Erasmus+ project: “A Rounder Sense of Purpose”

IASS participates in a new Erasmus + project, started December 2015

Championing a socially and environmentally sustainable form of development has implications for both what is taught in our schools and the way that education is conducted. This highlights the need for teachers who have the competence to teach education for sustainable development (ESD).

The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) has developed a framework of educator competences for ESD. This, however, remains a largely theoretical tool that has not been (i) tested against other pressing economic and educational priorities or (ii) translated into agreed, measurable learning outcomes.

This three-year project proposes to bring together six experienced and committed institutions, to achieve the following objectives:

  1. Develop a practical accreditation model that teacher educators can use in any European context so that pre-service educators can demonstrate their competence in ESD through a widely-recognised qualification
  2. Develop and disseminate a ‘tools and guidelines’ document to help teacher educators implement the accreditation model in a variety of contexts and give pre-service educators the opportunity to demonstrate their competence in a concrete, measurable manner
  3. Enhance existing mainstream educator training programmes with a wider set of competences that will more accurately reflect the role of formal education in supporting smart, sustainable and inclusive economic development. This will, inter alia, increase the capacity of participating institutions to:
  4. Recognise and validate a broader range of competences among student educators including generic and transferable skills
  5. Embrace a wider range of social and environmental concerns within their programmes
  6. Work in an inter-disciplinary manner
  7. Recruit students who are attracted by the institution’s participative approaches
  8. Develop strategies to enhance organisational learning
  9. Work internationally using digital media on a regular basis
  10. Conduct a thorough, formative and summative external evaluation of the project
  11. Conduct research into the impact of engagement with the competence framework on pre-service teachers and publish this in a peer reviewed journal.

By working closely with practitioners in a range of different contexts, the project aims to facilitate the engagement of 50 teacher educators and over 400 pre-service teachers in the practical application of the ESD competences.

These outputs will be developed through the practical implementation of prototype models, closely monitored through regular discussion with partners in which challenges and triumphs are shared openly, and through periodic transnational meetings to finalise outputs and map out next steps. The outputs will be disseminated via the project website but also through a series of national launch events during the final months of the project.

Through this work participating pre-service educators will learn to recognise the way in which their own values can be reflected in their teaching and be better able to integrate ESD into different aspects of their teaching whatever their subject specialism. Teacher educators will better understand the principles and rationale behind ESD and become advocates for this process in their work.

Ultimately the project will enhance existing educator training programmes with a wider set of competences that will reflect more accurately the role of formal education in supporting smart, sustainable and inclusive economic development. By being able to provide accredited learning alongside any programme of educator preparation, the project will provide a readily accessible response to the problem of educators being ill-equipped to prepare their students for a truly sustainable economy.

Project Partners:

  • University of Gloucestershire (UK)
  • Frederick University (Nicosia, Cyprus)
  • Hungarian Research Teachers’ Association (Budapest, Hungary)
  • Italian Association for Sustainability Science (Rome, Italy)
  • Duurzame PABO (Oostburg, The Netherlands)
  • Tallinn University (Tallinn, Estonia)

Contact: Dr Paul Vare – coordinator
pvare@glos.ac.uk

Dr. Francesca Farioli – IASS
direttore@scienzasostenibilita.org

 

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