30. Environmental and Sustainability Education Research (ESER)
Global Education and Sustainable Development in Initial and In-service Teacher Education: the Polish Case
1University of Warsaw, Poland; 2Grupa Zagranica, Poland
Methodology, Methods, Research Instruments or Sources UsedThe research is situated in a participatory/activist research paradigm. Research is understood not as the creation of scientific knowledge by a researcher-expert, but as a process of co-creation of knowledge by the researchers and the researched and as a way of emancipating/empowering the researched. The researcher-researched relationship is active, dynamic and participatory. The aim of this type of research is both the aforementioned co-creation of knowledge and the development of practical solutions to social problems, developing the potential of groups involved in the research, strengthening commitment to problems relevant to the community. Hence, this research is often conducted in the field of social work, local environment organisation or community management, as well as in education, as exemplified by our project.
The study was a part of a bigger research project carried out in Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary with the financial support of the International Visegrad Fund. The main aim of the study was to identify opportunities and threats, obstacles and possibilities regarding the integration or strengthening of EG/ESD in teacher education. The project also aimed at developing recommendations to strengthen these initiatives.
In the research project, systemic perspective was adopted as the theoretical framework (Fereira et al. 2019). This approach is founded on several assumptions: (1) The primary research problem is recognised as a system, i.e. a set of identifiable elements connected by mutual relationships; (2) These elements form subsystems within the higher system; (3) The boundaries between the system and its environment are partially permeable; however, they make the identification of the system possible; (4) Each system acts purposefully, while the guiding principle is to maintain the status quo.
The research problem was defined as follows: What factors favour/contribute to or prevent the inclusion of GE in teacher education and training?
In the presentation we will focus on the results from the Polish case study, however we will place them in the Central European / the Visegrad Group context to highilight some commonalities and differences.
To answer the research question we used an innovative qualitative research method known as Participatory Systems Mapping (Barbrook-Johnson, Penn 2021). A group of respondents was invited to attend a series of online workshops. During the first session, the participants were asked to prepare a mind map with their answers to the research question using Miro (www.miro.com). In the second workshop, participants worked collectively on a causal diagram showing the main links and cause-and-effect relationships between the factors they had identified in the first workshop.
The workshops were conducted with two study groups that altogether comprised 11 people: four academics (who are both lecturers and researchers) representing four different universities (from four different cities); three practitioners representing three different NGOs (from two cities); two pedagogy students from the University of Warsaw (different programmes, part-time and full-time students); and two officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. A representative of the Ministry of Education and Science was also invited but could not attend.
The research team included Magdalena Kuleta-Hulboj, PhD, and Elżbieta Kielak (Olczak), a psychologist, an experienced educator and trainer in global and intercultural education.
Conclusions, Expected Outcomes or FindingsBased on the study, the most important conclusions regarding the barriers and possibilities of developing GE in teacher education and training were formulated.
The following primary obstacles were defined:
- The current socio-political climate in Poland, where GE is considered to be a suspicious, controversial and highly politicised topic;
- Reluctance of Ministry of Education to support GE
- Lack of systemic solutions regarding the presence of GE in the teacher training standards and in the Polish Qualifications Framework;
- Lack of structured and meaningful cooperation among the main stakeholders;
- Lack of cooperation and an interdisciplinary approach among university faculties;
- Overloaded core curriculum that largely ignores GE and offers no space for extra-curricular or cross-curricular topics;
- Approaching GE at universities in terms of fun rather than ‘real’ education due to the applied methods (frequently perceived as ‘frivolous’ and ‘non-academic’).
The respondents emphasised the following supporting factors:
- Extremely rich offer of educational materials, methods and tools already in place;
- Significant number of teachers trained to date;
- Committed individuals who ‘smuggle’ GE into their own lessons, fight for its inclusion in the curricula, encourage others to get involved and create informal support networks;
- More frequent presence of topics related to GE in pop culture and social media, which creates opportunities for the dissemination of this topic in Polish society (informal education) and changing the socio-political climate to a more favourable one;
- GE’s potential as education towards values, whereby GE may be seen as a valuable contribution to school programmes of education and prevention of abuse.
Some of the supporting and hindering factors proved to be common to all project countries, others -specific to Poland. However, in the project we were able to draw some common conclusions and recommendations which we intend to present at the conference.
References- ANGEL (2021). Global Education Digest 2021. London: Development Education Research Centre, UCL Institute of Education.
- Barbrook-Johnson P., Penn A. (2021). Participatory systems mapping for complex energy policy evaluation. ‘Evaluation’ 27(1): 57–79. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1356389020976153
- Fereira J.-A., Ryan L., Davis J., Cavanagh M., Thomaset J. (2019). Mainstreaming sustainability into pre-service teacher education in Australia. Canberra: Prepared by the Australian Research Institute in Education for Sustainability for the Australian Government Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts.
- Gierczyk M., D. Dobosz. (2016). Możliwości metodologiczne w badaniach problemów społecznych – perspektywa partycypacyjna. „Pedagogika Społeczna” 2(60): 151–165.
- Grupa Zagranica. (2011). Raport z procesu międzysektorowego na temat edukacji globalnej [Report on the cross-sectoral process dedicated to Global Education]. Warsaw: Grupa Zagranica.
- Piekarski J. (2017). Perspektywa uczestnicząca w badaniach empirycznych – zarys tematyczny. „Przegląd
Badań Edukacyjnych (Educational Studies Review)” (2)25: 267–298. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.12775/PBE.2014.030
- Singleton J. (2015). Head, heart and hands model for transformative learning: Place as context for changing sustainability values. „The Journal of Sustainability Education” 9.
30. Environmental and Sustainability Education Research (ESER)
Teacher Intention to Implement ESD – Testing the Interaction Effect of Teacher Self-efficacy and Ascription of Personal Responsibility
University of Rijeka, Croatia
Methodology, Methods, Research Instruments or Sources UsedInteraction describes a situation in which combined effects of two interacting variables (predictors) act on an outcome variable. To test the interaction effects of teacher self-efficacy and ascription of personal responsibility the polynomial regression with response surface analysis was employed. Compared to a regular moderation analysis, this approach allows for a more nuanced examination of the different levels at which (mis)match between two predictors (in this case teacher self-efficacy for ESD and the teacher ESD responsibility) can be achieved as well as the functional forms of the (mis)match.
In education for sustainable development (ESD), student teachers are considered crucial agents facilitating changes in—and promoting—sustainable development (SD; UNESCO, 2017). Their willingness to implement ESD is essential for the sustainable reconfiguration of institutions and educational processes. The role of (student) teachers in ESD and their preparation for the implementation of ESD is the topic of international concern that attracts more and more attention from educational researchers, practitioners and creators of policy guidelines and recommendations. However, studies focused on examining either student teachers’ intention to implement ESD or identification of factors that shape the same intention are scarce. Therefore, this study focused on student teachers and aimed to examine the factors contributing to their intention to implement ESD in their future professional life.
One of the relevant theories for studying teacher intention to implement ESD is the Norm Activation Model (NAM, Schwartz, 1977; Schwartz & Howard, 1981). NAM’s main assumptions is that individuals will be ready to behave in a certain way only after their personal norm has been activated. To activate personal norm, an individual has to take the responsibility for their actions (a construct named ascription of personal responsibility), and they have to assess whether they are capable to behave in a particular way, which in the education research field represents (teacher) self-efficacy construct.
Therefore, two theoretically supported predictors of intention to implement ESD can be identified: teacher self-efficacy and ascription of personal responsibility for ESD implementation. Furthermore, it seems that there are both theoretical and empirical evidence that these two predictors are interconnected. For example, Lauermann & Karabenick (2011) argue that teachers who accept or take responsibility for certain action (e.g., they believe it is their responsibility to solve certain educational problem), to a larger degree believe in their own abilities to conduct certain activity or action. Responsibility is conceptualized as motivational factor that drives teacher’s decision to behave in the way they find efficient (Lauermann & Karabenick, 2011). Furthermore, the significant relationship between teacher self-efficacy and teacher’s ascription of responsibility was confirmed in empirical studies. For example, while studying the factors that form student teacher’s decisions to implement aspects of multicultural education in their future professional work, Kozel (2007) found that teacher self-efficacy represents one of the key factors, followed by the evaluation of whether certain action or strategy will result in desired learning outcome and the sense of responsibility to solve certain problem or achieve certain outcome. In ESD research field, Vukelić & Rončević (2019) found that ascription of personal responsibility represents a significant predictor of teacher self-efficacy for ESD. Student teachers who ascribe responsibility to solve sustainability and environmental protection issues to themselves to a higher extent, show higher levels of belief that they are competent to implement ESD.
So according to the NAM and aforementioned studies results, even putting them separately, teacher self-efficacy and ascription of responsibility in isolation are both good predictors of teachers' intentions (Kozel, 2007; Schwartz, 1977; Schwartz & Howard, 1981). Therefore, it can be expected that individuals who are both high in self-efficacy and ascription of personal responsibility are inclined to implement ESD. Furthermore, it can be argued the joint effect of teacher self-efficacy and ascription of personal responsibility is instrumental to enhancing teachers' intention to implement ESD.
As teacher self-efficacy and ascription of personal responsibility are both relevant to teachers’ professional activities, it is especially essential to examine how both variables interact with each other to affect teachers’ intention to implement ESD. Thus, this study aimed to investigate how teacher self-efficacy and ascription of personal responsibility (for ESD implementation) interact to affect teachers’ intention to implement ESD.
A total of 698 student teachers (of which 528 female and 170 male) participated in the study. Student teachers’ average age was 22.54 (SD=2.42). The research was conducted by using the combination of printed and online questionnaires, completed during regular teacher education lessons in Croatia. This study is part of a larger, mixed-method project “Formal Education in Service of Sustainable Development”, 5 years long research project funded by Croatian Science Foundation (2018-2023).
Research instrument consisted of three scales: (I) Intention to implement ESD scale (Vukelić, 2021) that measures four different types of teacher intention in ESD (general intention to implement ESD, intention to implement ESD content, intention to implement ESD teaching approaches and methods and intention to focus on achieving ESD learning goals), (II) Teacher self-efficacy for ESD scale (Vukelić & Rončević, 2019; based on Effeney & Davis, 2013), and (III) Teacher ascription of responsibility for ESD scale (Vukelić, 2021).
The combination of polynomial regression analysis and response surface analysis was used. In the polynomial model the outcome variables (four different aspects of intention to implement ESD) are regressed on the teacher self-efficacy for ESD (X) and the teacher ESD responsibility (Y), the squared terms of the teacher self-efficacy for ESD (X2) and the teacher ESD responsibility (Y2), and the cross-product of the teacher self-efficacy for ESD and teacher ESD responsibility (XY). This model can be examined since both predictor variables are commensurable, i.e., both variables (teacher self-efficacy for ESD and teacher ESD responsibility) are measured on the same measurement scale and represent the same content domain (Edwards & Parry, 1993).
Conclusions, Expected Outcomes or FindingsThis study expands current work on teachers’ intention to implement ESD by exploring its predictors and their joint effects. Apart from that, this study provides a basic framework on how to examine interaction effect by using polynomial regression with response surface analysis (Shanock et al., 2010). It allows us to test the joint effect of two predictors on one outcome variable, permitting a three-dimensional description, a method that is rarely used in educational research.
Teacher self-efficacy and ascription of responsibility positively contribute to student teachers’ intention to implement ESD. Furthermore, when teacher self-efficacy and ascription of responsibility for ESD implementation are in agreement, intention to implement ESD increases as teacher self-efficacy and ascription of responsibility for ESD implementation both increases. When both teacher self-efficacy and ascription of responsibility for ESD implementation are low, the intention to implement ESD is also low. Furthermore, it was obtained that student teachers’ intentions increase when the difference between teacher self-efficacy and ascription of responsibility for ESD implementation becomes larger. These results suggest that higher levels of either one of the predictors lead to higher teachers’ intention to implement ESD. Although teachers’ intention to implement ESD is the highest when teacher self-efficacy and ascription of responsibility are both high, it seems that higher levels of at least one of the two predictors are enough for student teachers to intend to implement ESD. This accentuates the need to empower future teachers for the implementation of ESD through initial and lifelong learning programs, by encouraging the development of their teacher self-efficacy, but also a sense of responsibility for moving towards a sustainable future.
ReferencesEdwards, J. R., & Parry, M. E. (1993). On the use of polynomial regression equations as an alternative to difference scores in organizational research. Academy of Management journal, 36(6), 1577-1613. https://doi.org/10.5465/256822
Effeney, G. & Davis, J. (2013). Education for sustainability: A case study of pre-service primary teachers' knowledge and efficacy. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 38(5), 32-46.
Kozel, S. (2007). Exploring pre-service teachers' sense of responsibility for multiculturalism and diversity: Scale construction and construct validation. [Doctoral dissertation]. The Ohio State University.
Lauermann, F. & Karabenick, S. A. (2011). Taking teacher responsibility into account (ability): Explicating its multiple components and theoretical status. Educational Psychologist, 46(2), 122-140. https://doi.org/10.1080/00461520.2011.558818
Shanock, L. R., Baran, B. E., Gentry, W. A., Pattison, S. C., & Heggestad, E. D. (2010). Polynomial regression with response surface analysis: A powerful approach for examining moderation and overcoming limitations of difference scores. Journal of Business and Psychology, 25(4), 543-554. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10869-010-9183-4
Schwartz, S. H. (1977). Normative influences on altruism. In L. Berkowitz (Ed.), Advances in experimental social psychology (pp. 221-279). Academic Press.
Schwartz, S.H. & Howard, J.A. (1981). A normative decision-making model of altruism. In J.P. Rushton & R.M. Sorrentino (Eds.), Altruism and helping behavior (pp. 89-211). Lawrence Erlbaum, Hillside, NJ.
UNESCO (2017). Education for Sustainable Development: Learning Objectives. UNESCO. http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0024/002474/247444e.pdf
Vukelić, N. (2021). Prediktori razine namjere budućih nastavnika za implementaciju obrazovanja za održivi razvoj [Predictors of student teachers' intentions to implement education for sustainable development]. [Doctoral dissertation]. University of Rijeka, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences.
Vukelić, N. & Rončević, N. (2019). Can (future) teachers initiate social change? Educational Systems and Societal Changes: Challenges and Opportunities ESSCCO, Rijeka: 6.-7. June.