Case Study Summary

The Whole-School Approach in Action: A Year With Primary School No. 12 Mar Chiquita

Regional Hub: Americas
Country: Argentina
Action for Climate Empowerment Element: Primary Education

This Case Study explores a whole-school approach to climate change education in a public school located in Mar Chiquita, Buenos Aires, Argentina

The school was designed using a one-of-a-kind multi-stakeholder and highly participatory approach. The building is entirely off-the-grid and uses an “Earthship” design, built with nearly 25 tons of recyclable materials. The building, which is looked after by its 110 students aged 6-12 and their families, runs on solar energy, filters rainwater to make it drinkable, and uses wastewater for its vegetable garden. An interdisciplinary project-based curriculum embeds climate change education across the curricula, including through partnerships, community engagement, and pedagogical innovation, and places strong emphasis on understanding the unique wealth in biodiversity of the nearby coastal lagoon, a UNESCO natural reserve.

The Case Study uses on-site observations, in-depth interviews with key actors in the community, and a document analysis to explore:

  • The challenges and opportunities of whole-school approaches for climate change education, including in relation to the school’s continuity and growth; and
  • The school’s ability to promote a culture of conservation within and beyond the local community; and
  • The potential for replicability of the case, including identifying aspects which may need to be adapted to other contexts, cultures, and regions.


The Case Study showcases the power of whole-school approaches to translate the traditional “grammar school” public school model into a radically different approach that meaningfully contributes to climate action within the local and broader community.

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