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Educational Action Research for Sustainability: Constructing a Vision for the Future in Teacher Education

Educational Action Research for Sustainability: Constructing a Vision for the Future in Teacher Education

This article discloses a fragment of a broader action research aimed to design the learning environment facilitating the research skills in teacher education. Presented case reflects the possibilities to construct a vision for the future in an educational action research in the context of four-dimensional model of sustainability. The next teachers used this model to structure their viewpoints on the sustainability situation in Latvia. They identified the most typical features of current situation and evaluated features worth to preserve and develop in the foreseeable future to reach the sustainability. Qualitative and quantitative data analysis endorsed to discern the common vision for the future - reflecting the features of sustainability and non-sustainability identified in each dimension of sustainability. Among the features singled out from the viewpoints of students, actions and action results prevailed. At the end of the action research the strategy employed in presented research was compared with one often employed in the public space to construct a vision for the future through community involvement.

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Searching for Sustainability in Teacher Education and Educational Research: Experiences from the Baltic and Black Sea Circle Consortium for educational research

Abstract

The Baltic and Black Sea Circle Consortium for educational research (BBCC) was established at the beginning of the Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005). BBCC has obtained its name in the Third International Conference Sustainable Development, Culture, Education in the University of Vechta (Germany, 2005).

The paper will give insights into preconditions of the establishment of the international network in: (1) the stage before the Decade (2000–2004) when the UNESCO/UNITWIN Chair from Toronto and team from Daugavpils University from Latvia were started to prepare participatory action research for the reorientation teacher education towards the aim of sustainable development and (2) the stage of the Decade (2005–2014) when the network and its development continued as an open network for participation. The structure of the network provides the international environment for cooperation and welcomes new participants.

The initiative of the network’s foundation was offered by the UNESCO/UNITWIN Chair in Toronto. For the coordination the BBCC actions and self-development the Institute of Sustainable Education (2003) was established in Daugavpils University (DU) and later UNESCO/UNITWIN Chair on Interplay of Tradition and Innovation in ESD were emerged at Daugavpils University (2013).

Action research experience was viewed in current article as a complex development process and at the same time as a complex system in which attention on the adaptation and evolution of cooperative relations will be emphasis. Metaphors approach and characterisation of frames of references for reorientation education towards sustainability will be examine in order to find the answers that allow realising reorienting of teacher education towards sustainable development. The analysis will be based on the topics which were discussed in annual BBCC conference Sustainable Development. Culture. Education sections.

Conclusions will offer main assumptions from the most significant BBCC network lived experiences in teacher education which is the real heritage from ANO Decade and in future it will serve as the frame of reference for realization of UNESCO/UNITWIN Chair in DU and BBCC actions in education and educational research for sustainable development in action.

Open access
Educational Action Research for Sustainability: Seeking Wisdom of Insight in Teacher Education

Educational Action Research for Sustainability: Seeking Wisdom of Insight in Teacher Education

The article presents experience from educational action research in teacher education, which was obtained by conducting an investigation with first year students during the first semester of their studies. The aim of this action research is focused on the concept of phronesis, which was theoretically substantiated by Aristotle and further elaborated by several contemporary scholars. The article emphasises the need to recognise different kinds of action research.

This study focuses on the investigation of specific characteristics of phronetic processes. The content of our educational action research is people's attitudes towards own and other species. It was considered a tool for investigating the research aim, which is to develop the ability to find wisdom of insight in phronesis. Three stages of prhonesis (A, B and C) can be distinguished in this educational action research. This article reflects the organisation of action research and evaluates the use of communicative space at the initial stage of research from the perspective of researchers and research participants. The article also contains evaluation of research outcomes concerning the extension of communication discourse and the evaluation of experiences regarding attitudes towards own and other species in various contexts. Finally, the article proposes a brief review of tendencies that reflect changes in the research participant opinions. Discussion and conclusions reflect the specific features of phronetically-oriented action research. The article presents the first experience from phronetically-oriented action research and seeks conditions for promoting wisdom of insight (phronetic skills) in communication and through discourse.

Open access
Editorial
Open access
Sustainability from the Transdisciplinary Perspective: An Action Research Strategy for Continuing Education Program Development

Abstract

The need to focus on a transdisciplinary approach in education for sustainable development (EDS) has been reflected in research and especially action research as a possible solution, which can open a new perspective for understanding and interpretation of the complex phenomenon of sustainability as well as for developing new open continuing education programmes by integrating research and learning activities in the context of open transdisciplinary research.

The content structure of the article: (1) it describes the experience that has evolved at one faculty and its subordinate scientific institute and has been proposed to be used within the entire institution; (2) it generalises issues arising from the extensive experience, which in action research manifest themselves as issues relating to the appropriate perspective choice in terms of sustainability, approaches that in education make it possible to understand the sustainability phenomenon, as well as features that help identify sustainability at different levels. Well-known cases in the history of science, philosophy of science, and systems development research have been used to highlight the relationship among the dynamic interaction of complex problems that can systematically appear as sustainable or unsustainable. Therefore, the article provides insight into a specific relationship among science development, integration and Anthropocene phenomena with sustainability / non-sustainability phenomena and their interaction; (3) it offers the experience necessary for the creation of participatory action research ideas and research base to expand the cooperation of university and its graduates using a stakeholder approach and connecting it with a transdisciplinary research framework, which envisages an activity around the sustainability phenomenon and its deep relationship to the openness for the evolution of sustainability consciousness as concerns individuals and societies; (4) it describes the first three activities of the first phase of the undertaken action research, which allowed determining the participants’ motivation to take part in the action research, identifying participants’ attitude and understanding sustainability and Anthropocene phenomena, as well as establishing a strategic vision of open transdisciplinary framework benefits and opportunities through participatory action research to develop open evolutionary study programs for continuing education, which would extend and deepen the cooperation of university and its graduates for social innovation creation and achieving quality education for sustainable development by reorienting the society and education towards sustainability and sustainable development.

The present article aims at establishing an open transdisciplinary research framework, which is necessary for undertaking action research, and outlining a strategic vision for developing continuing education programs in the participatory action research that will help reorient continuing education to sustainable development.

Open access
Editorial
Open access
Action Research for Creating Knowledge in an E-Learning Environment

Abstract

The paper describes an action research during the implementation of an e-learning course on commercial studies in a bachelor’s programme. The action research study aims to: 1) determine the effectiveness of action research in a technologically-based learning environment and 2) establish how group work in e-learning environment affects students’ interest in, and need for, communication and discourse. Qualitative and statistical methods of data analysis were used in this mixed-methods study. The present paper analyses the experience of students working in three action phases to design their personal frames of reference for evaluation of the content and metacontent of business fundamentals. The study identified several possibilities for improving e-learning environment with techniques that make this form of learning more sustainable.

Open access
Developing Research in Teacher Education for Sustainability: UN DESD via the Journal of Teacher Education for Sustainability

Abstract

This study marks the end of the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development that coincides with the 10th anniversary of the Baltic and Black Sea Circle Consortium on Educational Research (BBCC), and aims to analyse the research output performance of BBCC members and other scholars published in the Journal of Teacher Education for Sustainability (JTEFS) during this last decade. Using the methodology of bibliometric study and literature review, the authors describe the main bibliographic indicators of JTEFS and provide a qualitative and quantitative analysis of the research paradigms and their developmental changes in the papers published by JTEFS (2005ñ2014). The results of the study show that in general the journal has evolved in line with the advanced trends in educational research, research in teacher education, research in sustainability education and sustainability studies in higher education. The analysis of published papers indicates both the progress and issues of research in teacher education for sustainability. The authors conclude with some visionary insights into the further development of JTEFS and this research field in general.

Open access
EFL Teachers’ Cultural Identity Development through Participating in Cultural Negotiation: Probing EFL Students’ Perspectives

Abstract

This study was an attempt to probe the perceptions of the EFL students about the cultural identity development of the EFL teachers who participated in cultural negotiation programs. To that end, the interactionally oriented narratives of four EFL students were collected. The narratives were about the cultural performance of the EFL teachers who participated in the cultural negotiation programs in the EFL classes. The narratives were codified based on the principles of Strauss and Corbin (1998) systematic approach. the findings indicated that the EFL students had positive opinions about how their teachers dealt with cultural issues in the classrooms after participating in cultural negotiation programs. The findings also indicated that the EFL students perceived that the EFL teachers engaged more in cultural discussions, they used more interaction types, they were more motivated to address cultural issues in the classes, and they took into account the emotions of their students in cultural discussions in the classrooms. Moreover, it can be concluded from the findings that cultural negotiation programs have positive effects on the EFL teachers’ cultural identity development if the principles of identity-as-practice and identity-in-discourse will be followed in the EFL teacher education programs.

Open access
JTES Approaches to Sustainability: Current Practices and New Perspectives for a More Sustainable World
Open access