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Consider the Unexpected: Scaling ESD as a matter of learning
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Educational Sciences, Department of Education. Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Educational Sciences, SWEDESD - The Swedish International Centre of Education for Sustainable Development. (TRUST, SMED)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0410-5654
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Educational Sciences, SWEDESD - The Swedish International Centre of Education for Sustainable Development. Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Educational Sciences, Department of Education. (TRUST, SMED)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7956-6159
Rhodes Univ, Environm Learning & Res Ctr, Grahamstown, South Africa.
2019 (English)In: Environmental Education Research, ISSN 1350-4622, E-ISSN 1469-5871, Vol. 25, no 1, p. 135-150Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article aims to introduce a view of scaling as a learning process. In the article we discuss the concept of ‘scaling up’ or ‘scaling’ of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) activities on the basis of how ‘scaling up’ ESD is highlighted in the UNESCO Global Action Programme (GAP) on ESD. Drawing on a Deweyan theory of learning as processes of transactional encounters, the article presents a conceptual framework of scaling-ESD- activities-as-learning. This conceptual framework is intended to have implications for ESD policy and ESE research. The theoretical specications and practical implications presented are results of data collected using a participatory research approach (Re-Solve) and an abductive analysis. In this article, we argue that viewing scaling as a learning process enables a nuanced notion of scaling ESD-activities. This should be seen in relation to (a) complex sustainability challenges, (b) ethical aspects, (c) a more attentive and strict approach to scaling in ESD policy and (d) addressing questions of signicant importance to scaling research.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. Vol. 25, no 1, p. 135-150
Keywords [en]
scaling, education for sustainable development, biosocial becomings, global action programme on education for sustainable development, expansive learning
National Category
Didactics
Research subject
Curriculum Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-327985DOI: 10.1080/13504622.2018.1429572ISI: 000464582800009OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-327985DiVA, id: diva2:1131531
Projects
Scaling of Education for Sustainable DevelopmentAvailable from: 2017-08-14 Created: 2017-08-14 Last updated: 2020-01-16Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Sharing Good Examples, Then What?: Investigations of Contingency and Continuity in the Scaling-of-ESD-Activities-as-Learning
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Sharing Good Examples, Then What?: Investigations of Contingency and Continuity in the Scaling-of-ESD-Activities-as-Learning
2020 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis aims to contribute to a deepened and nuanced understanding of scaling in environmental and sustainability education (ESE) research, specifically, to develop a conceptual framework for engaging with issues of scaling in policy and practice regarding education for sustainable development (ESD). Three research objectives are formulated.

The first objective is to develop analytical methods drawing on transactional learning theory for conducting empirical investigations of meaning making concerning educational content in scaling processes. This objective is achieved through an iterative participatory research process including, scaling researchers and practitioners, resulting in the development of the conceptual framework of Scaling-ESD-Activities-as-Learning (SEAL).

The second objective of the thesis is to examine how workshop participants’ experiences and agency create conditions for the scaling of educational content in ESE. The objective is achieved through analysis of written reflections from scaling practitioners, reports on scaling ESD-activities and participatory research workshop discussions.

The third objective is to investigate how educational content interplay with environments, such as natural and social environments, when scaling educational activities in ESE. This objective is achieved through analysis of the initial stages of scaling an ESD-activity and analysis of ESD-activities that have progressed to later stages of scaling.

Four studies address the three research objectives: in three of the studies, empirical data was generated through participatory research workshops in Sweden, South Africa and Ecuador (Paper I, II, IV), while in one study empirical data was generated through a case study of an ESD-course in Southern Africa (Paper III).

Drawing for its theoretical foundation on John Dewey’s transactional approach to learning, the thesis emphasises the importance of considering experience and aspects of contingency and continuity in learning processes.

The results of the thesis show that approaching the scaling of ESD-activities as learning enables the identification of conditions for scaling that is characterised by deep and meaningful improvement of practice, sustainability over time along with the ability to evolve when faced with changing circumstances.

The thesis contributes to ESE research with temporal perspectives on the scaling of ESD-activities, i.e. by considering contingency and continuity in the scaling process, maintaining the relevance of ESD-activities over time and through changing circumstances. Furthermore, by considering multiple, on the face disparate, scaling efforts as part of the same scaling event, the thesis highlight how each iteration of scaling an ESD-activity can constitute learning opportunities for further developing the activity at hand.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2020. p. 172
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Educational Sciences ; 17
Keywords
Sustainable development, environmental and sustainability education, scaling, scaling-up, implementation gap, learning
National Category
Didactics
Research subject
Curriculum Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-401063 (URN)978-91-513-0859-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
2020-03-06, Humanistiska teatern, Engelska parken, Thunbergsvägen 3C, Uppsala, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2020-02-14 Created: 2020-01-16 Last updated: 2020-02-14

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