- Journal Details
- First Published
- 04 May 2009
- Publication timeframe
- 2 times per year
- Open Access
Page range: 1 - 6
- Open Access
Mapping the Integration of the Sustainable Development Goals in Universities: Is It a Field of Study?
Page range: 7 - 25
This article maps the scientific production and the contents associated with the sustainable development goals and their integration with universities during the past 21 years. Although many of the topics related to sustainable development goals (SDGs) have been addressed in different studies for decades, it is since 2015 onwards that they gained greater prominence due to the inclusion of higher education as an important actor in the fulfillment of the 2030 agenda and the United Nations SDGs. For the purpose of this paper, a bibliometric analysis of 871 papers, 535 documents in Scopus, and 336 in Web of Science (WoS) from 1998 to 2019 was performed, and the Bibliometrix analysis tool was used. The objective of this mapping is to answer the following research question: Is the integration of the Sustainable Development Goals and Universities a field of study? An analysis of the network of collaborators and trend topics in Scopus and WoS allows us to identify the concurrence and relationships of some keywords, such as sustainable development, sustainability and planning, and some background words, such as humans and global health. In another analysis, the word “higher education” is related to change. This article suggests that the integration of the Sustainable Development Goals in Universities is becoming a field of study under exploration, with a peak of production in 2016 and that has remained stable in the last three years, but thanks to the leading role assigned to Universities, intellectual production should increase in the following years.
- sustainable development
- higher education
- science mapping
- Open Access
Page range: 26 - 39
It can be observed that changing attitude towards the environment and fellow human beings manifests itself as a socially unsustainable relationship, which in different ways and at different levels manifests itself in social exclusion. Social exclusion is increasingly emerging as a phenomenon that is complex in nature and its solutions must be sought in the wicked problem approach, which is characteristic of complex problems and has significant ontological roots. At present, ontology should consider the much more complicated problem of what types of being are formed by both the natural and the cultural evolutionary processes. It can be argued that evolutionary ontology attempts to create a new image of the world and of humans – a new non-anthropocentric cosmology, i.e., a consistently philosophical culturological cosmology that takes into account reality in its real structure as a conflict between the spontaneous activity of nature and the socio-cultural activity of humans (Šmajs, 2008, p. 96). The reasons for social exclusion can be different, and its specific manifestations are various, and the same can be said about the phenomenon of social inclusion, which is the expression of the quality of other relationships and attitudes. Externally observable signs of social exclusion are more closely related to the concept of families at risk. A social risk family can be defined as a family that experiences difficult problems and has limited opportunities to provide favorable living conditions for the comprehensive development of all family members. More and more often it is associated with unsustainable cultural or non-cultural contexts, mainly related to non-ecological culture prosperity in the consumer society. It can be noted that this context in its current form (which includes manufacturing, consumption, material culture, and technology, and both the social, intellectual, and material life of humans) is quite anti-natural oriented in its principle. Unfortunately, the aggressive anti-natural sociocultural strategy permeated also the field of human upbringing and education (Šmajs, 2008, p. 194). At the beginning of the 21st century, it has emerged as the Anthropocene era in a broader sense, in which the geological characterization of the era is complemented by the characterization of the sustainability of public relations in a broader holistic perspective.
The aim of the article is to consider a number of real cases in a broader perspective from the point of view of foster family pedagogy, identify the choice of foster care approaches and evaluate the results obtained.
From the perspective of foster family pedagogy, foster parents and foster children are participants in the lifelong learning process, where the mutual influence and interaction of foster parents and foster children are studied. The authors evaluated real situations from the perspective of foster family pedagogy and children’s involvement in the family structure. The article also examines the influence of the foster family and its readiness to overcome the effects of Anthropocene unsustainability.
- foster family pedagogy
- foster parents’ readiness to implement the foster family’s mission
- foster child
- life experience
- families at risk
- Open Access
Page range: 40 - 48
Sustainability is related to diverse relationships that exist in the world as well as to the attitudes evolving in a person’s diverse life activities, including education and work. In the sustainable employability model, there is a pedagogical idea of experience and self-identity and individual values revealing the level of personal sustainability. The present study explores vocational education students’ personal sustainability as a predictor to sustainable employability in the future. The study involved 151 vocational education students’ self-assessment of valuable (sustainable) personal characteristics, their attitude to being honest, helpful and responsible. The results have shown that the most valuable self-characteristics are being good tempered, helpful and kind. Students’ attitudes to being responsible and honest change during school years – 1st and 2nd year students do not consider them important values but senior students acknowledge them. It means that their lived experiences have promoted personal sustainability development ensuring more sustainable employability in the future.
- vocational education
- Open Access
Page range: 49 - 65
The objective of the research is to determine e-learning solutions for the implementation of the spaced learning in university students’ sustainable education. In the spaced e-learning method, the course content includes few-minute pauses between repetitions, during which students let their brain “rest” with different content and then return to the course. Information technology solutions are based on the identification of students’ individual and situational interests and the following promotion of students’ interests for personal development by the content of spaces. Current research is oriented to the search for benefits from synergy of the technological and pedagogical e-learning developments.
The study includes three cycles of education action research. The first and second cycles aim at finding the most effective method to include content for sustainable personality development in the course. At Riga Technical University, a prototype of two blended learning Master level courses was created and approbated with Master level students. Outcomes of the research were evaluated by reflection on students’ opinions and analysis of user behavior data in the e-learning environment OpenEdX.
The results obtained in the first and second cycles of the action research and reflection are the basis for the conceptual development of the Living Lab solution in the MOODLE environment with personalized content. Technological solutions for the implementation of personalized content of spaces for personality development are based on the student’s self-assessment of his/her individual interests. The research shows the potential of the spaced e-learning for instructional learning and personality development, thus leading to learning for sustainability in the broadest sense as a perspective of pedagogy with inherently sustainable nature, that we denote as “fostering” in the study.
The spaced e-learning method was seriously influenced by the COVID-19 crisis due to the replacement of blended learning with fully online learning.
- spaced learning
- sustainable education
- Open Access
A Study on the Status of Sustainability Education among Iranian EFL Instructors: Developing a Glocalized Model
Page range: 66 - 89
In the Iranian education context where the concept of Sustainability Education is to a certain extent novel and fresh, one must first determine the state of Sustainability Education in education systems and specifically TEFL departments to discover EFL instructors’ needs. This way, EFL instructors can be equipped with Sustainability Education competencies needed for transforming EFL education systems. Sustainability Education can be best implemented through language learning and specifically English learning compared with other subjects because language classes are the best sights for discussing sustainability issues. Additionally, the actualization of Sustainability Education in language classes can facilitate CLT and global citizenship operationalization. Having these in mind, the present study attempts to depict a clear picture of Sustainability Education among EFL instructors and provide education systems and policymakers with the necessary Sustainability Education competencies to equip teachers and help learners to feel and identify the relationship among sustainability issues such as culture, ecology, economy, power structures, and even their own families. The study was conducted using a Sustainability Education questionnaire developed by the researchers. The questionnaire was distributed among 150 EFL instructors. The findings of the study reveal that EFL instructors experience an apparent lack of sustainability literacy. On the other hand, their level of implementation is better than literacy but still not much satisfactory. The important findings can bring about the transformation and modification of EFL teacher education and curriculum and will be highly advantageous regarding professional and ethical dimensions of education system.
- sustainability literacy
- sustainability implementation
- sustainability education
- Open Access
Learnings from the #IndigenousESD Global Research: Twenty-First Century Competencies for All Learners
Page range: 90 - 103
Based on a participatory research approach developed together with Indigenous communities and researchers from around the world, dialogues held in 54 research settings in 26 countries show a focus on the acquisition of twenty-first century competencies for learners amongst the most important aspects of a quality education.
For this article, the authors focused on knowledge, attitudes and skills, providing recommendations for policy makers in education to better address the needs and priorities of Indigenous communities. Findings from the research indicate that teaching twenty-first century competencies are at the center of concern in all stakeholder groups, yet want these competencies taught in a context to which Indigenous students can readily relate. Adjusting the pedagogy of delivering these common competencies in the classroom could be an important step towards a feasible and affordable path within existing education systems to better serve Indigenous students and all learners.
- Indigenous ESD Global Research
- twenty-first century learners
- Open Access
The Impact of Spaced and Massed Instruction on Foreign Language Reading Motivation and Reading Attitude among Pre-intermediate EFL Learners
Page range: 104 - 120
This study investigated the impact of spaced and massed instruction on foreign language reading motivation and reading attitude among Iranian pre-intermediate EFL learners. To fulfil this objective, 60 Iranian participants were chosen among 120 students based on the results of Oxford Quick Placement Test (OQPT). The selected pre-intermediate participants were then divided into two equal experimental groups: spaced group and massed group. Afterwards, the researcher measured the participants’ reading motivation and reading attitude by administering a reading motivation questionnaire and a reading attitude survey as a pre-test. Then, both groups received the treatment. During the treatment phase of the study, the massed group was taught the reading comprehension in an intensive 60-minute session, while the spaced group was taught in three short sessions (twenty-minute session). After the instruction, a reading motivation questionnaire and a reading attitude survey as a post-test were carried out to both groups and finally the data were analyzed by running paired and independent sample t-tests. The outcomes demonstrated that there was a significant difference between the post-tests of spaced and massed groups. The findings indicated that the spaced group significantly out performed the massed group (
- massed instruction
- spaced instruction
- vocabulary learning
- foreign language reading motivation
- reading attitude
- pre-intermediate EFL learners
- Open Access
Page range: 121 - 139
Saudi Arabian citizens, including university students, are in an interesting and precarious situation – they care for sustainability, but their economy thrives because of oil production. This study used an author-developed instrument to briefly explore 135 Saudi university students’ (nine disciplines) knowledge, awareness, evaluation and convictions of how to facilitate the nation to achieve sustainable development goals (SDGs) per
- inquiry-based learning (IBL)
- sustainability and climate change
- pre-service teachers
- Saudi Arabia
- education for sustainability (EfS)
- Open Access
Page range: 140 - 152
The research into the environmental education competency of secondary school teachers was conducted using mixed research methods. The data were collected using the questionnaire and the structured interview. The teachers of eco-schools completed the questionnaire and teacher advisors as well as mentor teachers of the eco-school project participated in the structured interview. The research findings revealed that most respondents had a moderate level of environmental education competency that involved six aspects: knowledge of the environment, basic understanding of the environment, responsibility for the environmental education of professional teachers, planning and practice with regard to the environmental education, promoting learning about the environmental education and evaluation of the environmental education. The approaches to enhance the environmental education competency of secondary school teachers should involve multidisciplinary instruction learning, community-based learning, project-based learning, happy teaching and learning, and holistic learning management.
- Environmental education
- multidisciplinary instruction learning
- community-based learning
- project-based learning
- holistic learning management
- Open Access
What Factors Matter for the Sustainable Professional Development of Teachers? Analysis from Four Countries
Page range: 153 - 170
In the 21st century, teachers’ learning is viewed through the lens of sustainable development as a holistic, transformative and collaborative learning process. Acknowledging that teacher professional development is a prerequisite for educational quality, it becomes necessary to look for professional development factors that could be relevant to sustainable professional development. The article explores factors of sustainable professional development of teachers based on data of TALIS 2018 from four Baltic countries (Estonia, Finland, Latvia, and Lithuania). The study also discusses distinct characteristics of teacher professional development in the analyzed countries. Although traditional forms and methods of professional development still prevail in all countries, teachers also learn through active cooperation. Finnish teachers, more often than teachers in the other countries, worked in teams and shared material, knowledge, etc. with each other; Estonian teachers, more so than teachers in the other countries, took part in long-term training; Latvian teachers were more likely than teachers in the other countries to observe other teachers’ classes and provide feedback. Lithuanian teachers were perhaps the most active in terms of learning, but young teachers with fewer years of service were more likely to engage in long-term and collaborative activities. Finally, the implications for further research are discussed.
- teacher learning
- sustainable professional development
- professional development factors
- collaborative learning