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Teacher Professional Development in ESD

A topical collection in Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This collection belongs to the section "Sustainable Education and Approaches".

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Editor


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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

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Keywords

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

Published Papers (13 papers)

2023

Jump to: 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018

13 pages, 744 KiB  
Article
Exploring Teacher’s Professional Identity in Relationship to Leadership: A Latent Profile Analysis
by Özgür Bolat and Esef Hakan Toytok
Sustainability 2023, 15(18), 13837; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151813837 - 17 Sep 2023
Viewed by 1375
Abstract
As a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, which has affected the whole world, teacher leadership has gained more significance. Teacher leadership is a multidimensional concept. While some teachers exercise leadership only at the classroom level, others exercise leadership at a macro level. This [...] Read more.
As a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, which has affected the whole world, teacher leadership has gained more significance. Teacher leadership is a multidimensional concept. While some teachers exercise leadership only at the classroom level, others exercise leadership at a macro level. This level of leadership enactment is directly related to how teachers construct their professional identity in relation to leadership. This study aims to explore the leadership-related professional identities of teachers who came to the fore, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic period by using latent profile analysis. The data were collected from a sample of 710 teachers. Teachers completed the Teacher Leadership Behavior Scale, which measures teacher leadership behaviors at four levels: classroom, parental, micro-level, and macro-level. Participants also completed the Rosenberg self-esteem scale, the teacher self-efficacy scale, the openness to authority scale, and the job satisfaction scale. As a result of latent profile analysis, three distinct profiles of teacher leadership identity emerged: those who exercise leadership at a minimum level, an intermediate level, and a maximum level across all four levels of teacher leadership. These profiles were labeled as “restricted professionality”, “intermediate professionality”, and “extended professionality”, drawing upon Hoyle’s conceptualization of teacher professional identity. These findings suggest that teachers construct their identities differently regarding teacher leadership. It is essential for school leaders to first explore the different levels of professional identity and tailor their professional development activities accordingly. Full article
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20 pages, 928 KiB  
Article
Integrating Perspectives from Education for Sustainable Development to Foster Plant Awareness among Trainee Science Teachers: A Mixed Methods Study
by Khalifatulloh Fiel’ardh, Indra Fardhani and Hiroki Fujii
Sustainability 2023, 15(9), 7395; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15097395 - 29 Apr 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3289
Abstract
This mixed-method study aimed to investigate the efficacy of an intervention unit that integrates perspectives from Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) to foster plant awareness, within the context of botanical lessons for trainee science teachers. Third-year undergraduate students (n = 91) studying [...] Read more.
This mixed-method study aimed to investigate the efficacy of an intervention unit that integrates perspectives from Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) to foster plant awareness, within the context of botanical lessons for trainee science teachers. Third-year undergraduate students (n = 91) studying to become lower secondary school (grade 7–9) science teachers from a public university in East Java, Indonesia, participated in this study. Data were collected through a self-reported questionnaire, reflective journal entries, and focus group interviews. The findings revealed a statistically significant increase in the participants’ attention and attitude towards plants, relative interest in plants, and self-efficacy in teaching plant-related topics. The triangulation of the analysis results from the reflective journals and focus group interviews demonstrated that through transformative learning, the participants’ experiences, perceptions, and learning evolved throughout the intervention unit, leading to their more comprehensive understanding of plant-related issues and their connection to broader sustainability concerns. These findings imply that the integration of ESD perspectives into botanical education positively affects plant awareness. Future research could further investigate the long-term impact of integrating ESD perspectives on teacher training programs. Full article
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2022

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12 pages, 1412 KiB  
Article
Applying Latent Allocation Topic Model to Explore the Policy Changes of Teachers’ Morality Development for Teacher Educational Sustainability in China
by Jian Li and Eryong Xue
Sustainability 2022, 14(23), 16125; https://doi.org/10.3390/su142316125 - 02 Dec 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 939
Abstract
The policy changes of teachers’ morality development in Chinese colleges and universities have depicted the evolution of teachers’ morality policy. However, there are few previous studies on applying the content analysis to examine the educational policy changes of teacher morality development from the [...] Read more.
The policy changes of teachers’ morality development in Chinese colleges and universities have depicted the evolution of teachers’ morality policy. However, there are few previous studies on applying the content analysis to examine the educational policy changes of teacher morality development from the insight of China’s higher education system. Thus, this study applies the LDA topic model as one content analysis approach to provide high-frequency word analysis, analysis of centrality, and cluster analysis to explore the overall policy trends of teachers’ morality development in China. It is found that the policy objectives and contents of teachers’ ethics construction in colleges and universities are constantly clear and definite. The policy content of teachers’ morality construction is continuously clear. The policy direction and policy value of the construction of teachers’ ethics in colleges and universities have been continuously broadened and deepened. The policy evaluation and supervision of teachers’ ethics construction in colleges and universities have been continuously optimized and improved. In addition, the conclusions and suggestions have been offered in the final section. Full article
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2021

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26 pages, 1361 KiB  
Systematic Review
Teachers’ Professional Action Competence in Education for Sustainable Development: A Systematic Review from the Perspective of Physical Education
by Julia Lohmann, Jennifer Breithecker, Ulrike Ohl, Petra Gieß-Stüber and Hans Peter Brandl-Bredenbeck
Sustainability 2021, 13(23), 13343; https://doi.org/10.3390/su132313343 - 02 Dec 2021
Cited by 29 | Viewed by 4338
Abstract
In order to implement education for sustainable development (ESD), teachers from all subjects need to be equipped with ESD-specific professional action competence, including physical education (PE) teachers. However, the current state of research on approaches to defining ESD-specific teacher competence is complex and [...] Read more.
In order to implement education for sustainable development (ESD), teachers from all subjects need to be equipped with ESD-specific professional action competence, including physical education (PE) teachers. However, the current state of research on approaches to defining ESD-specific teacher competence is complex and there is little debate on what competences PE teachers in particular need in order to implement ESD. The purpose of this study is to make a theoretical contribution to clarifying the central concepts of ESD-specific teacher competences and to link this discussion to the subject of PE. We conducted a systematic literature review following PRISMA guidelines with a focus on normative and theoretical work about ESD-specific teacher competences. Twenty-two articles from 2008 onwards met the inclusion criteria. Subsequently, we applied a qualitative content analysis based on theoretically derived main categories. The literature review revealed a more nuanced examination of the categories of ESD-specific professional knowledge and beliefs. The categories of motivational orientation and self-regulation were found to have received less attention in the analyzed papers. PE-specific aspects were not reflected in the reviewed literature. A refined model of ESD-specific professional action competence is suggested and it is demonstrated how this model might be applied to subject-specific discourses from the perspective of PE. Full article
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24 pages, 952 KiB  
Article
I Want to Teach Sustainable Development in My English Classroom: A Case Study of Incorporating Sustainable Development Goals in English Teaching
by Ching Ting Tany Kwee
Sustainability 2021, 13(8), 4195; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13084195 - 09 Apr 2021
Cited by 37 | Viewed by 8680
Abstract
Previous studies indicated that K-12 teachers generally felt reluctant to incorporate sustainable development in their teaching due to a lack of skills, knowledge and interest, particularly language teachers. This qualitative case study, grounded in the Social Cognitive Career Theory, aims to identify the [...] Read more.
Previous studies indicated that K-12 teachers generally felt reluctant to incorporate sustainable development in their teaching due to a lack of skills, knowledge and interest, particularly language teachers. This qualitative case study, grounded in the Social Cognitive Career Theory, aims to identify the significant factors influencing English teachers’ motivation of incorporating the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into their teaching. Data were collected from multiple sources including semi-structured interviews and classroom observations. By examining how teachers’ self-efficacy develops in relation to outcome expectations and performance goals, the findings showed that teachers’ personal beliefs, attainment of teaching goals and supportive school management can positively influence their self-efficacy and boost their motivation in incorporating SDGs in their English teaching. Such findings can be useful for educators, school management, educational institutes, universities and policy-makers to develop strategies to facilitate teachers’ active roles in ESD by fostering greater collaboration across disciplines and providing relevant professional development and goal-relevant supports. Full article
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2020

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20 pages, 416 KiB  
Article
Novice Physical Education Teachers in Israel: Facilitators and Barriers to Persistence in the Profession
by Sima Zach, Ayelet Dunsky, Hanan Stein, Olga Litvin and Devora Hellerstein
Sustainability 2020, 12(9), 3830; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12093830 - 08 May 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2891
Abstract
The phenomenon of high attrition and dropout among novice teachers has been widely recognized as an issue that must be addressed. The current study aimed to explore this phenomenon in the field of physical education (PE). A longitudinal study using a mixed-methods approach [...] Read more.
The phenomenon of high attrition and dropout among novice teachers has been widely recognized as an issue that must be addressed. The current study aimed to explore this phenomenon in the field of physical education (PE). A longitudinal study using a mixed-methods approach was conducted. The participants consisted of 119 novice teachers at three points in time: during, at the end of the first year of internship, and two years after internship. Instruments included questionnaires, a semi-structured telephone survey, and in-depth face-to-face interviews. Results indicated that the majority of novice teachers intended to stay in the profession mainly due to idealistic reasons. Emotional and professional support from senior staff and/or management proved to be important to their decision to persist in the profession. Barriers that were found distinctive to PE included poor working conditions such as a lack of facilities or equipment. Additionally, participants reported discouragement from the discovery that PE was perceived as a less important subject in comparison to other school subjects. The vast majority reported that they had not been sufficiently prepared for the realities of the teaching profession. Full article
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2019

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10 pages, 212 KiB  
Article
Prepared to Teach for Sustainable Development? Student Teachers’ Beliefs in Their Ability to Teach for Sustainable Development
by Thomas Dahl
Sustainability 2019, 11(7), 1993; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11071993 - 03 Apr 2019
Cited by 30 | Viewed by 4835
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
12 pages, 536 KiB  
Article
Social Sustainability and Professional Development: Assessing a Training Course on Intercultural Education for In-Service Teachers
by Michele Biasutti, Eleonora Concina and Sara Frate
Sustainability 2019, 11(5), 1238; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11051238 - 26 Feb 2019
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 5087
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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28 pages, 3694 KiB  
Article
Knowledge Analysis of the Prospective Secondary School Teacher on a Key Concept in Sustainability: Waste
by Guadalupe Martínez-Borreguero, Jesús Maestre-Jiménez, Milagros Mateos-Núñez and Francisco Luis Naranjo-Correa
Sustainability 2019, 11(4), 1173; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11041173 - 22 Feb 2019
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 4303
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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16 pages, 546 KiB  
Review
Systematic Review of Education for Sustainable Development at an Early Stage: Cornerstones and Pedagogical Approaches for Teacher Professional Development
by Martín Bascopé, Paolo Perasso and Kristina Reiss
Sustainability 2019, 11(3), 719; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11030719 - 30 Jan 2019
Cited by 63 | Viewed by 13553
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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16 pages, 280 KiB  
Article
Learning to Navigate (in) the Anthropocene
by Mathias Decuypere, Hanne Hoet and Joke Vandenabeele
Sustainability 2019, 11(2), 547; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11020547 - 21 Jan 2019
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 4806
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

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15 pages, 244 KiB  
Article
Changes in Pre-Service Teachers’ Values, Sense of Agency, Motivation and Consumption Practices: A Case Study of an Education for Sustainability Course
by Eileen Merritt, Annie Hale and Leanna Archambault
Sustainability 2019, 11(1), 155; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11010155 - 29 Dec 2018
Cited by 41 | Viewed by 8402
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
24 pages, 1126 KiB  
Article
Do Pre-service Teachers Dance with Wolves? Subject-Specific Teacher Professional Development in A Recent Biodiversity Conservation Issue
by Alexander Georg Büssing, Maike Schleper and Susanne Menzel
Sustainability 2019, 11(1), 47; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11010047 - 21 Dec 2018
Cited by 22 | Viewed by 4817
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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