Special Issue "Competencies in Education for Sustainable Development"
Deadline for manuscript submissions: 28 February 2019
The new 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development clearly reflects the urgency to embed the principles of education for sustainable development (ESD) into all levels of education. Education is explicitly formulated as a stand-alone goal—Sustainable Development Goal 4. Numerous education-related targets and indicators are also contained within other Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
ESD aims at developing competencies that empower individuals to reflect on their own actions, taking into account their current and future social, cultural, economic and environmental impacts, from a local and a global perspective. Individuals as part of society should also be empowered to act in complex situations in a sustainable manner, which may require them to strike out in new directions; and to participate in socio-political processes, moving their societies towards sustainable development.
ESD has to be understood as an integral part of quality education, inherent in the concept of lifelong learning: all educational institutions—from preschool to higher education and in non-formal and informal education—can and should foster the development of sustainability competencies. ESD is holistic and transformational education that addresses learning content and outcomes, pedagogy and the learning environment. It should create interactive, learner-centred teaching and learning settings. It asks for an action-oriented, transformative pedagogy, which supports self-directed learning, participation and collaboration, problem-orientation, inter- and transdisciplinarity and the linking of formal and informal learning to the development of key sustainability competencies. Further empirical research is needed on the development, assessment tools and the impact of new policies and programs related to ESD competencies.
This special issue focuses on ESD competencies from preschool to higher education and in non-formal and informal education. Suggested topics include:
- Integration of ESD competencies in policies, strategies and programmes
- Innovative pedagogical approaches to ESD competencies
- Curriculum developments—teaching and learning practices to develop ESD competencies
- Processes and tools to assess ESD competencies
- Connecting quality education with ESD competencies development
- Professional development in ESD (teachers, university staff, non-formal educators, etc.)
- Inclusion of ESD competencies in teacher education
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Cebrián, G. & Junyent, M. (2015). Competencies in Education for Sustainable Development: Exploring the Student Teachers’ Views. Sustainability, 7(3), 2768-2786.
García, M.R, Junyent, M. & Fonolleda, M. (2017). How to assess professional competencies in Education for Sustainability?: An approach from a perspective of complexity. International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, 18(5), 772-797.
Kagawa, F. (2007). Dissonance in students' perceptions of sustainable development and sustainability: Implications for curriculum change. International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, 8(3), 317-338.
Lambrechts, W., Mulà, I., Ceulemans, K., Molderez, I., & Gaeremynck, V. (2013). The integration of competences for sustainable development in higher education: an analysis of bachelor programs in management. Journal of Cleaner Production, 48, 65-73.
Lozano, R., Merrill, M.Y., Sammalisto, K., Ceulemans, K. & Lozano, F.J. (2017). Connecting Competences and Pedagogical Approaches for Sustainable Development in Higher Education: A Literature Review and Framework Proposal. Sustainability, 9, 1-15.
Sandri, O., Holdsworth, S. & Thomas, I. (2018). Vignette question design for the assessment of graduate sustainability learning outcomes, Environmental Education Research, 24(3), 406-426.
Segalàs, J., Ferrer-Balas, D., Svanström, M., Lundqvist, U. & Mulder, K.F. (2009). What has to be learnt for sustainability? A comparison of bachelor engineering education competences at three European universities. Sustainability Science, 4(1), 17-27.
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Thomas, I. (2009). Critical Thinking, Transformative Learning, Sustainable Education, and Problem-Based Learning in Universities. Journal of Transformative Education, 7(3), 245-264.
Tilbury, D. (2011). Education for Sustainable Development: An Expert Review of Processes and Learning. Paris: UNESCO. Available at: http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0019/001914/191442e.pdf
UNECE. (2012). Learning for the future: Competences in Education for Sustainable Development. Geneva: UNECE. Available at: http://www.unece.org/fileadmin/DAM/env/esd/ESD_Publications/Competences_Publication.pdf
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Wals, A. E. J. (2010). Mirroring, Gestaltswitching and transformative social learning. Stepping stones for developing sustainability competence. International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, 11(4), 380-390.
Watson, M.K., Lozano, R., Noyes, C. & Rodgers, M. (2013). Assessing curricula contribution to sustainability more holistically: Experiences from the integration of curricula assessment and students' perceptions at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Journal of Cleaner Production, 61, 106-116.
Wiek, A., Withycombe, L., & Redman, C. L. (2011). Key competencies in sustainability: a reference framework for academic program development. Sustainability Science, 6, 203–218.
Dr. Mercè Junyent
Dr. Gisela Cebrián
Dr. Ingrid Mulà
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- ESD competencies
- Education developments
- Professional development
- Competences’ assessment
- Quality education