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Conceptual work on ESD from a school improvement perspective
Karlstad University, Faculty of Health, Science and Technology (starting 2013), Department of Environmental and Life Sciences (from 2013). (SMEER)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2726-8253
Pädagogische Hochschule Freiburg, Germany.
University of Pécs, Hungary.
Wageningen University, Netherlands.
Show others and affiliations
2018 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Chair: Anna Mogren, PhD, Karlstad University Sweden

Discussant: Professor Arjen Wals, Wageningen University, The Netherlands & Gothenburg University,

Sweden

This symposium places Education for Sustainable Development ( ESD) within the field of school improvement

theory and research. In a number of studies, the Whole school approach in ESD is suggested and referred to

as the work of embedding ESD into existing school visions and action plans (Breiting, Mayer & Mogensen

2005 “Quality Criteria for ESD-schools”; Hargreaves 2008; Scott 2013.) The symposium therefore focuses on

how the research field of school improvement – which investigates, how efforts to help schools become

increasingly effective learning environments for the full range of their students have been more or less

successful – might inform and challenge ESD and the ESD the Whole school approach.

If ESD is to be framed and studied from a “within perspective” as an ongoing school improvement process

rather than as an add-on activity to existing organisational arrangements and educational practices, it is

necessary to discuss models of school improvement in terms of their contribution to ESD. It is also important

to identify models of school improvement that can identify drivers and barriers for ESD implementation at

organisational level as well as on teaching and learning level (see Scherp 2013; Reezigt & Creemers 2005

“Comprehensive framework for effective school improvement” ; Rolff 2010 “Trias of school development”;

Rolff 2002 “P.dagogische Qualit.tsmanagement (PQM)”.

In school improvement theory, a school’s organisation is commonly understood as reflexive in relation to

context and supportive to the action of all members of the school community and their cooperation.

Further, research suggests there are basic mechanisms contributing to effective school improvement such as

goal setting for improvement, pressures to improve, cyclical improvement processes and autonomy (see

Scheerens & Demeuse 2005). Further, the school culture ought to be build up on dialogue supported by

school leadership. By this definition of school organisation, school improvement refers to collectively

supporting factors in the organisation, to the end that students’ possibilities for learning in relation to a

complex surrounding world are enhanced.

The recognition of multiple perspectives within the school organisation, e.g. cultural, structural, political and

transformational is central in investing possible models of school improvement. The search for school

improvement models that can discern those perspectives that are closely linked to ESD is crucial. Such

models of school improvement have the potential to constitute the link between the research fields of ESD

and school improvement. They could serve as a tool for further research on how the Whole school approach

is constructed in formal education, which is searched for in the practical work on ESD implementation.

In this symposium examples from ongoing research projects on ESD where models of school improvement

are used, considered or asked for in a German, Swedish and Hungarian context are presented. The

symposium will explore the potential of integrating, adapting and rejecting theoretical perspectives and

empirical evidence from school improvement into the ESD research field through intention papers with the

goal of developing knowledge about

- how selected conceptual work on the Whole school approach in ESD draw on models and

perspectives from school improvement theory,

- how in an empirical case study a school improvement model was used to measure the ESD Whole

school approach,

- how school improvement has informed efforts and plan for upscaling ESD implementation in Eco-

Schools to a larger number of public schools.

Following questions from the audience, Arjen Wals (Wageningen University, The Netherlands & Gothenburg

University, Sweden) will draw together the discussion and to explore implications for research in ESD.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018.
Keywords [en]
School improvement, ESD, Whole school approach, Eco schools
National Category
Biological Sciences
Research subject
Biology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-74934OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-74934DiVA, id: diva2:1355871
Conference
ECER 2018 Bolzano
Available from: 2019-09-30 Created: 2019-09-30 Last updated: 2019-10-14Bibliographically approved

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Mogren, AnnaGericke, Niklas

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