30 SES 14 A, Action Competence in Education for Sustainable Development
The EcoSchool program is one the most widely implemented environmental education programs. The effectiveness of the program has been investigated multiple times. Some of the authors focused on its impact on students’ environmental knowledge, attitudes, and behavior (Boeve-de Pauw & Petegem, 2011; O’Mahony & Fitzegald, 2001), while others investigated its impact on the school culture (Pirrie et al., 2006). The presentation summarizes experience with implementation of the EcoSchool program in the Czech Republic and in the Slovak Republic. In the first part, the presentation summarizes the findings of five program evaluations conducted in 2008-2018 (Činčera, 2008; Cincera et al., 2012; Cincera & Krajhanzl, 2013; Cincera & Kovacikova, 2014; Cincera et al., 2018). It describes and compares three possible interpretations of the program: the EcoSchool as the tool for improving school environmental management, the EcoSchool as the instrumental, teacher-centered program aiming to change students’ environmental attitudes and behavior, and the emancipatory, student-centered program aiming to develop students’ action competence. Educational outcomes of each of these programs’ interpretations are further compared. In more details, the presentation focuses on two interrelated themes repeatedly occurring in the evaluations: the question of students’ participation in shaping the program and the question of power. Specifically, the findings from the qualitative evaluation conducted in 2014 and from the quantitative evaluations conducted in 2013 and 2018 are discussed. In the first, data were collected in eight focus groups (N=83) of students from the most active Czech schools involved in the program. In the other two, data from N=1219 students and then from N=148 students and N=65 teachers from the sample of involved schools were collected. The analysis revealed the crucial role of the freedom given to the EcoTeam members to shape the program for their perceived empowerment, action competence, and satisfaction. However, both students’ empowerment and satisfaction were also associated with the power the EcoTeam members had over uninvolved students, forced to respect the rules of promoted pro-environmental behavior. However, this “eco-cop” role was also found to be responsible for the perceived frustration of students at some of the schools. In the presentation, the implications of these findings for implementation of the EcoSchool program are further discussed.
Boeve‐de Pauw, J., and P. Van Petegem. 2011. “The Effect of Flemish Eco‐Schools on Student Environmental Knowledge, Attitudes, and Affect.” International Journal of Science Education 33: 1513–1538. Cincera, J., Boeve-de Pauw, J., Goldman, D., & Simonova, P. (2018). Emancipatory or instrumental? Students’ and teachers’ perception of the EcoSchool program. Environmental Education Research, doi: 10.1080/13504622.2018.1506911 Činčera, J., & Krajhanzl, J. (2013). Eco-Schools: What factors influence pupils’ action competence for pro-environmental behavior? Journal of Cleaner Production, 61, 117-121. Cincera, J., & Kovacikova, S. (2014). Being an Eco-Team member: Movers and Fighters. Applied Environmental Education & Communication, 13(4), 227-233. Činčera, J., Kováčiková, S., Mašková, V., Medal, R., & Medalová, K. (2012). The Green School: an Impact of Evaluation on Decision-Making about a Program. The New Educational Review, 30(4), 17-29. Činčera, J. (2008). Evaluace programu Ekoškola. Envigogika: Charles University E-journal for Environmental Education, 3(2). Retrieved from http://envigogika.cuni.cz/index.php/Envigogika/article/view/30/pdf_30. O’ Mahony, M.J. and F. Fitzgerald, F. 2001. “The Performance of the Irish Green-Schools Programme. Results of the Green-Schools Research Projects.” Environmental education unit. Retrieved from: http://www.greenpreschoolsireland.org/_fileupload/Publications%20and%20Reports/ireland_research_report_2001.pdf Pirrie, A., Elliot, D., McConnell, F., Wilkinson, E. 2006. “Evaluation of EcoSchools Scotland.” Glasgow: University of Glasgow
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