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Teacher Education; Competences for ESD & Sustainability Susan Barker University of Alberta 1.

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Presentation on theme: "Teacher Education; Competences for ESD & Sustainability Susan Barker University of Alberta 1."— Presentation transcript:

1 Teacher Education; Competences for ESD & Sustainability Susan Barker University of Alberta 1

2 Goals of presentation Highlight the shift towards competence based education for ESD, the challenge that this places for teachers and teacher education and recommendations for moving forwards ESD – Education for Sustainable Development Competence and Competency 2

3 Aim of ESD Dynamic concept that encompasses a new vision of education that seeks to empower people of all ages to assume responsibility for creating and enjoying a sustainable future (UNESCO 2002). Pursuing SD through education requires educators and learners to reflect critically on their own communities, identify non-viable elements in their lives and explore tensions between conflicting values and goals. 3

4 Thinking time Kinder Surprise Egg- Global phenomenon Framing the challenges of teacher education in ESD? Clarke (2012) ecological blindness and urban industrialism Model: take, make and dump Conceived as a disposable commodity – start to finish and waste is globally transmitted 4

5 What is wrong with Kinder Surprises? Aluminium wrapper – Australia Chocolate- Ghana? Plastic casing and toy – China Set of instructions varies One Kinder egg is benign but globally a huge pile of toxic waste One poorly educated learner adds a lifetime of human toxicity Its no excuse to claim we don’t know what we were doing. 5

6 Current Teacher Education Programs Curriculum shaped by school curriculum and thus focuses on knowledge and skills; Connected to requirements for teacher certification; Often prescribed by government; Curriculum and assessment practices are developed alongside each other. 6

7 Competence Approach Lack of relevance of current education provision and the need to produce change agents. Competences been around since 1980s in education mostly vocational- however in ESD it rarely refers to the ability to do a particular activity to a pre-determined and prescribed standard- ESD needs to be much more flexible. Sleurs (2008) Competence approach asks not what should be taught, but what should be learned, what abilities for acting, which concepts and problem-solving strategies should we have acquired as a result of the learning process” 7

8 Competences for Sustainability 2012 – UNECE (United Nations Economic Commission for Europe). Defined competences for ESD- of significant relevance to teacher educators worldwide and major contribution to United Nations Decade for Sustainable Development.  prepare general recommendations for policy makers  define a range of core competences in ESD for educators. 8

9 Framework of Competences Learning to know. For ESD the educator should know……. Learning to do. For ESD the educator should be able to……… Learning to be. For ESD the educator should be…………. Learning to live and work together. For ESD the educator should live and work with others in a way which…………. 9

10 ESD Competences UNECE (2012) 10

11 Areas of focus Critical thinking and acting ethically for transformation; Shifting perspectives in time, space, culture and discipline; Dealing with risk and uncertainity on a journey towards shared and positive futures; Effectively facilitating learning. Where are the challenges for teachers and teacher education? 11

12 Initiatives in Canada 12 There is modest but promising progress toward reorienting teacher education to address education for sustainable development. Key drivers and enablers- individual champions, as well as partnerships and collaboration with other departments on campus and with education faculties at other institutions. Key barriers and challenges include communication gaps within faculties, competing interests and priorities within faculties, funding challenges, and lack of professional development opportunities. Commensurate with McKeown and Hopkins 2005 Guidelines and Recommendations for Reorienting Teacher Education to Address Sustainability

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14 Recommendations Need to develop and design new pedagogies “next practices” to help us address a continually changing landscape of ESD. Sustainability is not static……will need to evolve with changing need and emphases (Stir, 2004) Education is perfectly placed to create conditions for innovative and imaginative solutions but a total transformation of schools and education is needed. However we need to simplify in order to get teacher ‘buy in’. ESD competences need to be aligned with current curricula be flexible and need to be locally based. We need to develop mechanisms by which we can measure achievements and progression. 14

15 Perils of education for ESD Education can also play the opposite role: deadening curiosity and innovation; encouraging acceptance of unsustainable living as being normal; and teaching learners to passively wait for others to take action. From a sustainable development perspective, then, education is both a great hope and a great danger ( UNESCO advanced copy “Empowering educators for a sustainable future” 15

16 References Clarke, P. ( 2012) Education for Sustainability:Becoming Naturally Smart. Routledge:London. Council of Ministers of Education Canada (2012) Education for Education for Sustainable Development in Canadian Faculties of Education. Toronto. Sleurs, W. ( Ed) (2008) Competences for ESD Education for Sustainable Development) teachers. Comenius, Brussels. McKeown R. and Hopkins, C Guidelines and Recommendations for Reorienting Teacher Education to Address Sustainability Mochizuki, Y and Fadeeva, (2010). Competences for Sustainability and Sustainable Development. International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, 11, p Sleurs, W( ed) ( 2008) UNECE, (2012) Learning for the Future. Competences in Education for Sustainable Development. UNESCO (2002)Education for Sustainability-From Rio to Johannesburg:Lessons Learnt from a Decade of Commitment. Wiek, A., Withycombe L. & Redman C.L ( 2011). Key competences in sustainability: a reference framework for academic program development. Sustainability Science 6, p

17 Thank you 17


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