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Sharing Good Examples, Then What?: Investigations of Contingency and Continuity in the Scaling-of-ESD-Activities-as-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.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0410-5654
2020 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Description
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 [en]
Sustainable development, environmental and sustainability education, scaling, scaling-up, implementation gap, learning
National Category
Didactics
Research subject
Curriculum Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-401063ISBN: 978-91-513-0859-3 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-401063DiVA, id: diva2:1385999
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
List of papers
1. Consider the Unexpected: Scaling ESD as a matter of learning
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Consider the Unexpected: Scaling ESD as a matter of learning
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.

Keywords
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:nbn:se:uu:diva-327985 (URN)10.1080/13504622.2018.1429572 (DOI)000464582800009 ()
Projects
Scaling of Education for Sustainable Development
Available from: 2017-08-14 Created: 2017-08-14 Last updated: 2020-01-16Bibliographically approved
2. Scaling and subjectification in an ESD educational project
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Scaling and subjectification in an ESD educational project
2018 (English)In: Journal of Education for Sustainable Development, ISSN 0973-4082, E-ISSN 0973-4074, Vol. 12, no 1, p. 28-46Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The aim of the article is to investigate, in light of the emphasis put on scaling by UNESCO (UNESCO, 2014), how subjectification of those involved in educational innovations both enables and constricts scaling understood as a learning process. This is done through a case study of the Alforja Educativa, an educational project in Ecuador on antibiotic resistance (ABR). ABR has been described as a sustainability challenge comparable to climate change. The way in which subjectification enables and constrict scaling as a learning process is analysed by drawing on educational scaling research and the article illustrates how the subject positions of those involved in scaling emerge as scaling subjects in transactional relationships, both with the sites where the educational project is to be scaled, and in relation to that, which will be scaled.

Keywords
Scaling, education for sustainable development, transaction, antibiotic resistance, global action programme on education for sustainable development
National Category
Didactics
Research subject
Curriculum Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-349783 (URN)10.1177/0973408218773268 (DOI)
Available from: 2018-04-27 Created: 2018-04-27 Last updated: 2020-01-16Bibliographically approved
3. Projecting change: Scaling the change project approach in Southern Africa
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Projecting change: Scaling the change project approach in Southern Africa
2019 (English)In: Environmental Education Research, ISSN 1350-4622, E-ISSN 1469-5871Article in journal (Refereed) Submitted
Abstract [en]

This article aims to contribute with knowledge about how transactional learning encounters involved in the spreading of ESD-activities can both enable and limit scaling efforts. In this article, four series of assignments developed through the change project approach (CPA) from Southern Africa are studied as cases for exploring what a conceptualisation of scaling-ESD-activities-as-learning demonstrates enabling and limiting conditions for scaling ESD-activities.  By studying shifts in participants’ understandings as a result of transactional learning encounters the article constitutes a response to the assertion in ESD policy that the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (DESD) was unsuccessful in up-scaling ESD-activities. The article illustrates how the inherent complexity of spreading ESD-activities can be explored and addressed. Through consideration and engagement with the environing conditions and environment(s) in action that are involved in the scaling of ESD-activities, the ‘scaling’ process can enable stakeholder participation as well as development and exercise of agency that has potential to support the sustainability of  ESD-activities.

Keywords
scaling, environmental and sustainability education, environmental education, change project approach, Southern Africa
National Category
Didactics
Research subject
Curriculum Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-401061 (URN)
Available from: 2020-01-05 Created: 2020-01-05 Last updated: 2020-01-16Bibliographically approved
4. I think it works better if we have an example to help us: experiences in collaboratively conceptualizing the scaling of Education for Sustainable Development practices in South Africa
Open this publication in new window or tab >>I think it works better if we have an example to help us: experiences in collaboratively conceptualizing the scaling of Education for Sustainable Development practices in South Africa
2019 (English)In: Environmental Education Research, ISSN 1350-4622, E-ISSN 1469-5871Article in journal (Refereed) In press
Abstract [en]

This article aims to contribute to the knowledge of how the ‘scaling’ of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) activities is conceptualized in practice through transactional learning encounters. In the context of the UNESCO Global Action Programme (GAP) on ESD, I discuss the re-actualisation of experiences as part of these encounters. The study is a result of data collected as part of a Re-Solve participatory research workshop held in South Africa in 2016, involving researchers and practitioners with experiences of ESD-activities in the Southern African region. To identify and analyse the transactional learning encounters a practical epistemology analysis (PEA) is used. The article draws on a Deweyan theory of learning as transactional encounters supported with a tentative conceptual framework of scaling-ESD-activities-as-learning (SEAL). Throughout the study, I illustrate the transactional encounters, including the re-actualisation of participants' past experiences of ESD-activities. These encounters enabled the conceptualization of contextually relevant concepts of scaling, thus constituting an enabling condition for reflective scaling practices.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2019
Keywords
Environmental and sustainability education, scaling, scaling-up, Dewey, learning
National Category
Didactics
Research subject
Curriculum Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-401062 (URN)
Available from: 2020-01-05 Created: 2020-01-05 Last updated: 2020-01-22Bibliographically approved

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