30 SES 06 A, Research Methods in ESD. Case Studies in Switzerland
Switzerland is a federalist state composed of twenty-three cantons that have been sovereign for a very long time in the field of education. However, in 2006, new constitutional articles on the harmonisation of education were accepted by the people with a clear majority of 86%. This means that the authorities have been obliged, since that date, to harmonise certain fundamental elements of the education system throughout Switzerland. Thus, in the "HarmoS concordat" of 14 June 2007, Article 3 (paragraph 3) states that "compulsory education promotes the development of an independent personality, social competencies and a sense of responsibility towards others and the environment. »
In addition to this important shift, which will lead the cantons, and in particular the universities, to work more closely together, it should be pointed out that the principle of sustainable development is well anchored in official texts. It is mentioned in Articles 2 and 73 of the Federal Constitution and in Article 30 (paragraph 1) of the Federal Law on the Promotion and Co-ordination of Universities. The latter lays down the conditions for accreditation, in particular "the consideration of economically, socially and ecologically sustainable development in the fulfilment of its tasks".
As a result of these various texts, the Conference of Rectors of Universities of Teacher Education will in 2012 adopt measures for the integration of education for sustainable development (ESD) into teacher education. These measures, seven in number, are aimed at the coordination of ESD by a group of experts (1); the consideration of ESD by the directorates of the HEPs (2); the integration of ESD into teacher education. s (3); the development of research and development projects in ESD (4); the integration of ESD into in-service training (5); the involvement of students in the field of ESD (6) and the management of HEPs through sustainable development (7).
The 2017-2020 strategy of the Chamber of HEPs then defined ten objectives, including the "strengthening of political, ecological, social, cultural, technological and economic education". Under this point, it is notably mentioned that teachers "must be particularly aware of issues relating to education for sustainable development (ESD)". For example, a recent report by the swissuniversities ESD working group (Baumann, Lausselet & Pache, 2019) showed that a positive dynamic has been initiated in the HEPs following the accreditation renewal process, following the integration of ESD into regional curricula and, to a lesser extent, following the establishment at international level of an Agenda 2030 oriented towards the sustainable development goals (SDGs). However, the authors find that the integration of ESD varies from one HEP to another, with smaller HEPs generally less active in research, for example. Furthermore, "although some steps have been taken in terms of sustainability in the management of HEPs, there is still a long way to go to achieve a 'whole school approach'" (p. 35).
In this research workshop, we want to reflect on research methods that are particularly suitable for the ESD object. The first step will therefore be to draw up an inventory of the methods used in our various research projects: action research, didactic engineering, design-oriented research (Sanchez & Monod-Ansaldi, 2014), community of practice (Lave & Wenger, 1991) or discursive community of practice (Roy, Gremaud, Jenni, 2019). The second step will be to put the focus on three research methods that seem particularly promising for ESD research. Each presentation will include a description of the approach taken and highlight strengths and limitations. 1) The discursive, theoretical and postcolonial approach (Danielzik, 2013). Presentation by Yves Mühlematter This field of research undertakes a critical analysis of power and domination relations (historically developed, colonial) in the field of ESD from a postcolonial perspective. It highlights the imperatives inherent in Eurocentric development and argues for an awareness of the stabilisation of relations of inequality in order to counteract the subsequent reproduction of asymmetrical power relations. 2) The participatory action research (McIntyre, 2008). Presentation by Alain Pache This method is an approach characterized by the active participation of researchers an participants in the coconstruction of knowledge, the promotion of self- and critical awareness that leads to individual, collective, and/or social change; and an emphasis on a colearning process where researchers and participants plan, implement, and establish a process for disseminating information gathered in the research project (p. 5). 3) The REDOC approach (Diemer, Ndiaye, Khushik & Pellaud, 2019). Presentation by Noémie Gey, Francine Pellaud and Gilles Blandenier This approach consists of four steps. The first one consists of bringing out the representations of sustainable development of teachers, pupils and citizens. The second one focuses on pedagogical approaches that develop specific skills to understand sustainable development. Four pedagogical modalities are identified: critical pedagogy, project-based pedagogy, exploration of the living environment and mindfulness. The third step consists of using innovative tools which enable teachers to interact with their students (photographs, storytelling, comic strips, …). Finally, the fourth step focuses on competences that are specific to ESD. In the last part of the workshop, we will reflect on the needs and possible synergies within the framework of ESD research in Switzerland. A discussant – Nadia Lausselet – will highlight areas of tension between the presentations as well as opportunities for the development of ESD research.
This work carried out between Swiss researchers could then be disseminated more widely in the community of European researchers, in particular via the network 30 "Environmental and Sustainability Education Research".
Baumann, S., Lausselet, N. & Pache, A. (2019). L’EDD dans la formation des enseignant-e-s. Etat des lieux 2020. Swissuniversities. Danielzik, C.-M. (2013). Überlegenheitsdenken fällt nicht vom Himmel. Postkoloniale Perspektiven auf Globales Lernen und Bildung für nachhaltige Entwicklung. Zeitschrift für internationale Bildungsforschung und Entwicklungspädagogik 36 (1), 26–33. Diemer, A., Ndiaye, A., Khushik, F. & Pellaud, F. (2019). Education for Sustainable Development : a Conceptual and Methodological Approach. Social Science Learning Education Journal, 43-51. Lave, J., & Wenger, E. (1991). Situated learning: Legitimate peripheral participation. Cambridge : Cambridge university press. McIntyre, A. (2008). Participatory action research. Sage Publications. Roy, P., Gremaud, B. & Jenni, Ph. (2019). Une communauté discursive de pratiques interdisciplinaires (CDPI) pour appréhender le chocolat comme objet d’investigation interdisciplinaire dans le champ de l’Education en vue d’un développement durable. Texte présenté dans le cadre du symposium « Recherches collaboratives en sciences de la nature et en « éducation à » : pour construire quels savoirs ? XVIe Rencontre du REF, Toulouse, France, 9 et 10 juillet 2019. Sanchez, E., & Monod-Ansaldi, R. (2014). Recherche collaborative orientée par la conception: un paradigme méthodologique pour prendre en compte la complexité des situations d'enseignement-apprentissage. Education & Didactique, 9(2), 21-42.
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