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Special Issue "Innovative Practices in Education for Sustainability and Their Relation to Evaluation"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Education and Approaches".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 January 2023) | Viewed by 6651

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Pilar Azcárate Goded
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Didactics, University of Cádiz, Puerto Real 11519, Spain
Interests: teacher training; education for sustainability; environmental education; mathematics education
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Rocío Jiménez Fontana
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Didactics, University of Cádiz, Puerto Real 11519, Spain
Interests: teacher training; education for sustainability; environmental education; science education
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Esther García-González
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Didactics, University of Cádiz, 11519 Puerto Real, Spain
Interests: teacher training; education for sustainability; environmental education; science education

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Ideas about assessment condition the extensive range of possibilities associated with its implementation. It is easy to find methodological proposals that include innovations and alternative actions aimed at integrating sustainability, but they rarely take assessment into account. Assessment usually remains in the background, being one of the most controversial professional tasks and amongst the hardest to carry out. This perception can be extended to all educational levels and to different scales ranging from the classroom to the curriculum or to strategic plans and management.

In education, implementing assessment is considered from the perspective of sustainability as a theoretical framework of reference. This framework must guide actions and commit to them. Positioning ourselves within the framework of education for sustainability implies assuming it and working from it in all decisions. Assessment understood as a guidance and learning tool plays a decisive role in training students, future professionals, and citizens. It is also key in the professional development of teachers. It is therefore imperative to be careful when designing and implementing assessments.

In this Special Issue, we intend to include studies and works related to assessment from the viewpoint of sustainability at all educational levels and scales. It is not about understanding assessment separately from practice, but about looking at the educational reality through the prism of assessment.

Submission of papers related to the assessment of students, of teachers, of programmes, or of strategic plans at any educational level and in any context within the framework of Education for Sustainability are thus encouraged.

Our goal is to provide a collection of relevant studies on how to address assessment systems imbued with the principles of education for sustainability. In conclusion, we intend to provide an overview of current challenges in research on education for sustainability, from the perspective of assessment. To this end, empirical studies and manuscripts on theoretical considerations in this regard are appreciated.

Prof. Pilar Azcárate Goded
Dr. Rocío Jiménez Fontana
Prof. Dr. Esther García-González
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

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 2200 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

  • assessment
  • 2030 Agenda
  • online assessments
  • quality education
  • education for sustainability
  • environmental education
  • sustainability pedagogy
  • sustainable development goals
  • professional teacher development

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

Article
Classroom Quantitative Evaluation: A Method of Both Formative and Summative Evaluation
Sustainability 2023, 15(3), 1783; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15031783 - 17 Jan 2023
Viewed by 200
Abstract
As the most important carrier of education and teaching, the quality of classroom teaching directly affects the quality of formal school education. Traditional classroom teaching evaluation is usually based on expert experience, which can only give sporadic and one-sided evaluation results, and it [...] Read more.
As the most important carrier of education and teaching, the quality of classroom teaching directly affects the quality of formal school education. Traditional classroom teaching evaluation is usually based on expert experience, which can only give sporadic and one-sided evaluation results, and it is difficult for teachers to obtain systematic and operational improvement schemes, which has caused great obstacles to teachers’ sustainable development. Based on the concept of teachers’ sustainable development and Flanders Interactive Analysis System (FIAS), this study evaluates classroom teaching from two aspects: formative evaluation and summative evaluation. From the perspective of formative evaluation, a quantitative comprehensive analysis framework of classroom teaching language is constructed from two aspects of matrix analysis and dynamic curve analysis. The matrix analysis makes an in-depth analysis of classroom teaching from five aspects: classroom teaching structure, teaching style, classroom atmosphere, variable analysis, and question innovation degree. The dynamic curve of the classroom is analyzed from three aspects: teacher talk, student talk, as well as silence and confusion. From the perspective of summative evaluation, this paper combines the projection pursuit of entropy (PPE) model to form a class teaching grade evaluation model. On the basis of the above model, this study selects 5 + 5 (five expert teachers and five novice teachers) lessons that have heterogeneous forms for the same subject with Chinese high school math teachers as the research objects. Based on this framework, the verbal information of classroom teaching is encoded and a thorough analysis is carried on from the perspective of formative assessment, while at the same time, the level of classroom teaching evaluation is given from the perspective of formative evaluation. The results show that expert teachers use indirect discourse more, they also pay more attention to blank space and have a more harmonious classroom atmosphere as well as ask more innovative questions compared to novice teachers. Under the PPE model, expert teachers have higher scores than novice teachers. This study provides a systematic and comprehensive analysis scheme for the comprehensive evaluation of classroom teaching, which not only provides comprehensive and operational information for teachers to improve their classroom teaching, but also guarantees the sustainable development of teachers’ specialization, and provides a solution for the summative evaluation of classroom teaching. Full article
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Article
Scientific Research of Innovation Ability of Universities in the United States of America and China
Sustainability 2022, 14(21), 14586; https://doi.org/10.3390/su142114586 - 06 Nov 2022
Viewed by 585
Abstract
A better understanding of the universities’ ability to innovate can assist policymakers in identifying the key strengths and weaknesses and policy changes required to improve a nation’s innovation performance. However, no nation’s innovation system is the same as another due to various factors; [...] Read more.
A better understanding of the universities’ ability to innovate can assist policymakers in identifying the key strengths and weaknesses and policy changes required to improve a nation’s innovation performance. However, no nation’s innovation system is the same as another due to various factors; thus, each system is unique and must be understood in this context. Hence, this study investigated the innovation ability of universities in the United States of America (US) and China from 1996 to 2021 using the system GMM technique. The findings of the study can be grouped into three themes: (i) research and development funding, the number of researchers engaged in research and development, and the number of colleges and universities influencing the impact of the innovation ability of universities across the countries; (ii) the innovation ability of Chinese universities is converging with that of US universities; thus, the gap between the innovation ability of Chinese and US universities is being narrowed—hence, declining; (iii) the innovation ability of Chinese and US universities improves the level of labor productivity, employment opportunities, and income classification group of the countries. Full article
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Article
Inclusive Assessment and Sustainability Dimensions: Pre-Service Teachers’ Ideas and Knowledge
Sustainability 2022, 14(15), 9651; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14159651 - 05 Aug 2022
Viewed by 643
Abstract
The eco-social crisis urges the transformation of teacher training programmes. It is imperative for educators to be able to respond to global challenges. This transformation involves working from new perspectives that integrate assessment processes focused on eco-social justice and inclusion from a broad [...] Read more.
The eco-social crisis urges the transformation of teacher training programmes. It is imperative for educators to be able to respond to global challenges. This transformation involves working from new perspectives that integrate assessment processes focused on eco-social justice and inclusion from a broad perspective. Bearing this in mind, a training process focused on the theoretical construction of assessment practice from the perspective of Education for Sustainability and Inclusive Education was designed. It is framed within the context of the Master’s Degree in Educational Research for Teachers’ Professional Development. The study presented, which is of a qualitative and interpretative nature, focuses on knowing the impact of the process in the progression of the participating students’ ideas and knowledge construction. The students’ group work, two questionnaires of a different nature and a teaching journal, were used to collect data. Likewise, an ad hoc analysis system was developed that allowed transforming and interpreting the data obtained. The results show progress in the ideas and knowledge of the students in aspects related to the socio-environmental and ethical dimension of the assessment, integrating the principles of Education for Sustainability and Inclusive Education in the design of assessment activities in the classroom. The results reflect that the developed training process has influenced the complexity of the ideas of the students with regard to the content worked on. The proposal could hence serve as a reference for other training processes that have similar characteristics. Full article
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Article
A Rubric to Evaluate Critical Science Education for Sustainability
Sustainability 2022, 14(14), 8289; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14148289 - 06 Jul 2022
Viewed by 788
Abstract
Social and environmental problems are increasing, as is the urgency that they be addressed in educational institutions to form critical, responsible and active citizens. In this training process, the dialogue between science education and education for sustainability is crucial if we want to [...] Read more.
Social and environmental problems are increasing, as is the urgency that they be addressed in educational institutions to form critical, responsible and active citizens. In this training process, the dialogue between science education and education for sustainability is crucial if we want to understand socio-environmental problems in complex and uncertain contexts, which is why we define Critical Science Education for Sustainability (CSES). In addition to reflecting on which contents and methodologies are most appropriate in CSES, it is also necessary to reflect on the development of assessment instruments that allow diagnosing and evaluating the practice, materials and educational activities from such a perspective. Only with an appropriate instrument and suitable diagnosis can we make decisions to transform education and move towards CSES. This article presents an investigation based on the Delphi method with the participation of 37 international researchers, which resulted in a rubric, the Science, Technology and Society Assessment Tool. A rubric is a kind of evaluation tool that can assess education programs using qualitative or quantitative descriptors. This rubric is meant to analyze and guide critical science education in the context of teaching, policies and educational programs that favor sustainability. Full article
Article
An Assessment Approaches and Learning Outcomes in Technical and Vocational Education: A Systematic Review Using PRISMA
Sustainability 2022, 14(9), 5225; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14095225 - 26 Apr 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1244
Abstract
Technical and vocational education and training (TVET) assessments give precise feedback on whether students have successfully attained learning outcomes. It can improve teaching quality and empower students, educators, and stakeholders to take action. Only a few studies have attempted to review the literature [...] Read more.
Technical and vocational education and training (TVET) assessments give precise feedback on whether students have successfully attained learning outcomes. It can improve teaching quality and empower students, educators, and stakeholders to take action. Only a few studies have attempted to review the literature on this topic systematically. The PRISMA (preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analysis) criteria are used to guide this systematic review, which uses the following three key databases: Web of Science (WoS), Scopus, and Google Scholar. A thorough search of the electronic database utilising keywords and search strings yielded 78 publications published between 2015 and 2021, with 29 studies related to the topic highlighted. The Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool is used to evaluate all of the chosen articles (MMAT). The findings reveal that students’ learning outcomes are frequently examined utilising a competency-based assessment technique in TVET. Competence is used to assess students’ learning results, and it is advised that student competency development be prioritised. Full article
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Article
Environmental Education for Sustainability in Higher Education Institutions: Design of an Instrument for Its Evaluation
Sustainability 2021, 13(13), 7129; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13137129 - 25 Jun 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1842
Abstract
Higher Education Institutions (HEI) play a fundamental role in the transition towards Environmental Education for Sustainability (EES). As a consequence, one of the most critical challenges is the need to know their level of incorporation into the environmental agenda. Therefore, an instrument was [...] Read more.
Higher Education Institutions (HEI) play a fundamental role in the transition towards Environmental Education for Sustainability (EES). As a consequence, one of the most critical challenges is the need to know their level of incorporation into the environmental agenda. Therefore, an instrument was made and validated to determine the level of incorporation of Environmental Education for Sustainability into the environmental agenda of HEIs. For its construction, the dimensions of Institutional Identity, Teaching, Research, Extension/dissemination, and Linkage were considered, relying on a total of 17 items. Its validation was carried out through an expert review and expert judgment, and a pilot test was carried out to adapt it to the target population. The main result was an instrument that integrates the substantive and procedural functions of HEIs. Following the expert review, the instrument was improved according to their suggestions. The expert judgment showed an adequate content validity (Aiken’s V > 0.80; LL > 0.60). The pilot test also suggested that the understanding of instructions and items was adequate with an optimal value of internal consistency (Cronbach’s alpha of 0.862). An instrument that determines the level of incorporation of the EES in the substantive and procedural functions of HEIs is presented, valid in content, and with adequate levels of clarity and understanding of the target population. Full article
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