30 SES 03 A, Paper Session
Over the past decades, ESD programmes have been implemented in different educational systems. The UN Decade’s (2005-2014) International Implementation Scheme for ESD promoted the “Partnership-Alliance-Approach” as a way - and a normative call - for mobilising various actors and gaining their commitment to bring about structural changes toward institutionalising ESD in the respective education system. This led to a variety of practices in policy development and implementation with an emphasis on multi-actor and multi-level cooperations. Using the terminology framed by Glasbergen et al (2007) we saw the emergence of the “paradigm of partnership for governance” in the fields of SD but also in ESD referred to as the involvement of “‘private actors' [...] in initially state-controlled areas” (ibid: iiV).
Studies on policy implementation on ESD in national contexts as well as studies on the progress of policy research within the field have risen (for example Aikens et al. 2016). Additionally, studies analysed policy documents in a comparative manner (Laessoe & Mochizuki 2015). Nevertheless, theory-building comparisons between different strategies to strengthen ESD implementation through multi-actor and multi-level cooperations is tricky and complex, because of the specific constellations of actors, the culture and the policy mechanisms within one nation-state at work influencing the respective policy processes and results. Therefore we ask, “What is known from empirical studies in the past ten years about the undertaking and practice of policy development and implementation with an emphasis on multi-actor and multi-level cooperation. Further, how can we systemise our knowledge base on this matter? Till now this task stays largely untackled despite singular empirical studies in different countries (e.g. van Poeck et al. 2013, Bormann & Nikel 2017, Singer-Brodowski et al. 2020).
Our work addresses this desideratum by conducting a meta-analysis of selected studies about the undertakings of and practice in multi-actor and multi-level cooperations in ESD policy processes. Our endeavour is rooted in an “analytical” understanding of governance studies: What is aimed for is not to predetermine or assess “good governance of ESD”, instead to work towards analytical heuristics to allow for reflections on practices. In that respect, we build on the perspective of Educational Governance that has become popular in German-speaking countries in order to deepen the insights on how different actors take up or even resist educational reforms and policies. The main assumption in this conceptual work considers governance as the result of the interdependent dynamics which arise from the coordination of actions of multiple actors towards realising a shared educational goal (Altrichter 2015). It, therefore, opens up the black box of politics for example in the sense of negotiation processes, sense-making and coalition-building within educational reform processes. In the Educational Governance field single case studies dominate, which are not related to each other. For this reason, there is a plea for more theoretical sound explanations through evaluating and relating single case-studies (Langer/ Brüsemeister 2019: 4).
To work towards systemising the knowledge base on the practice of multi-actor and multi-level cooperations in implementing ESD policy and gain a deeper understanding about the governance processes of ESD, we draw on a qualitative meta-analysis approach (Schnepf/Groeben 2019). In a first step, we carried out a comprehensive literature search using the database ERIC (Education Resources Information Center) with the keywords “ESD AND policy”, “ESD AND governance” and “ESD AND partnership in education”. The search brought up a total number of 174 articles. In an initial screening, articles were identified that constituted both: 1) Empirical data on the policy (development and implementation) process on ESD in certain regions or countries and different educational areas, and 2) A focus on practices of multi-actor and multi-level cooperations. We excluded studies applying document analyses or studies that solely focus on one single group of actors. A comprehensive reading of the articles lead to a sample of seven studies to be included in the meta-analysis (see expected outcomes). In applying this procedure a deductive-inductive procedure was followed: We started with an understanding of the research object (policy development and implementation in multi-actor and multi-level settings) and of the methodology (sound empirical studies). During this process of reading, the identified studies helped us to define the concepts in use and the analysis questions in more depth. Here we have the ambition that not one theoretical framework (e.g. the theoretically well developed Educational Governance perspective from German-speaking countries) pre-defines the analysis. In the second step we scrutinized the identified articles concerning the meta-analysis guiding questions (see results).
The work so far has led to the identification of seven studies relevant to our focus: Bormann & Nikel 2017; Farinha et al. 2018, Kolleck 2016; Nomura & Abe 2009; Nuamcharoen & Dhiratithi 2018; Singer-Brodowski et al. 2020; van Poeck et al. 2014. While these studies share the focus of our research interest (see methodology), they are from diverse national contexts (such as Portugal, Germany, Thailand, Belgium, Japan) and levels (e.g. community involvement, national policy-making). Moreover, the theoretical lenses used in informing the study range from Network-Actor-Theory, Co-production of Implementation and Educational Governance to name a few. The meta-analysis procedure is grounded in the following questions: What does the study contribute to the understanding of undertakings and practices of multi-actor and multi-level cooperations in ESD policy development and implementation? What does the study contribute to the understanding of the conditions influencing ESD policy processes and outcomes in settings emphasising collaborative approaches setting? In this respect, we aim to identify heuristics provided in the studies. Then the explanations provided are reflected and systemised under considerations of the methods and theoretical perspective of the respective study. For the outcome of the meta-analysis, which we present to be discussed at ECER 2021, we systemize the findings towards a knowledge base on how ESD policies are developed and implemented in partnerships (or cooperative settings) of multiple actors and within multiple levels through evaluating and relating single case-studies. The presentation of the results can be envisioned in two formats: a rich description of the processes under investigation a middle-range theory (heuristic) In doing so we aim to provide strategic insights on these practices to build on in future activities within the new UNESCO programme ESD for 2030. In terms of future research, we hope for a solid base on which future research can build upon.
Aikens, K.; McKenzie, M.; Vaughter, P. (2016): Environmental and sustainability education policy research: a systematic review of methodological and thematic trends. Environmental Education Research 22 (3), S. 333–359. Altrichter, H. (2015): Theory and Evidence on Governance: Conceptual and Empirical Strategies of Research on Governance in Education. In: Josef Schrader (Hg.): Governance von Bildung im Wandel. Interdisziplinäre Zugänge. Wiesbaden: Springer VS, S. 25-43. Bormann, I.; Nikel, J. (2017): How education for sustainable development is implemented in Germany: Looking through the lens of educational governance theory. In: International Reviewof Education 63 (6), S. 793-809. Fadeeva, Zinaida; Mochizuki, Yoko (2010): Roles of Regional Centres of Expertise on Education for Sustainable Development. Journal of Education for Sustainable 4 (1), S. 51–59. Farinha, C. S.; Azeiteiro, U.; Caeiro, S.S. (2018): Education for sustainable development in Portuguese universities. Int J of Sus in Higher Ed 19 (5), S. 912–941. Glasbergen, P.; Biermann, F.; Mol, A. P. J. (2008): Partnerships, Governance and Sustainable Development. Reflections on Theory and Practice. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Pub. Kolleck, N. (2016): Uncovering influence through Social Network Analysis: the role of schools in Education for Sustainable Development. Journal of Education Policy 31 (3), S. 308–329. Læssøe, J.; Mochizuki, Y. (2015): Recent Trends in National Policy on Education for Sustainable Development and Climate Change Education. In: Journal of Education for Sustainable 9 (1), S. 27–43. Langer, R.; Brüsemeister, T. (2019): Einleitung: Zum Verhältnis von Educational Governance und Theorien bzw. Theoriebildung. In: Roman Langer und Thomas Brüsemeister (Hg.): Handbuch Educational Governance Theorien, Wiesbaden: Springer VS, S. 1–12. Nomura, K.; Abe, O. (2009): The education for sustainable development movement in Japan: a political perspective. In: Environmental Education Research 15 (4), S. 483–496. Nuamcharoen, S.; Dhirathiti, N.S. (2018): A case study of the co-production approach to the implementation of education for sustainable development in Thailand. Policy Futures in Education 16 (3), S. 327–345. Schnepf, J.; Groeben, N. (2019): Qualitative Metaanalyse mit Hilfe computergestützter qualitativer Inhaltsanalyse - am Beispiel von Lokale-Agenda-21-Prozessen.In: Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research, Vol 20, No 3 (2019): Qualitative Content Analysis I. Singer-Brodowski, M.; Seggern, J. von; Duveneck, A.; Etzkorn, N. (2020): Moving (Reflexively within) Structures. The Governance of Education for Sustainable Development in Germany. In: Sustainability 12 (7), S. 2778. van Poeck, K.; Vandenabeele, J.; Bruyninckx, H. (2014): Taking stock of the UN Decade of education for sustainable development: the policy-making process in Flanders. In: Environmental Education Research 20 (5), S. 695–717.
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