30 SES 07 B, Perspectives on ESE in Schools
Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) is receiving more attention, both in research as in the daily educational practice. ESD encompasses a pluralistic, holistic and action-orientated perspective that involves learner-centered and democratic teaching strategies. These principles set ESD apart from other educational frameworks such as Environmental or Citizenship Education, that focus more on a single aspect of sustainability. Holism is characterized by looking at environmental, social and economic issues form their past, present and future implications. These issues are also discussed on a local, regional and global scale (Boeve-de Pauw, Gericke, Olsson, & Berglund, 2015; Öhman, 2008). Secondly holism adds a dialogue with different viewpoints on issues related to sustainable development (Boeve-de Pauw et al., 2015; Lijmbach, Van Arcken, Van Koppen, & Wals, 2002; Rudsberg & Öhman, 2010). Lastly there is the need for action for sustainability.
Given the severe implications of unsustainability for the natural and cultural world, efforts in the field of ESD have to be effective (Boeve-de Pauw & Van Petegem, 2017; Scott, 2009). However, empirical evidence for the effectiveness and success of ESD and ESD implementation is near to lacking (Boeve-de Pauw et al., 2015; Vare & Scott, 2007). Moreover research that looks at the effectiveness of ESD and ESD-implementation, has a tendency to focus primarily on learner outcomes (Boeve-de Pauw et al., 2015; Mogren, Gericke, & Scherp, 2018), while the contextual level of school organization seems to remain a blind spot in ESD research.
Next to the limited amount of ESD literature on the school organizational level, the existing literature looks at ESD as an educational quality (i.e. ESD implies qualitative education that has sustainable development as a secondary effect), wherein this quality is seen as a commitment of the school to continuously improve towards a desired goal (Mogren & Gericke, 2017a, 2017b; Vare & Scott, 2007). This school improvement perspective however, can lead to a situation wherein the outcomes can be deemed less important to the process. In line with Teddlie and Reynolds (2006) and Mortimore and Macbeath (2001), we argue that the gap between the school improvement idea and the school effectiveness perspective should be bridged. This shift towards a more positivistic way of looking at ESD is steadily making its way into ESD-research (Bormann & Nikel, 2017), and has been the topic of a symposium within network 30 at the most recent ECER conference.
Given the evidence in both school effectiveness literature (Creemers & Kyriakides, 2008; Teddlie & Reynolds, 2006) and ESD literature (Vare & Scott, 2007) on the facilitating role of organizational characteristics and the lack of literature on the subject, we aimed to define a framework for the ESD-effective school. In the past few years the research on the school level and ESD-implementation has been increasing (see for example Mogren & Gericke, 2017a, 2017b; Mogren et al., 2018), but a comprehensive framework of the ESD-effective school is still lacking. The development of such a framework will not only aid in measuring the effectiveness of ESD-schools, but will also provide the necessary guidelines for what ESD-effectiveness means. The framework presented in this study was developed by synthesizing different notions of an ESD-active organization with existing theories of school organization research and ESD-literature. The following research questions are central in this study:
- What organizational aspects of an ESD-effective school can be found in the literature?
- What organization aspects lead to effectiveness within an ESD-school?
- How can an ESD-effective school be described via the existing literature?
By conducting a literature research, we synthesized literature both form the field of ESD and school organizational management. By the clear and consistent description of the different steps and methods, the replicability, reliability and validity of this study is assured. In order to be included, studies had to focus on the school organizational level and they had to be linked to ESD or a related field (e.g. Environmental or Citizenship Education). We limited the timeframe to studies published from 2000 to today. This timeslot ensured that research produced in the years leading up to the UN Decade for Sustainable Development (DESD; 2005-2014) was included. Studies reported in English and Flemish and both qualitative as quantitative studies where included. The initial search focused on peer-reviewed journal articles. Other sources, such as practice-orientated research, were also included when they had clear links with the subject and had a sound methodology to ensure reliability and validity. Finally, since this study focusses on ESD in primary and secondary schools, studies on a different education level (kindergarten and higher education), or outside the scope of formal education, were excluded. The EBSCO search engine was used to search two databases simultaneously. The first database was the Educational Resources Information Center (ERIC). This database is regarded as the most comprehensive in the field of education (Evans & Benefield, 2001). The second database was GreenFILE, which focusses on environment and sustainability topics. Search queries used were for example: ESD AND School Organization, ESD AND School Leadership, School Culture AND ESD,… The database search lead to a total of 13 selected articles. Next to databases, handbooks on school organization where searched for relevant studies that aided in explaining the organizational characteristics in an ESD context. Via citation chasing, looking up other works of certain authors and going through books on school organization and administration, the total amount of studies used was 49. All selected studies were read thoroughly and different aspects of the ESD-Effective school that came forth in the literature were highlighted and categorized with similar aspects. Via reading and rereading, a table containing seventeen initial categories was developed (Strauss & Corbin, 1990). By analyzing the text fragments attributed to different categories, similar or related categories were combined. This lead to nine aspects of the ESD-effective school.
From the literature review we produced a new framework for the ESD-Effective School. The framework includes two contextual aspect that set the field for six central aspects. Structure encompasses the different roles, planning and curriculum setting within the school. Sustainable leadership works with and adjusts the school structure to facilitate the effectiveness of ESD. School leaders are often initiators of ESD-implementation and moreover, steer the other aspects of the ESD-Effective School. While the structure and sustainable leadership create important contextual conditions for ESD effective schools, the six central aspects are also to be interpreted as interlinked and are therefore depicted as overlapping circles. Firstly pluralistic communication, coordinates the activities and information flow within the school and is characterized by the critical dialogue between different viewpoints. Secondly, supportive relations can increase ESD-effectiveness. These are manifested within the school team, between schools, between school leaders and with outside partners. We identified Collective efficacy, the idea of the school team that their joint efforts have a positive effect on the student outcomes, as the third aspect of the ESD effective school. The fourth aspect is the adaptability towards internal and external demands. An effective school is able to respond to these demands and can improve by doing so. Democratic decision making, or participation of all stakeholders, is the fifth aspect identified. Finally, an ESD-Effective school needs a shared vision on ESD that guides the way the school functions. This framework can provide a basis for future research on school effectiveness related to ESD. In future research, we will further validate this framework. At the moment, a qualitative study is being set up to check the empirical value of this newly developed framework.
Boeve-de Pauw, J., Gericke, N., Olsson, D., & Berglund, T. (2015). The Effectiveness of Education for Sustainable Development. Sustainability, 7(11). Boeve-de Pauw, J., & Van Petegem, P. (2017). Eco-school evaluation beyond labels: the impact of environmental policy, didactics and nature at school on student outcomes. Environmental Education Research, 1-18. Bormann, I., & Nikel, J. (2017). How Education for Sustainable Development Is Implemented in Germany: Looking through the Lens of Educational Governance Theory. IRE, 63(6), 793-809. Creemers, B. P. M., & Kyriakides, L. (2008). The dynamics of educational effectiveness: a contribution to policy, practice and theory in contemporary schools: London, Routledge 2008. Evans, J., & Benefield, P. J. B. e. r. j. (2001). Systematic reviews of educational research: does the medical model fit? , 27(5), 527-541. Lijmbach, S., Van Arcken, M. M., Van Koppen, C. S. A., & Wals, A. E. J. (2002). 'Your View of Nature is Not Mine!': Learning about pluralism in the classroom. Environmental Education Research, 8(2), 121-135. Mogren, A., & Gericke, N. (2017a). ESD Implementation at the School Organisation Level, Part 1--Investigating the Quality Criteria Guiding School Leaders' Work at Recognized ESD Schools. Environmental Education Research, 23(7), 972-992. Mogren, A., & Gericke, N. (2017b). ESD implementation at the school organisation level, part 2 – investigating the transformative perspective in school leaders’ quality strategies at ESD schools. Environmental Education Research, 23(7), 993-1014. Mogren, A., Gericke, N., & Scherp, H.-Å. (2018). Whole school approaches to education for sustainable development: a model that links to school improvement. Environmental Education Research, 1-24. Mortimore, P., & Macbeath, J. (2001). Improving school effectiveness: Buckingham, Open University Press 2001. Öhman, J. (2008). Environmental ethics and democratic responsibility : a pluralistic approach to ESD. In Ö. Johan (Ed.), Values and democracy in education for sustainable development : contributions from Swedish research (pp. 17-32). Malmö: Liber. Rudsberg, K., & Öhman, J. (2010). Pluralism in practice – experiences from Swedish evaluation, school development and research. Environmental Education Research, 16(1), 95-111. Scott, W. (2009). Judging the Effectiveness of a Sustainable School: A Brief Exploration of Issues. Journal of Education for Sustainable Development, 3(1), 33-39. Strauss, A. L., & Corbin, J. M. (1990). Basics of qualitative research: grounded theory procedures and techniques: Sage Publications. Teddlie, C., & Reynolds, D. (2006). The international handbook of school effectiveness research: London, Routledge 2006. Vare, P., & Scott, W. (2007). Learning for a Change: Exploring the Relationship Between Education and Sustainable Development. JESD, 1(2), 191-198.
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
Network 2. Vocational Education and Training (VETNET)
Network 3. Curriculum Innovation
Network 4. Inclusive Education
Network 5. Children and Youth at Risk and Urban Education
Network 6. Open Learning: Media, Environments and Cultures
Network 7. Social Justice and Intercultural Education
Network 8. Research on Health Education
Network 9. Assessment, Evaluation, Testing and Measurement
Network 10. Teacher Education Research
Network 11. Educational Effectiveness and Quality Assurance
Network 12. LISnet - Library and Information Science Network
Network 13. Philosophy of Education
Network 14. Communities, Families and Schooling in Educational Research
Network 15. Research Partnerships in Education
Network 16. ICT in Education and Training
Network 17. Histories of Education
Network 18. Research in Sport Pedagogy
Network 19. Ethnography
Network 20. Research in Innovative Intercultural Learning Environments
Network 22. Research in Higher Education
Network 23. Policy Studies and Politics of Education
Network 24. Mathematics Education Research
Network 25. Research on Children's Rights in Education
Network 26. Educational Leadership
Network 27. Didactics – Learning and Teaching
The programme is updated regularly (each day in the morning)
- Search for keywords and phrases in "Text Search"
- Restrict in which part of the abstracts to search in "Where to search"
- Search for authors and in the respective field.
- For planning your conference attendance you may want to use the conference app, which will be issued some weeks before the conference
- If you are a session chair, best look up your chairing duties in the conference system (Conftool) or the app.