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Topical Collection "Teacher Professional Development in ESD"

Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Michele Biasutti

Department of Philosophy, Sociology, Education and Applied Psychology (FISPPA), University of Padova, Via Beato Pellegrino, 28, 35137 Padova, Italy
Website 1 | Website 2 | Website 3 | E-Mail
Interests: education for sustainable development; teacher education; professional development; educational change; social sustainability; ICT in education; online learning

Topical Collection Information

Dear Colleagues,

Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) could be considered an approach that provides fertile ground for implementing a dynamic transformative process in educational institutions. ESD offers pedagogical challenges and could provide a framework for the innovation of didactic practices in educational institutions. ESD is based on interdisciplinary and student centered approaches and encourages critical thinking and future-oriented skills. The introduction of ESD principles in school curricula and the promotion of ESD concepts and practices could be used for inducing the professional development of school and academic staff. Professional development based on ESD improves curriculum planning skills, fosters critical self-reflection of teaching practices which are crucial activities for developing meta-cognitive strategies and mastering teaching practices.

This Special Issue focuses on the relationship between education for sustainable development and teacher professional development aiming to examine the impact of ESD principles and practices on the professional development of school and academic staff. Authors from different disciplines (education, psychology, social sciences, ecology, and all disciplines connected to sustainable development issues) are invited to submit their ideas about the challenge of inducing teacher professional development using ESD. Both theoretical and applied research articles are welcome. Suggested topics include (but are not limited to):

  • ESD principles and challenges for teacher education
  • Teacher professional development
  • Teacher change and ESD
  • Trainee teacher education and ESD
  • Policies and ESD strategies for teacher changes
  • Innovation of school curricula and ESD
  • Innovation of higher education institution and ESD
  • Educational practices in ESD

References:

Amador, F., Martinho, A.P., Bacelar-Nicolau, P., Caeiro, S. and Oliveira, C.P. (2015). Education for sustainable development in higher education: evaluating coherence between theory and praxis. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, Vol. 40 No.6, pp. 867–882.

Aznar Minguet, P., Martinez-Agut, M.P., Palacios, B., Pinero, A., and Ull, M.A. (2011). Introducing sustainability into university curricula: an indicator and baseline survey of the views of university teachers at the University of Valencia. Environmental Education Research, 17(2), 145–166.

Barth, M. and Rieckmann, M. (2012). Academic staff development as a catalyst for curriculum change towards education for sustainable development: an output perspective. Journal of Cleaner Production, Vol. 26, pp. 28–36.

Biasutti, M. (2015). An intensive programme on education for sustainable development: The participants’ experience, Environmental Education Research, Vol. 21 No. 5, pp. 734–752.

Biasutti, M., T. De Baz, and H. Alshawa (2016). Assessing the Infusion of Sustainability Principles into University Curricula, Journal of Teacher Education for Sustainability, Vol. 18, No. 2, 21-40.

Biasutti, M, Makrakis, V., Concina E, Frate S. (2018). Educating academic staff to reorient curricula in ESD. International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, 19 (3). http://doi.org/10.1108/IJSHE-11-2016-0214

Blake, J., Sterling, S. and Goodson, I. (2013). Transformative Learning for a Sustainable Future: An Exploration of Pedagogies for Change at an Alternative College. Sustainability, Vol. 5, pp. 5347–5372.

Dmochowski, J.E., Garofalo, D., Fisher, S., Greene, A. and Gambogi, D. (2016). Integrating sustainability across the university curriculum. International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, Vol. 17 No. 5, pp. 652–670.

Filho, W. L. (2015). Education for sustainable development in higher education: Reviewing needs. In Filho, W.L. (Ed.) Transformative approaches to sustainable development at universities. Working across disciplines. Switzerland: Springer, pp. 3–12.

Holdsworth, S. and Thomas, I. (2015). Framework for introducing Sustainable Development into University Curriculum, Journal of Education for Sustainable Development, Vol. 9 No. 2, pp. 137–159.

Jones, P., Selby, D., and Sterling, S. (2010). More than the sum of their parts? Interdisciplinarity and sustainability. In Jones, P., Selby, D., and Sterling, S. (Eds.). Sustainability education: Perspectives and practice across higher education. New York, NY: Taylor & Francis, pp. 17–38.

Kalsoom, Q. Khanam, A. (2017) Inquiry into sustainability issues by preservice teachers: A pedagogy to enhance sustainability consciousness, Journal of Cleaner Production, 164, 1301-1311, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2017.07.047.

Kalsoom Q., Khanam, A., Quraishi, U. (2017) Sustainability consciousness of pre-service teachers in Pakistan, International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, Vol. 18 Issue: 7, pp.1090-1107, https://doi.org/10.1108/IJSHE-11-2016-0218

Martin, K., Summers, D. and Sjerps-Jones, H. (2007). Sustainability and teacher education. Journal of Further and Higher Education, Vol. 31 No. 4, pp. 351–362.

Murel, K.F., Ferrer, D., Coral, J.S., Kordas, O., Nikiforovich, E. and Pereverza, K. (2015). Motivating students and lecturers for education in sustainable development. International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, Vol. 16 No. 3, pp. 385–401.

Natkin, L.W. and Kolbe, T. (2016). Enhancing sustainability curricula through faculty learning communities. International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, Vol. 17 No. 4, pp. 540–558.

UN (2012). The future we want. Outcome document of the United Nations conference on sustainable development. UN https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/content/documents/733FutureWeWant.pdf (accessed 2nd August 2017).

UNECE (United Nations Economic Commission for Europe) (2005). UNECE strategy for education for Sustainable Development adopted at the High-level meeting.https://www.unece.org/fileadmin/DAM/env/documents/2005/cep/ac.13/cep.ac.13.2005.3.rev.1.e.pdf (accessed on 2nd August 2017).

UNESCO (2014). UNESCO roadmap for implementing the Global action programme on Education on Sustainable Development. France: UNESCO. http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0023/002305/230514e.pdf (Accessed on 2nd August 2017).

Varga, A., Kószó, M.F.Z., Mayer, M. and Sleurs, W. (2007). Developing teacher competences for education for sustainable development through reflection: The environment and school initiatives approach. Journal of Education for teaching: International research and pedagogy, Vol. 33 No. 2, pp. 241–256.

Prof. Michele Biasutti
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1700 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Education for sustainable development
  • Professional development
  • Educational change
  • Teacher education
  • Sustainability consciousness

Published Papers (7 papers)

2019

Jump to: 2018

Open AccessArticle Prepared to Teach for Sustainable Development? Student Teachers’ Beliefs in Their Ability to Teach for Sustainable Development
Sustainability 2019, 11(7), 1993; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11071993
Received: 21 January 2019 / Revised: 23 March 2019 / Accepted: 27 March 2019 / Published: 3 April 2019
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Abstract
The importance of embedding education for sustainable development has been emphasised over many years. At the same time, there has been a massive call for initial teacher education to provide all student teachers with the core of professional competences. What is the status [...] Read more.
The importance of embedding education for sustainable development has been emphasised over many years. At the same time, there has been a massive call for initial teacher education to provide all student teachers with the core of professional competences. What is the status of teacher education today in embedding education for sustainable development and how does it relate to the focus on professional competencies in teacher education? A total of 578 student teachers in seven different teacher education programmes in Europe were surveyed, measuring the students’ beliefs in their ability to work as teachers, as well as their ability to teach in ways that value sustainability and promote environmentally sound ways of living. The results of the survey show that student teachers feel well prepared to handle many aspects of teacher professionalism, but less prepared to educate for sustainability. The survey also indicates that student teacher training in educating for sustainability is not integrated in their other training and is generally just added on. Full article
Open AccessArticle Social Sustainability and Professional Development: Assessing a Training Course on Intercultural Education for In-Service Teachers
Sustainability 2019, 11(5), 1238; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11051238
Received: 23 January 2019 / Revised: 11 February 2019 / Accepted: 13 February 2019 / Published: 26 February 2019
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Abstract
Background: World-wide migration is one of the most important issues of the 21st century. One crucial problem that has arisen as a result of mass migration is how school teachers are taught to use methods and tools that both support intercultural education [...] Read more.
Background: World-wide migration is one of the most important issues of the 21st century. One crucial problem that has arisen as a result of mass migration is how school teachers are taught to use methods and tools that both support intercultural education and the promotion of inclusion as a core pedagogical construct. For these reasons, it is unsurprising that there is an increased need for studies within the field of social sustainability that consider the effects of professional development for teachers. Methods: The current paper presents the assessment of a professional development training course on intercultural education addressed to Italian primary and middle school teachers. The course was framed within a sociocultural approach and had a learner-centered focus. The research methodology used within our research involved a qualitative method to assess the effects of the training course activities. The perceived professional development was analyzed through the administration of an open question survey addressed to the teachers that attended the training course. Results: The qualitative analysis revealed the following themes: Teachers’ attitudes, teaching methods and instruments, community of practice, positive features of the course, course weaknesses, and suggestions for improvement. The results of this analysis showed that the training course was an occasion for teachers to discuss different pedagogical approaches, teaching strategies, and practices in intercultural education. Conclusion: The findings suggest that the activities created an environment for teachers to reflect upon their teaching approaches and practices. Our research shows that professional development interventions of this kind may help to improve intercultural pedagogical abilities among primary and middle school teachers. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Knowledge Analysis of the Prospective Secondary School Teacher on a Key Concept in Sustainability: Waste
Sustainability 2019, 11(4), 1173; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11041173
Received: 7 January 2019 / Revised: 18 February 2019 / Accepted: 20 February 2019 / Published: 22 February 2019
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Abstract
The framework of sustainable development encompasses a series of behaviours which include the proper management of the waste we produce. This concept should be addressed in classrooms to ensure proper waste management. The amount of knowledge of the teachers and the inclusion of [...] Read more.
The framework of sustainable development encompasses a series of behaviours which include the proper management of the waste we produce. This concept should be addressed in classrooms to ensure proper waste management. The amount of knowledge of the teachers and the inclusion of these concepts in the education curricula are essential factors when providing proper teaching about waste and waste management. The general objective was to analyse the amount of knowledge about waste of teachers in training within the framework of sustainable development. The sample consisted of 72 secondary school teachers in training belonging to three scientific-technological areas (Physics & Chemistry, Biology & Geology, and Technology). The methodology used was exploratory and quantitative. As a measuring instrument, a questionnaire was elaborated based on the educational curricula and based on previous research, made up of five categories (Waste and Society, Regulations, Awareness, Technological Development, and Typology). The results of the study show that teachers in training lack knowledge regarding waste. Within teacher education programs, it is, therefore, necessary to address issues of sustainability including waste in order to prepare teachers that are competent and willing to teach such important topics. Full article
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Open AccessReview Systematic Review of Education for Sustainable Development at an Early Stage: Cornerstones and Pedagogical Approaches for Teacher Professional Development
Sustainability 2019, 11(3), 719; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11030719
Received: 31 December 2018 / Revised: 24 January 2019 / Accepted: 27 January 2019 / Published: 30 January 2019
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Abstract
During recent decades, education for sustainable development (ESD) has been under the scope of the international community, but research in ESD for early childhood education (ECE) is still scarce. This article proposes a procedural framework for the implementation of teacher professional development opportunities [...] Read more.
During recent decades, education for sustainable development (ESD) has been under the scope of the international community, but research in ESD for early childhood education (ECE) is still scarce. This article proposes a procedural framework for the implementation of teacher professional development opportunities in the area. During the first phase, we undertook a systematic review of peer-reviewed articles on ESD for ECE (n = 30). After an expert committee revision of the articles reviewed, three cornerstones (scientific action-integrated, community-based and value-oriented scopes) and three sets of suitable pedagogical approaches (art-based, outdoor-based and project-problem-based) were identified. The review was enhanced by an unsystematic review of articles (n = 26) that specifically referred to the cornerstones and approaches. Finally, a double-blind expert coding and categorization of the articles (n = 56) was performed in order to validate the results. Focusing on guidelines and approaches, different examples found in the literature are presented. This review offers a useful framework to understand and practice ESD in ECE. Unlike previous reviews, it has a practical scope to foster innovative teacher professional development opportunities, inspire teachers and inform policy makers. We conclude with some common challenges and the needs for educational systems to foster science-based citizenship education towards sustainable development in a practical way, fostering agency from an early stage to transform local context, creating global awareness of the environmental, social and economic challenges of the 21st century. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Learning to Navigate (in) the Anthropocene
Sustainability 2019, 11(2), 547; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11020547
Received: 22 December 2018 / Revised: 13 January 2019 / Accepted: 16 January 2019 / Published: 21 January 2019
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Abstract
Over the last decades, the extent of human impact on Earth and the atmosphere has been the subject of large-scale scientific investigations. It is increasingly argued that this impact is of a geologically-significant magnitude, to the extent that we have entered a new [...] Read more.
Over the last decades, the extent of human impact on Earth and the atmosphere has been the subject of large-scale scientific investigations. It is increasingly argued that this impact is of a geologically-significant magnitude, to the extent that we have entered a new geological epoch—the Anthropocene. However, the field of Higher Education for Sustainable Development (HESD) research has been slow in engaging in the Anthropocene debates. This article addresses that research gap by offering a theoretical analysis of the role and position of HESD, and more particularly of the lecturer and the student, within the Anthropocene. At present, the majority of HESD research can be categorized as either instrumental or emancipatory. This article’s central aim is to develop a third, navigational approach toward HESD research. In order to do so, the article first argues that developing understandings of the Anthropocene reconfigure traditional humanist conceptualizations of time, space and collectives. The article proceeds with advancing new, relational conceptualizations of educational spaces (as learning milieus), educational times (as rhythms that slow the present) and learning (as a situated activity that takes place through belonging). Embedded within these new conceptualizations, the proposed navigational approach aims to enable educational actors to orient themselves and to consequently navigate in, and to learn by making connections with, our more-than-human world. Full article

2018

Jump to: 2019

Open AccessArticle Changes in Pre-Service Teachers’ Values, Sense of Agency, Motivation and Consumption Practices: A Case Study of an Education for Sustainability Course
Sustainability 2019, 11(1), 155; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11010155
Received: 25 November 2018 / Revised: 25 December 2018 / Accepted: 26 December 2018 / Published: 29 December 2018
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Abstract
Teacher education has a critical role to play as people around the world strive to reach the Sustainable Development goals. Education for sustainability (EfS) aims to motivate and prepare educators to create a more sustainable future through education. The purpose of this case [...] Read more.
Teacher education has a critical role to play as people around the world strive to reach the Sustainable Development goals. Education for sustainability (EfS) aims to motivate and prepare educators to create a more sustainable future through education. The purpose of this case study was to explore pre-service teachers’ changes in their values, sense of agency, consumption practices and motivation after participation in a required EfS course. Students were enrolled in a hybrid course that conveyed content through digital stories followed by reflections, in-class discussions and activities. Ninety-one undergraduate students completed pre- and post-course surveys. Students reported significant changes in their beliefs about the relevance of sustainability education, attitudes toward sustainable development, self-efficacy, locus of control and sustainable consumption practices. Qualitative analysis of an open-ended question served to triangulate quantitative findings. Results support the need and potential for EfS courses for educators, particularly in the United States where such courses are not typically required or even offered at most universities. Full article
Open AccessArticle Do Pre-service Teachers Dance with Wolves? Subject-Specific Teacher Professional Development in A Recent Biodiversity Conservation Issue
Sustainability 2019, 11(1), 47; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11010047
Received: 17 October 2018 / Revised: 7 December 2018 / Accepted: 17 December 2018 / Published: 21 December 2018
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Abstract
Biodiversity conservation issues are adequate topics of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), as they involve ecological, economic and social aspects. But teaching about these topics often challenges teachers due to high factual complexity but also because of additional affective dimensions. As a consequence, [...] Read more.
Biodiversity conservation issues are adequate topics of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), as they involve ecological, economic and social aspects. But teaching about these topics often challenges teachers due to high factual complexity but also because of additional affective dimensions. As a consequence, teacher professional development in ESD should address these affective components, to better qualify and motivate teachers to integrate conservation issues into their teaching. To investigate behaviourally relevant factors, we selected the context of natural remigration and conservation of the grey wolf (Canis lupus) in Germany and surveyed 120 pre-service biology teachers (M = 23.2 years, SD = 3.3 years) about contextual factors and their motivation to teach about the issue. Participants reported more positive attitudes, higher enjoyment and an increased perceived behavioural control towards teaching the issue in future teachers when they perceived a smaller psychological distance to the issue and an overall higher motivation to protect the species. As this motivation was grounded in more fundamental personality characteristics like wildlife values and attitudes towards wolves, we discuss the central role of these traits as a basis for transformative learning processes and the necessity of a holistic and subject-specific teacher professional development in ESD. Full article
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