30 SES 00 PS, General Poster Exhibition - NW 30
Posters can be viewed in the General Poster Exhibition throughout the ECER week.
Policy- makers have pinpointed the importance of living in a more sustainable society. The influential policy document ‘Transforming our world: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.’ indicates that “all learners (should) acquire knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development …”) (target 4.7., UN, 2015, p. 19). Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) allows teachers to reveal the complexity of Sustainable Development (SD) in education to students (Sandell, Öhman, Östman, Billingham & Lindman 2005; Wals, 2011). ESD teaching should inspire changes in behaviour towards a more sustainable world in respect of environmental integrity, viable economic activity and social justice for both present and future generations (UNESCO, 2006). Teachers are responsible for students to get knowledge and skills which enable them to take actions to cope with SD issues (Hungerford, 2010).
A recently proposed model for applying ESD instructional practices in class, which lead to powerful learning environments in Education for Sustainable Development includes holistic, pluralistic, and action-oriented approaches towards SD issues (Sinakou, Donche, Boeve-de Pauw & Van Petegem, 2019). Holistic approaches to SD issues take into account aspects of all three dimensions of the concept of SD, that is, the environment, society and economy considering also the interrelations among them. Time and place perspectives are also taken into consideration (e.g., Summers & Childs, 2007; Öhman, 2008). Pluralistic approaches towards SD issues makes students to think critically and reflect on SD issues from multiple perspectives, assumptions, views and values (e.g., Rudsberg & Öhman, 2010). With argumentation, they support their standpoints but also actively listen to others, which allows them to form or reform their own viewpoints (e.g., Rudsberg & Öhman, 2010; Jensen & Schnack, 1997). Through rational discussions and argumentation, they see positive points of contested viewpoints (Jickling, 1994), which makes tolerant to the opposite standpoints and enables them to reach to an agreement (Englund, 2006; Englund et al., 2008). The above description of holism and pluralism highlight that the SD issues are more often than not complex, unpredictable and even wicked problems (e.g., Wals 2011). Therefore, there are not predetermined solutions to tackle SD issues (Hungerford & Volk, 1990). This means that an ESD action-oriented approach should not aim at behaviour modification on part of students. Rather, students should get equipped to make informed decisions and actions in order to cope with SD issues (Rudsberg & Ohman, 2010; Wals, 2011). Action- oriented approaches towards SD issues include instructional practices that (a) encourage students’ action-taking, b) students’ active participation in their learning and teaching, c) interaction among the students d) community involvement and e) an interdisciplinary approach when dealing with SD issues (Sinakou et al., 2019).
There is a great emphasis in the latest international policy documents (UNESCO 2014a, UN 2015, UNESCO 2014b) on developing on monitoring the implementation of ESD programmes. In this way, we could reveal evidence- based effective ESD techniques (UNESCO 2014b) to be taken into consideration when making ESD policy and, ﬁnally, to narrow the gap between ESD policy and practice. This makes it necessary to do more empirical research on ESD implementation. This study endeavors to cover this gap by combining teachers’ and students’ perspectives regarding the instructional practices that teachers apply in their lessons about SD issues. It explores teachers’ profiles regarding their instructional beliefs and the instructional practices in ESD that they apply in their lessons. Also, it investigates students’ perceptions about their teachers’ instructional practices in ESD to reveal if they are aligned with teachers’ profiles, and if not, what are the differences among them.
The study will first focus on the investigation of teachers’ perspectives and to the combination of teachers’ perspectives and students’ perspectives. This study is still under development. First, we will examine teachers’ profiles based on their self-reported instructional beliefs and instructional practices in ESD. To do so, we will make use of the Holism- Pluralism in ESD questionnaire (HPESD-Q), which is recently developed and validated in the Flemish context (Sinakou, Donche, Boeve-de Pauw, Van Petegem, 2021, submitted). The HPESD-Q includes (a) the Instructional Beliefs scale with a subscale about Holism and a subscale about Pluralism and (b) the Instructional Practices scale with a subscale about Holism and a subscale about Pluralism. Holism scales (9 items) refer to the inclusion of all environmental, social and economic aspects of SD issues as well as time and place implications. Pluralism scales include 5 items which refer to critical thinking and considering diverse perspectives in relation to SD issues. The sample consists of 276 Flemish teachers of the last two school years of elementary school (for children 11 and 12 aged) and the data were collected in September 2019. To explore teachers’ profiles, we will employ cluster analyses and latent profile analysis. Our next step is to examine students’ perceptions of the instructional practices of their teachers when dealing with SD issues. We have developed an instrument to measure (a) teachers’ instructional practices applied in the ESD lessons, according to students and (b) what instructional practices regarding SD issues the students would like their teachers to apply in the future. The questionnaire includes two separate scales; one scale about teachers’ instructional practices applied in the ESD lessons, according to students and one scale about what instructional practices would wish to be applied. Both scales contain three subscales; the holism scale (3 items), the pluralism scale (4 items) and the action-orientation scale (4 items). We collected data in June 2020 from 274 elementary school students, aged 11 and 12. We will use this sample to validate the questionnaire via confirmatory factor analysis and reliability analysis. Then, we will examine any potential differences among students’ perceptions as to (a) what instructional practices their teachers apply in class regarding SD issues and (b) what instructional practices wish their teachers to apply regarding SD issues. We will apply ANOVA analysis to examine the differences among the means of students’ perceptions among the teachers’ groups/clusters.
Since it is currently an ongoing project, key findings will be discussed at the presentation. We expect to end up in teachers’ groups with specific profiles in regard to their instructional beliefs and instructional practices about SD issues. It is possible that for some groups of teachers, their instructional practices are in alignment with their instructional beliefs. However, most probably, we will find differences between their instructional beliefs and practices within the same group of teachers. This is because there is often a gap between teachers’ beliefs and their practices (e.g., Fang, 1996). As for the students’ questionnaire, the validity analysis will ensure the factor structure of the questionnaire. The Cronbach’s a’s will confirm that the data collected with this questionnaire are also reliable. The collective analysis of both teachers’ and students’ perspectives will reveal if there is a difference among them. In particular, within each group of teachers, we will find students’ perceptions as to (a) what happens in class regarding ESD teaching and (b) what they would wish to happen. This study incorporates both teachers’ perspectives (both beliefs and practices) and students’ perspectives (about both what happens in class and what they will to happen). As such, it explores instructional practices in ESD teaching in an integrated way. Finally, the findings will reveal multiple aspects of ESD teaching.
Englund, T. (2006). Deliberative Communicaton: A pragmatist proposal. Curriculum Studies, 38(5), 503-520, Doi: 10.1080/00022027060670775 Englund, T., Öhman, J. & Östman, L., (2008). Deliberative Communication for Sustainabil- ity? A Habermas-Inspired Pluralistic Approach. In Sustainability and Security within Liberal Societies, edited by S. Gough and A. Stables, 29–48. London: Routledge. Fang, Z. (1996). A review of research on teacher beliefs and practices, Educational Research, 38(1), 47-65, doi: 10.1080/0013188960380104 Hungerford, H. R. (2010). Environmental Education (EE) for 21st century: where have we been? Where are we now? Where are we headed? Journal of Environmental Education, 41(1), 1-6. Jensen, B. B. and Schnack, C. (1997), The action competence approach in environmental education, Environmental Education Research, 3 (3), 163-179. Jickling, B. (1994). Studying Sustainable Development: Problems and Possibilities. Canadian Journal of Education / Revue Canadienne De L'éducation, 19(3), 231-240. doi:10.2307/1495129 Öhman, J. (2008). Values and Democracy in Education for Sustainable Development. Liber: Malmö, Sweden. Rudsberg, K., & Öhman J., (2010). Pluralism in Practice – Experiences from Swedish Evaluation, School Development and Research. Environmental Education Research, 16 (1), 115–131. Sandell, K., Öhman, J., Östman, L., Billingham, R. & Lindman, M. (2005). Education for Sustainable Development: Nature, School and Democracy. Lund: Studentlitteratur. Sinakou, E., Donche, V., Boeve-de Pauw, J. & Van Petegem, P. (2019). Designing Powerful Learning Environments in Education for Sustainable Development: A Conceptual Framework. Sustainability, 11, 5994, doi: 10.3390/su11215994 Sinakou, E., Donche, V., Boeve-de Pauw, J. & Van Petegem, P. (2021). Development and validation of a measurement instrument for teachers’ Instructional Beliefs and Practices in Education for Sustainable Development, Environmental Education Research, submitted Summers, M., & Childs, A. (2007). Student Science Teachers’ Conceptions of Sustainable Development: An Empirical Study of Three Postgraduate Training Cohorts. Research in Science & Technological Education, 25(3), 307–327. Wals, A. E. J. (2011). Learning Our Way to Sustainability. Journal of Education for Sustainable Development, 5(2), 177–186. https://doi.org/10.1177/097340821100500208 UNESCO (2006) United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development 2005–2014: UNESCO International Implementation Scheme; UNESCO: Paris, France, 2005 UNESCO, (2014a). Shaping the Future We Want. UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005-2014). Final report. UNESCO. Paris. UNESCO, (2014b). Roadmap for implementing the Global Action Programme in Education for Sustainable Development. UNESCO, Paris. UN (2015). Transforming our world: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, September 25, United Nations General Assembly, New York. Available on-line at http://www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A/RES/70/1&Lang=E
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