30 SES 06 B, Assessing and monitoring outcomes of ESE
A growing amount of evidence indicates that without significant changes in the operation of societies human activity on the Earth cannot be sustained without global disasters in the long run. But evidence itself is not enough even to initiate social changes, not to mention the realization of changes. It is more and more obvious that as scientific knowledge alone is insufficient for responding sustainability challenges societies dealing with. Beside scientific knowledge, there is a growing need to assess other types (like competencies or even change in social patterns) of outputs of ESD in all level of education. There are at least two big steps from evidence to social changes. First, evidence has to be communicated to society. Second, new ways of operating the society, which encourage, ensure sustainable lifestyles should be developed and introduced. Education has a crucial role in both steps. This is reflected in the Sustainable Development Goals adopted by the United Nations (UN, 2015) As Mika and Kiss have stated, in addition to SDG 4, which is entirely about education, six additional SDGs refer to education or its synonyms (Mika & Kiss A., 2018):
Many authors and organizations pointed out, that education is crucial for the achievement of every and all SDGs e.g. (UNESCO, 2017) ESD can contribute to achieving the SDGs by, first, developing cross-cutting sustainability competencies that are needed to deal with many different sustainability challenges and to relate the different SDGs to each other. Second, ESD can equip learners with the specific cognitive, socio-emotional and behavioural learning outcomes that enable them to deal with the particular challenges of each SDG.
Education is an integral part of the society where the students are basically prepared to continue the way of operation of the society. A new model of the society requires new types of educational approaches, otherwise stakeholders of the society will not start to change their behaviour. Therefore, teacher competencies in ESD shall be more integral to teachers' professional knowledge and skill repertoires.
What kind of competencies do teachers need to support ESD? By what criteria and how can these competencies be measured? A lot of theoretical work has been done in the new millennium in order to identify teachers’ competencies and school operating processes needed to help to communicate the messages of sustainability to learners and prepare them to take an active part in the sustainable transition of the society. (e.g. Sterling, 2001; Wheeler, 2000) One of the most influential models was developed in the CSCT project by the international collaboration of several teacher training institutes and other stakeholders (Sleurs, 2008). Beside the theoretical developments international educational policymakers also recognized the need for defined teacher competencies related to ESD, and in 2012, UNECE has defined its set of ESD teacher competencies (UNECE, 2012).
Theoretical and political definitions of teacher competencies are the first steps only in the implementation process of these competencies throughout the educational system. In the next step a diagnosis needed about which competencies are now present among teachers and which competencies needed further developments.
Our complex research set has been conducted in the past years in order to map teachers’ and schools’ view on ESD competencies and their views about the possible ways to assess them. The paper presents the main findings and conclusions of these researches.
Hungarian teachers’ and schools ESD-related thinking was studied in different researches in the Hungarian Institute for Educational Research and Development. This paper gives an overview of the results considering teachers’ teacher competencies for ESD. The data collection was conducted between 2016 and 2019. A set of questions and examined the ESD competencies mentioned above. In the first research (part A) an on-line questionnaire was open to fill in for every Hungarian K-12 plus preschool institutes (ISCED0-ISCED3). 15,7% of total number of Hungarian pre-primary, primary and secondary educational institutes, altogether 1419 institutes completed the questionnaire. The regional distribution of the sample represents the regional distribution of the Hungarian K-12 educational institutions. The main themes of the questionnaire were: overall goals of ESD, teaching practice and teacher competencies, and realization of whole school approach of ESD. Sustainable development (SD) and ESD is a relatively new part of the Hungarian education, thus initial teacher training of teachers above their thirties did not prepare them to these complex challenges. At the same time, as we all know, ESD has a strong innovative feature, thus even the veteran environmental educators and ESD teachers need to renew their knowledge regularly. Obviously, in-service training is vitally important for teaching and learning ESD in Hungary. In the second research (part B) 91 participants of a 30-hour ESD in-service teacher training course filled in a pair of questionnaires about ESD before and after an eco-pedagogical training. In the third research (part C) focus group interviews were organized in 41 eco-schools and 42 green-kindergartens with teachers on teacher competences. The main topics of the interviews were: the successes and obstacles of the realization of whole school-approach in the institutions, the strength and weaknesses of teachers regarding the teacher competencies needed for successful ESD and state of art of the introduction of themes of Natura 2000 network into teaching practice. Another online questionnaire (part D) to 1000 ecoschools provides rough picture on their view about how to evaluate the sustainability education and global educational practices of schools, both at school level, teachers’ level and students’ level. The paper will provide an insight into the in-depth analysis of the collected data by the dimensions of Mogren’s whole school development model (Mogren, Gericke, & Scherp , 2018).
The findings will give an insight on what individual teacher’s competence (interdisciplinarity, support critical thinking, global understanding, dealing with local issues, support participative learning, community decision-making, support learning by doing, teaching about adaptation possibilities for environmental challenges) are concerned as the most significant ones by teachers and school principals. Our analysis will also reveal which of these competence elements are considered to be assessable and what obstacles of implementing the assessment of these teacher competencies occur while assessing them on an individual, institutional and national level. The results are applicable for developing teacher education and in-service training. That’s why the first conclusion of the paper is the list and description of teacher competencies, which were defined as important or even essential for effective ESD by policy and research papers but were ranked low or were reported as unreal by schools or even weren’t found in Hungarian teachers’ practice. In 2018 it was decided that ESD competencies should be included into the professional assessment system of teachers in Hungary (Ministry of Education, 2018) (Hungarian Government, 2018), which means that from 2020 every teacher in Hungary should prove their ESD competencies in order to qualify for a career prolongation or promotion. Detailed ESD assessment instrument is now under construction. Our findings contribute to this work. One obvious limitation of our study is that there are no data on student level about the effect of teacher competencies on pupils learning. It is due to the fact that at the moment there is no nationwide pupils’ measurement with ESD element in Hungary. As there are promising international initiatives e.g. PISA global competencies, to introduce the ESD element examples in pupils measurement we could hope that we will be able to complete the range of our study in the coming years.
Hungarian Government. (2018). 326/2013 modified Government decree. Forrás: https://net.jogtar.hu/jogszabaly?docid=A1300326.KOR : Mika, J., & Kiss A., É. (2018). Oktatás az ensz fenntartható fejlődési céljaiban. Ministry of Education. (2018). 20/2012 Modified Ministerial decree. Forrás: https://net.jogtar.hu/jogszabaly?docid=A1200020.EMM 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. doi:10.1080/13504622.2018.1455074 Sleurs, W. (2008). Competencies for ESD (Education for Sustainable Development) teachers. Brussels: (Curriculum, Sustainable development, Competences, Teacher training (CSCT) Comenius 2.1 project. Streling, S. (2001): Re-Visioning Learning and Change. Schumacher Briefings. Report to the Schumacher UK. Forrás: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED464791 UN. (2015). Sutainable Development Goals. Forrás: http://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/sustainable-development-goals/ UNECE. (2012). Learning for the future. Genf. Letöltés dátuma: 2018. 03. 21., forrás: https://www.unece.org/fileadmin/DAM/env/esd/ESD_Publications/Competences_Publication.pdf UNESCO. (2017). Education for Sustainable Development Goals. Learning Objectives. . http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0024/002474/247444e.pdf. Wheeler, K. (2000): Sustainability from five perspectives. In: Wheeler, A.K. and Bijur, A.P: Education for a Sustainable Future: A Paradigm of Hope for the 21st Century. Introduction. P.3-6. Forrás: https://goo.gl/MqSKN4
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