30 SES 06 B, Assessing and monitoring outcomes of ESE
As ESD is increasingly being implemented, questions of measuring its extent and quality are also getting more important. Thus, monitoring approaches are underlined in their relevance. Educational monitoring approaches are framed within the broader context of evidence based or evidence informed policy making (Lingard, 2013). They can be defined as an indicator-based and systematic observation of the input, output and process aspects of an education system for the purpose of comparison and quality improvement (Ioannidou, 2010). There is a plea for multi-methods designs in ESD monitoring projects (Stepanek Lockhart, 2018). At the same time many approaches still rely on self-reports (UNESCO 2017) and thereby miss independence and critical reflection (Nazir et al., 2009). For this reason, a crucial question is how to capture the extent, quality and development of ESD on different levels (documents, educational practices, public awareness etc.) in a methodologically robust and still context-specific way? More specifically, it is of interest, how to capture the regionally and historically varying manifestations of ESD as a result of broad multi-stakeholder processes (Feinstein, Jacobi, & Lotz-Sisitka, 2013) while at the same time aiming for interregional and international comparability of data.
The aim of the paper is to draw conclusions from a 4-year national monitoring of ESD from a meta perspective in terms of the possibilities and limitations of transferability to other (national) contexts. These conclusions are based on the design (theoretical foundations and applied methods) and the outcomes of the project. Within the implementation of the UNESCO GAP in Germany, the department of the scientific advisor was commissioned to design and conduct a national monitoring which aims at grasping the extent and quality for ESD in Germany as well as finding pathways to foster ESD. The research project covers different educational areas (early childhood education, school education, vocational education and training, higher education, non-formal learning organizations as well as local authorities). It encompassed multiple methods: a document analysis, expert interviews as well as a quantitative study.
Overall, the results indicate the following:
1) ESD has been increasingly implemented on the level of documents, but varies between the different federal states of Germany, the educational areas, and specific subjects or disciplines(Singer-Brodowski et al., 2018). Furthermore, the findings show that ESD has been identified as the most widely used educational concept compared to related ones (environmental education, global learning etc.) (van Poeck, Vandenabeele, & Bruyninckx, 2013).
2) Expert interviews revealed several diffusion pathways of ESD in the last years that are divergent in the different educational areas. The less formal educational areas (early childhood education, non-formal learning organizations and local authorities) seem to be more responsive towards the uptake of ESD than the more formal ones. In all educational areas, the diffusion of ESD is taking place within the interplay of the social innovation ESD (Bormann, 2013) and its innovation environment (Singer-Brodowski, Etzkorn, & von Seggern, 2019).
3) A quantitative study reveals that young people as well as teachers wish for much more (E)SD in their educational areas. Both groups regard a tripling of SD-references in their educational settings as ideal. These findings demonstrate that recipients and educators are in general motivated to implement ESD. In contrast to the desired extent to ESD, the young people and the teachers report that the current implementation encompasses only a small share of the classes and is dependent on specific subjects and single engaged educators (Grund & Brock, 2018).
The current research activities encompass the repetition of the document analysis, focus group discussions about the governance of ESD and the combination of a quantitative approach with a self-evaluation tool for non-formal learning organizations.
While using the different experiences and results from a multi-methods monitoring approach the aim is to identify which methods are appropriate to analyze the different facets of ESD in a specific country in order to 1.) going well-beyond self-reported data and 2.) collect data that can be transferred to other regions/countries. The document analysis was based on an adapted set of international indicators for the implementation of ESD that were developed during the UN Decade of ESD, e.g. from the UNECE (UNECE Steering Committee on Education for Sustainable Development, 2007). Although these internation-al indicators were a good base, the national indicators in the monitoring had to be adjusted to the specific characteristics of the German educational system and the different educational areas on the one hand and to the availability and comparability of existing data on the other hand. Moreover, the list of key words for analyzing the documents was subject of intense methodical discus-sions as it involved – beside “sustainability” and “sustainable development” – only educational concepts and not thematic issues of ESD. Nevertheless, the procedure seems to be adaptable also to other national contexts. The interview study covering altogether 66 perspectives of experts encompassed active stakeholders in the committee structure of the GAP in Germany who were chosen by different criteria (e.g. professional background in educational practice, administration, science, civil society, and politics). For the analysis of the expert interviews, a qualitative content analysis (Mayring, 2015), including deductive category application and inductive category development, was used. Although the procedure of data collection and analysis can be applied in other national contexts as well, the results already hint to the highly contextualized manifestations of ESD (diffusion processes) in different educational areas. It can thereby inform successful policy strategies. The quantitative study about young people (n = 2.564) as well as teachers (n = 525) used an online access panel to gather self-report data through the usage of questionnaires. The used scales are a combination of existing and adapted scales (Boeve-de Pauw, Gericke, Olsson, & Berglund, 2015) and systematically developed novel items. These scales measured among others: ESD implementation, ESD relevant knowledge, attitudes, behavior and emotions as well as the perception of likely as well as desirable futures. This operationalization of ESD features a high international comparability.
In conclusion, we gathered a variety of different data where the methodological approaches complemented each other’s weak spots and strengths and drew a broader picture about the extent, quality and development of ESD on different levels and thereby met the requirements of multi-methods monitoring approaches. This contribution is understood as adding relevant insights to the international discourse of monitoring approaches and developing it further – especially in the con-text of the post-GAP program for ESD. UNESCO’s attempts for indicator based approaches in the context of operationalising SDG 4.7 is highly necessary to generate an independent data-base and to go well beyond uncritical self-reports. Even for the political bridge to the Agenda 2030, it seems necessary to put an effort in the indicatorization of 4.7. Nevertheless, these efforts need to be complemented with other research elements to gain knowledge that is more multi-perspective, diversified, continuously adaptable and policy-relevant. In the end, monitoring approaches should serve the goal to support the uptake of high-quality ESD in the different educational areas.
Boeve-de Pauw, J., Gericke, N., Olsson, D., & Berglund, T. (2015). The Effectiveness of Education for Sustainable Development. Sustainability, 7, 15693–15717. https://doi.org/10.3390/su71115693 Bormann, I. (2013). Bildung für nachhaltige Entwicklung als Praxis sozialer Innovation. In J. Rückert-John (Ed.), Research. Soziale Innovation und Nachhaltigkeit: Perspektiven sozialen Wandels (pp. 269–288). Wiesbaden: Springer VS. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-531-18974-1_14 Feinstein, N. W., Jacobi, P. R., & 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, 218–230. https://doi.org/10.1080/13504622.2013.767321 Grund, J.; & Brock, A. (2018). Executive Summary Bildung für nachhaltige Entwicklung in Lehr- Lern-settings. Quantitative Studie des nationalen Monitorings. Befragung junger Menschen. Download: https://www.ewi-psy.fu-berlin.de/einrichtungen/weitere/institut-futur/aktuelles/dateien/executive_summary_junge_menschen.pdf. Ioannidou, A. (2010). Educational Monitoring and Reporting as Governance Instruments for Evidence-based Education Policy. In K. Amos (Ed.), International Educational Governance (pp. 155–172). Emerald Group Publishing Limited. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1479-3679(2010)0000012011 Lingard, B. (2013). The impact of research on education policy in an era of evidence-based policy. Critical Studies in Education, 54, 113–131. https://doi.org/10.1080/17508487.2013.781515 Mayring, P. (2015). Qualitative Inhaltsanalyse: Grundlagen und Techniken (12., überarb. Aufl.). Beltz Pädagogik. Weinheim: Beltz. Nazir, J., Pedretti, E., Wallace, J., Montemurro, D., & Inwood, H. (2009). Climate Change and Sus-tainable Development: The Response from Education: The Canadian Perspective. Singer-Brodowski, M., Brock, A., Etzkorn, N., & Otte, I. (2018). Monitoring of Education for Sustainable Development in Germany – Insights from Early Childhood Education, School and Higher Education. Environmental Education Research, 1–16. https://doi.org/10.1080/13504622.2018.1440380 Singer-Brodowski, M., Etzkorn, N., & Seggern, J. von. (2019). One Transformation Path Does Not Fit All—Insights into the Diffusion Processes of Education for Sustainable Development in Different Educational Areas in Germany. Sustainability, 11. https://doi.org/10.3390/su11010269 Stepanek Lockhart, A. (2018). Monitoring ESD: Lessons Learned and Ways Forward: Issues and Trends in Education for Sustainable Development. In United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Ed.), Issues and Trends in Education for Sustainble Development (pp. 215–231). UNECE Steering Committee on Education for Sustainable Development. (2007). Indicators for Education for Sustainable Development: Progress report on the work of the Expert Group. Van Poeck, K., Vandenabeele, J., & Bruyninckx, H. (2013). Taking stock of the UN Decade of educa-tion for sustainable development: The policy-making process in Flanders. Environmental Education Research, 20, 695–717. https://doi.org/10.1080/13504622.2013.836622
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