30 SES 10 A, Institutional Perspectives on ESE
Developments of sustainability education, environmental understanding, active approaches to teaching and learning through research, connecting researchers with local practice and policy makers and the exchange of experiences internationally on a whole-school approach were the basis of the Hungarian Ecoschool System using the innovation approach of the ENSI network as described by Peter Posch (Posch, 1999). Recently whole school approach is supported and promoted by various international bodies (EU, 2010) (UNESCO, 2016) as a key factor for successful education for sustainability. Whole school approach of education for sustainability is present at all level of formal education in Hungary. The voluntary Green Kindergarten Award for kindergartens, the similar Eco-school Award for primary and secondary education, the different international programmes for higher education (EU Copernicus, UI GreenMetric Ranking, STARS sustainability tracking, etc.) provide a framework for implementing whole school approach. All of these programs give appreciation and professional support but unlike several other countries, no extra funds for institutions (Gan, Gal, Könczey, & Varga, 2019).
An eco-school differs from the average school in the fact that the principles and themes of sustainability are not only focused in education but in all fields of school life. Local environmental issues and problems are dealt with priority in the schools’ work. (Réti, Horváth, Czippán, & Varga, 2015) At present the network has more than 1000 members: approximately the third of all Hungarian primary, secondary schools.
At the system level, the existence of the network demonstrates the sustainability pedagogy for decision-makers and serves as a network of innovation and dissemination for interested teachers. In response to the latest global and social challenges, many ecoschools have found themselves in the crossfire of demands for greater sustainability efficiency. Such conflict most often arises as a question of the credibility of eco-school educatorsThe paper summarizes the organizational practices of the whole school approach and tries to contribute to the global discussion about the effectiveness of ESD in “materializing accounting" sustainability. Can whole-school sustainability education be assessed A) by eco-school self-assessment methodology, B) by expanding internal and/or independent external pedagogical assessment methods common in school life with ESD aspects, and C) by resource consumption and environmental impact aspects common to economic organizations? Which set of these considerations would provide a relevant answer to what ex.tent can a school validate whole-institution ESD? Stakeholder responses to these options were examined. Changes in the involvement of school personnel in ESD-processes, and the adaptability/inadaptability of local organizational practices are closely investigated.
At all three evaluation levels (school, teacher, student) we looked for the acceptability of the evaluation according to internal or independent external measurements or criteria. We also asked about various items and topics, such as the benefits of participatory based, or excellence-based evaluation. In the case of institutional evaluation, we also asked about the acceptability of evaluation according to resource consumption parameters (e.g. ecological or water footprint proportion per pupil), and in the case of student evaluation, according to conscious behavioral aspects.
This work was completed as part of the ELTE Thematic Excellence Programme 2020 supported by the National Research, Development and Innovation Office (TKP2020-IKA-05)
The paper summarizes the results of a series of questionnaire study: 742 eco-schools in 2019 and data from two previous surveys (2016, 2006) where answers from the same schools were available (368 schools with two consecutive answers, 52 schools with three). All data collection was conducted in January–February as an online questionnaire. using the base of questions of previous years and new developments in ESD. Questions and answers dealt with the state of art in ESD in eco-schools, the organizational processes that maintain ESD, the greatest successes and remarkable whole-school methods of different ecoschools, as well as the obstacles their encounter and supports they need are all included. At all three evaluation levels (school, teacher, student) we looked for the acceptability of the evaluation according to internal or independent external measurements or criteria. We also asked about various items and topics, such as the benefits of participatory based, or excellence-based evaluation. In the case of institutional evaluation, we also asked about the acceptability of evaluation according to resource consumption parameters (e.g. ecological or water footprint proportion per pupil), and in the case of student evaluation, according to conscious behavioral aspects. Free-text answers were coded independently by two experts. For the analysis of ESD attitudes of stakeholders, the artificial Likert-type data were based on the opinions and group-level frequencies. Group-level complex variables were analysed by Kruskal-Wallis test, and the data of 2006, 2016, and 2019 were interpreted as independent groups. The data set may be appended with data from intermediate years. Changes in the eco-school criteria system over time were examined on the basis of documents (calls for applications). For social commitment to sustainability, and the overall environmental consciousness, we used national data from Eurostat surveys.
Voluntary eco-schooling is widespread among both lagging, marginalized schools and among schools considered excellent by more traditional measurements. Educators’ attitudes toward multilevel assessment of eco-school performance are acceptable in stable, high-self-esteem schools, while negative in school communities suffering from high level dropout proportion. The involvement of eco-school stakeholders changed over the years (chi-square within groups, p<0.05) with a peak around 2016. Low involvement of stakeholders is more prevalent in young eco-schools (network membership is shorter than 5 years, Kruskal-Wallis test, p<0.05). For non-teaching staff, their involvement is independent of school type and of the length of time they work at an eco-school, more reflecting institutional leadership practices presumably. The analysis of who (leader, teacher, non-teacher, student, etc.) and how many were involved in the formulation of the answers gave interesting results. Whole-institutional approach can also be made alive if everyone can play a role in the school’s self-reflection. The results show that schools have accepted whole school approach to ESD as an overall goal for more than ten years and are able to achive tangible ESD improvement(s) year after year at institutional level, those can be characterized as ’eco-conscious schools’, where an “ecoschool culture” already exists. Unsurprisingly, where managers responded alone, the extension of formal leadership assessment to whole-institution ESD topics was by no means considered a relevant eco-school assessment. ESD school processes (management and learning processes together) were found to be more resilient if early personal commitments were wider (in numbers and specialization) and those committed persons could form a working group, and also if committed agents could rely on personal professional successes originated in their ESD work. Ecoschool system serves today as think-tank and model to resilient and innovative schools and even for administrative decision makers in Hungary, and can give answers to the most pressing ESD challenges
EU. (2010). Council conclusions of 19 November 2010 on education for sustainable development I. Official Journal of the European Union, 4. 12.(12), C 327/11- C 327/14. http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:C:2010:327:0011:0014:EN:PDF Accessed on 15. 01 2021 Posch, P. (1999). The Ecologisation of Schools and its Implications for Educational Policy. Cambridge Journal of Education, , 29(3), 341–348. Réti, M., Horváth, D., Czippán, K., & Varga, A. (2015). The challenge of mainstreaming of ESD in Hungary Schooling for Sustainable Development Volume. In R. Jucker, & R. Mathar, Schooling for Sustainable Development in Europe (p..: 201-219). Switzerland: Springer. http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007%2F978-3-319-09549-3_12 Accessed on 15. 01 2021 UNESCO. (2016). GEM Report 2016: What is the ‘whole school approach’ to environmental education? Accessed on 15. 01 2021 https://gemreportunesco.wordpress.com/2016/11/15/what-is-the-whole-school-approach-to-environmental-education/ Accessed on 15. 01 2021 :
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