Principal of Canada’s largest environmental field study center, The Boyne River Natural Science School. Hopkins was also the founder and Principal of the Toronto Urban Studies Center, North America’s only school-board-owned urban study center.

As part of the UN preparation for the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Hopkins was one of the drafters of Chapter 36 of Agenda 21: Education, Public Awareness and Training. Hopkins has been a part of UNESCO's efforts to develop education for sustainable development since its inception.

A long time leader in the field of environmental education, Hopkins has lectured and presented papers in over 45 countries since the early seventies. He is the author of a textbook on ecology, author of numerous journal articles and featured in 9 major television documentaries.

His awards are highlighted by:

  • The Silver Jubilee Medal from Queen Elizabeth II
  • An award from the Prime Minister of Canada for his contribution to the Earth Summit process, Rio de Janeiro, 1992.
  • The award for outstanding contribution to EE from the North American Association for Environmental Education, NAAEE
  • Lifetime Achievement Award from NAAEE
  • International Fellow of the Australian Association for Environmental Education