30 SES 14, The Opportunities and Limitations of ESD/GCE/ESE Monitoring Approaches - Knowledge production within and beside standardization
In the context of globalized educational policies (Rizvi/ Lingard 2010) and the international Agenda 2030, evaluation and monitoring approaches are gaining increasingly political relevance and public visibility. While there existed differentiated indicator sets for Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) during the UN Decade (e.g., UNECE 2005), the current strategies focus on defining one indicator to capture progress (SDG 4.7). Although there are only few studies about the systematic integration of ESD on the level of national policies (Læssøe/ Mochizuki 2015: 28), there is a trend of using indicator-based research projects to measure the state of ESD in specific regions and also push the further integration of ESD (i.e. in sustainability strategies, educational reports).
Nevertheless, the monitoring of ESD, GCE (Global Citizenship Education) or ESE (Environmental and Sustainability Education) holds not only opportunities for communicating progressive educational approaches in the light of global challenges, but also the risk to reduce, de-contextualize and oversimplify the research objects. Based on the assumption, that ESE is not only influenced by international policy trends but also by the cultural and socio-political conditions and the landscape of actors in local contexts (Blum et al. 2012, Feinstein et al. 2013), the question arises how suitable standardized and indicator-based evaluation and monitoring approaches are for capturing the multi-facetted practices of ESD. One the one side there is the risk that standardized approaches based on international indicators and strategies are leading to a narrowing of the very specific and context sensitive understandings and practices of ESD, GCE and ESE in local contexts. On the other side, the potentials of these approaches can be seen in measuring, communicating and thereby mainstreaming the apporaches through evidence-based policy strategies. Further questions emerge with the dynamics of gaining policy-relevant evidence at the science policy interface, i.e. looking at the level of independence of monitoring reports in ESD (Nazir et al. 2009).
During the symposium, the opportunities and limitations of ESD/GCE/ECE monitoring approaches are discussed against the background of general trends in educational and sustainability policies. The overall question is what kind of knowledge is used as a base for monitoring approaches in the context of ECE/ ESD and GCE and how this knowledge is adapted (or not) by policy-makers. Three presentations will focus on this question from different perspectives and different countries (Chile, Germany and Sweden).
The first presentation highlights tensions between local knowledge about environmental related education and the National ESD policy strategy of Chile. A main result of the presented research project is that Chilean teachers are using contextualized approaches stemming from traditional concepts of environmental related education but are measured by a standardized environmental management approach in their schools. The second presentation focusses on the results of the ESD monitoring in Germany that are communicated and used at the science policy interface. It reflects how the policy relevant knowledge is used in various ways and which kinds of chances and risks can be seen in it (e.g., by reducing complexity). The third presentation focusses on the changing conceptions of policy relevant knowledge (production) in the background of the global trend of economization of educational policies. This trend seems to support a fragmented and isolated mode of standardization for incremental change in sustainability and educational policies rather than the fundamental transformation that is needed regarding global sustainability problems.
The symposium wants to combine different perspectives on how policy-relevant and standardized knowledge about ESD/GCE/ECE monitoring is produced, communicated, critized and sometimes even rejected. Thus, it wants to open up discussions about a critical and reflected engagement of researchers at the science policy interface (Læssøe et al. 2013).
Blum, N., Nazir, J., Breiting, S., Goh, K.C., Pedretti, E. (2013): Balancing the tensions and meeting the conceptual challenges of education for sustainable development and climate change. Environmental Education Research, 19(2), 206–217. Feinstein, N.W., Jacobi, P., Lotz-Sisitka, H. (2013): When does a nation-level analysis make sense? ESD and educational governance in Brazil, South Africa and the USA. Environmental Education Research, 19(2), 218–230. Læssøe, J., Feinstein, N. W., Blum, N. (2013): Environmental education policy research – challenges and ways research might cope with them. Environmental Education Research, 19(2), 231–242. Nazir, J., Pedretti, E., Wallace, J., Montemurro, D., Inwood, H. (2009): Climate Change and Sustainable Development: The Response from Education. The Canadian Perspective. Toronto. Rizvi, F., Lingard, B. (2010): Globalizing Education Policy. New York: Routledge Press. United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) (2005): Indicators for Education for Sustainable Development. Progress Report on the Work of the Expert Group. ECE/CEP/AC.13/2006/5. Download from: http://www.unece.org/fileadmin/DAM/env/documents/2005/cep/ac.13/cep.ac.13.2005.9.e.pdf.
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