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Journal Details
Format
Journal
eISSN
1691-5534
ISSN
1691-4147
First Published
04 May 2009
Publication timeframe
2 times per year
Languages
English

Search

Volume 15 (2013): Issue 2 (December 2013)

Journal Details
Format
Journal
eISSN
1691-5534
ISSN
1691-4147
First Published
04 May 2009
Publication timeframe
2 times per year
Languages
English

Search

7 Articles
Open Access

Opportunities and challenges for integrating sustainability education into k-12 schools: case study Phoenix, AZ

Published Online: 12 Mar 2014
Page range: 5 - 24

Abstract

Abstract

Teacher education for sustainability is a central part of integrating sustainability into classrooms and schools. However, educating for sustainability isnot limited to increased content knowledge; rather it encompasses different forms of knowledge that embrace the normative, dynamic and action-oriented nature of sustainability. Curriculum for a summer sustainability programme had previously been developed based on an interdisciplinary approach which incorporates research and practice from the fields of education pedagogy, sustainability and behaviour change. This article synthesises the insights provided by K-12 teachers who participated in this programme and another teacher who utilised the curriculum during a sustainability unit in her 8th form science class in Phoenix, AZ. Data was collected through surveys and interviews over the course of a year. The key findings indicate that one of the major barriers to moving away from traditional, didactic approaches to education is the importance placed on standardised tests. As long as external forces and incentive structures reinforce methods of lecture and assess, teachers will struggle transitioning to more experiential, real-world methods that enhance a multiplicity of knowledge. One important suggestion made by the teachers was for increased support by universities through pre-service and in-service programmes focused on educating for sustainabilit

Keywords

  • educating for sustainability
  • teacher education
  • sustainable behaviours
  • education pedagogy
  • behaviour change
  • sustainability competencies
Open Access

Clearing the path that has been laid: a conceptualisation of education for sustainable development

Published Online: 12 Mar 2014
Page range: 25 - 41

Abstract

Abstract

Education for sustainable development (ESD) has become so crucial that we have tried to smear it on anything and everything that's teachable. The consequence is that almost everything we do may be said to contain weak attributes of ESD even if we know nothing significant about it. This paper attempts to reveal an understanding of ESD that is informed by an exploration of policy language and agenda and recent literature in the field. The exploration of policy reveals the possible cause for previous inadequate implementation of ESD. An exploration of policy and literature reveals some key competencies that are advocated for through ESD. Insight into how policy has shifted from an ecological to a development focus and substantiation for why this shift is important in addressing current sustainable development issues serves to inform the interpretation of ESD. Finally, the analysis of policy and literature is triangulated to develop a framework that may assist ESD stakeholders in identifying ESD competencies in policy and practice. It is hoped that through this engagement with selected texts a more informed and complex insight into ESD and its features may be developed

Keywords

  • education for sustainable development
  • sustainable development
  • competencies
  • action competence
  • sustainability literacy
Open Access

Managing cognitive dissonance: experience from an environmental education teachersí training course in the Czech Republic

Published Online: 12 Mar 2014
Page range: 42 - 51

Abstract

Abstract

This paper presents a qualitative evaluation of seven in-service environmental education teacher training courses conducted in the Czech Republic in 2009-2011. The evaluation applied a grounded theory approach. 14 focus groups, 13 interviews and two postprogramme questionnaires were used. The evaluation describes a process of managing cognitive dissonance between the participants' concepts of effective teaching and environmental education and concepts presented by the courses. The paper discusses the strategies applied by the course managers for facilitating a conflict and defensive mechanisms used by the participants. The paper also discusses the implication of this experience for future courses

Keywords

  • in-service teachers' training
  • cognitive dissonance
  • environmental education
  • qualitative research
  • evaluation
Open Access

Competitiveness and quality of higher education: graduates' evaluation

Published Online: 12 Mar 2014
Page range: 52 - 66

Abstract

Abstract

The aim of the paper is to find the competitiveness of Latvian university graduates in Latvia and the European Union labour market concerning aspects of entrepreneurship education. To achieve the purpose of this study to determine the competitive and qualitative levels of Latvian universities and necessary improvements that need to be made, a survey of 4,909 graduates (from the years 2006-2011) representing six Latvia universities was performed between November-December, 2011. Results indicate that, in general, the graduates consider themselves competitive in the Latvian labour market. The graduates have positive opinions concerning the quality of theoretical knowledge as well as the abilities to present information and to evaluate, analyse and systematise it. At the same time, there are serious improvements that are necessary in regard to entrepreneurship education and to increase the competitiveness of Latvian universities, which can be done by improving the quality of the study process, the content of courses, teaching (learning) methods and the attitudes of academic staff to better motive students to develop their skills emphasising the practical side of the study process

Keywords

  • higher education
  • competitiveness
  • quality
  • entrepreneurship education
  • entrepreneurial skills and competences
Open Access

Research into learning process in a vocational secondary school in the context of sustainable development

Published Online: 12 Mar 2014
Page range: 67 - 77

Abstract

Abstract

The paper provides an insight into the results of a lesson designed and carried out at Riga Construction College in the study subject "Building Constructions". The aim of this study is to better understand the impact of learning environment reorganisation into juvenile groups while teaching technical study subjects. In particular, the research conducted at this vocational secondary school focused upon introducing a particular form of integrative collaboration amongst the learners. Criteria were developed to respond to the question: How is the organisation of the learning process based on the Learners' Integrative Collaboration Model changing? A formative teaching experiment, which analyses learners' integrative collaboration through structured observation at the beginning and end of the acquisition of the study subject "Building Constructions" points at positive changes associated with the model's criteria: working in a team, mutual learning, business communication and creativity action

Keywords

  • vocational school learners
  • working in a team
  • mutual learning
  • business communication
  • creativity action
  • learners' integrative collaboration
Open Access

Primary school teachers' views on a holistic approach to facilitating the acquisition of musical cultural values

Published Online: 12 Mar 2014
Page range: 78 - 90

Abstract

Abstract

Recent tendencies in education highlight the need to align the system of general education in Latvia with the tenets of sustainability. In keeping with this broad target orientation, this paper re-examines international and Latvian experiences and perspectives on the application of a holistic approach to the content of primary education. This review of good practice is set against the backdrop of different theories and approaches concerned with the essence and principles of holism. More specifically, the paper addresses the issue of ensuring successful acquisition of musical cultural values in primary school via a holistic approach. In this regard, the latter is construed as movement towards the new that facilitates positive attitudes towards musical cultural values among learners and is both physically and spiritually nurturing. The paper proposes a theoretically and empirically grounded model for the usage of a holistic approach with a view to enabling acquisition of musical cultural values in primary school. The gradual development of the model is traced in the course of theoretical and empirical inquiry, the latter involving a survey and an interview with five experts

Keywords

  • values
  • musical culture
  • musical cultural values
  • holistic approach
  • sustainable development
  • holistic development
  • primary school teachers
Open Access

Education for sustainable development in early childhood education in Finland

Published Online: 12 Mar 2014
Page range: 91 - 102

Abstract

Abstract

In the Finnish early childhood education and care (ECEC) curriculum, there is no specific content for education for sustainable development (ESD). Thus, it is not possible to get direct guidelines on how to conduct ESD in ECEC from the curriculum. We seek to look at the preferences of Finnish early childhood educators through the model of extended environmental education. Behind this model is Palmer's tree model and an emphasis on empirical, social and ethical components of ECEC. The research method employed a survey. Altogether 924 teams in Southern Finland evaluated their learning environments. By using a factor and reliability analysis, we extracted three factors relevant to the extended Palmer's model. The teachers primarily emphasised the understanding (learning) aspects of ECEC. The second most important aspect comprised the social aspects of education. The third most important aspect included the ethical and participant aspects of ECEC. Potential implications and indications to the practice of ESD are discussed

Keywords

  • education for sustainable development
  • environmental education
  • early childhood education and care
  • curriculum
  • learning
  • agency
7 Articles
Open Access

Opportunities and challenges for integrating sustainability education into k-12 schools: case study Phoenix, AZ

Published Online: 12 Mar 2014
Page range: 5 - 24

Abstract

Abstract

Teacher education for sustainability is a central part of integrating sustainability into classrooms and schools. However, educating for sustainability isnot limited to increased content knowledge; rather it encompasses different forms of knowledge that embrace the normative, dynamic and action-oriented nature of sustainability. Curriculum for a summer sustainability programme had previously been developed based on an interdisciplinary approach which incorporates research and practice from the fields of education pedagogy, sustainability and behaviour change. This article synthesises the insights provided by K-12 teachers who participated in this programme and another teacher who utilised the curriculum during a sustainability unit in her 8th form science class in Phoenix, AZ. Data was collected through surveys and interviews over the course of a year. The key findings indicate that one of the major barriers to moving away from traditional, didactic approaches to education is the importance placed on standardised tests. As long as external forces and incentive structures reinforce methods of lecture and assess, teachers will struggle transitioning to more experiential, real-world methods that enhance a multiplicity of knowledge. One important suggestion made by the teachers was for increased support by universities through pre-service and in-service programmes focused on educating for sustainabilit

Keywords

  • educating for sustainability
  • teacher education
  • sustainable behaviours
  • education pedagogy
  • behaviour change
  • sustainability competencies
Open Access

Clearing the path that has been laid: a conceptualisation of education for sustainable development

Published Online: 12 Mar 2014
Page range: 25 - 41

Abstract

Abstract

Education for sustainable development (ESD) has become so crucial that we have tried to smear it on anything and everything that's teachable. The consequence is that almost everything we do may be said to contain weak attributes of ESD even if we know nothing significant about it. This paper attempts to reveal an understanding of ESD that is informed by an exploration of policy language and agenda and recent literature in the field. The exploration of policy reveals the possible cause for previous inadequate implementation of ESD. An exploration of policy and literature reveals some key competencies that are advocated for through ESD. Insight into how policy has shifted from an ecological to a development focus and substantiation for why this shift is important in addressing current sustainable development issues serves to inform the interpretation of ESD. Finally, the analysis of policy and literature is triangulated to develop a framework that may assist ESD stakeholders in identifying ESD competencies in policy and practice. It is hoped that through this engagement with selected texts a more informed and complex insight into ESD and its features may be developed

Keywords

  • education for sustainable development
  • sustainable development
  • competencies
  • action competence
  • sustainability literacy
Open Access

Managing cognitive dissonance: experience from an environmental education teachersí training course in the Czech Republic

Published Online: 12 Mar 2014
Page range: 42 - 51

Abstract

Abstract

This paper presents a qualitative evaluation of seven in-service environmental education teacher training courses conducted in the Czech Republic in 2009-2011. The evaluation applied a grounded theory approach. 14 focus groups, 13 interviews and two postprogramme questionnaires were used. The evaluation describes a process of managing cognitive dissonance between the participants' concepts of effective teaching and environmental education and concepts presented by the courses. The paper discusses the strategies applied by the course managers for facilitating a conflict and defensive mechanisms used by the participants. The paper also discusses the implication of this experience for future courses

Keywords

  • in-service teachers' training
  • cognitive dissonance
  • environmental education
  • qualitative research
  • evaluation
Open Access

Competitiveness and quality of higher education: graduates' evaluation

Published Online: 12 Mar 2014
Page range: 52 - 66

Abstract

Abstract

The aim of the paper is to find the competitiveness of Latvian university graduates in Latvia and the European Union labour market concerning aspects of entrepreneurship education. To achieve the purpose of this study to determine the competitive and qualitative levels of Latvian universities and necessary improvements that need to be made, a survey of 4,909 graduates (from the years 2006-2011) representing six Latvia universities was performed between November-December, 2011. Results indicate that, in general, the graduates consider themselves competitive in the Latvian labour market. The graduates have positive opinions concerning the quality of theoretical knowledge as well as the abilities to present information and to evaluate, analyse and systematise it. At the same time, there are serious improvements that are necessary in regard to entrepreneurship education and to increase the competitiveness of Latvian universities, which can be done by improving the quality of the study process, the content of courses, teaching (learning) methods and the attitudes of academic staff to better motive students to develop their skills emphasising the practical side of the study process

Keywords

  • higher education
  • competitiveness
  • quality
  • entrepreneurship education
  • entrepreneurial skills and competences
Open Access

Research into learning process in a vocational secondary school in the context of sustainable development

Published Online: 12 Mar 2014
Page range: 67 - 77

Abstract

Abstract

The paper provides an insight into the results of a lesson designed and carried out at Riga Construction College in the study subject "Building Constructions". The aim of this study is to better understand the impact of learning environment reorganisation into juvenile groups while teaching technical study subjects. In particular, the research conducted at this vocational secondary school focused upon introducing a particular form of integrative collaboration amongst the learners. Criteria were developed to respond to the question: How is the organisation of the learning process based on the Learners' Integrative Collaboration Model changing? A formative teaching experiment, which analyses learners' integrative collaboration through structured observation at the beginning and end of the acquisition of the study subject "Building Constructions" points at positive changes associated with the model's criteria: working in a team, mutual learning, business communication and creativity action

Keywords

  • vocational school learners
  • working in a team
  • mutual learning
  • business communication
  • creativity action
  • learners' integrative collaboration
Open Access

Primary school teachers' views on a holistic approach to facilitating the acquisition of musical cultural values

Published Online: 12 Mar 2014
Page range: 78 - 90

Abstract

Abstract

Recent tendencies in education highlight the need to align the system of general education in Latvia with the tenets of sustainability. In keeping with this broad target orientation, this paper re-examines international and Latvian experiences and perspectives on the application of a holistic approach to the content of primary education. This review of good practice is set against the backdrop of different theories and approaches concerned with the essence and principles of holism. More specifically, the paper addresses the issue of ensuring successful acquisition of musical cultural values in primary school via a holistic approach. In this regard, the latter is construed as movement towards the new that facilitates positive attitudes towards musical cultural values among learners and is both physically and spiritually nurturing. The paper proposes a theoretically and empirically grounded model for the usage of a holistic approach with a view to enabling acquisition of musical cultural values in primary school. The gradual development of the model is traced in the course of theoretical and empirical inquiry, the latter involving a survey and an interview with five experts

Keywords

  • values
  • musical culture
  • musical cultural values
  • holistic approach
  • sustainable development
  • holistic development
  • primary school teachers
Open Access

Education for sustainable development in early childhood education in Finland

Published Online: 12 Mar 2014
Page range: 91 - 102

Abstract

Abstract

In the Finnish early childhood education and care (ECEC) curriculum, there is no specific content for education for sustainable development (ESD). Thus, it is not possible to get direct guidelines on how to conduct ESD in ECEC from the curriculum. We seek to look at the preferences of Finnish early childhood educators through the model of extended environmental education. Behind this model is Palmer's tree model and an emphasis on empirical, social and ethical components of ECEC. The research method employed a survey. Altogether 924 teams in Southern Finland evaluated their learning environments. By using a factor and reliability analysis, we extracted three factors relevant to the extended Palmer's model. The teachers primarily emphasised the understanding (learning) aspects of ECEC. The second most important aspect comprised the social aspects of education. The third most important aspect included the ethical and participant aspects of ECEC. Potential implications and indications to the practice of ESD are discussed

Keywords

  • education for sustainable development
  • environmental education
  • early childhood education and care
  • curriculum
  • learning
  • agency

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