Despite advances made there is still an implementation gap with regard to Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) in formal educational systems at the school level. The present paper focuses on sustainability reporting as a recently emerging practice in the school sector. It presents the approach and findings of an exploratory interview study at three pioneer schools in Germany that have started to establish sustainability reporting mechanisms. The study has examined how the reporting process is evaluated by project managers with regard to its benefits and challenges. Findings support the potential of sustainability reporting at schools to contribute to an increase in students’ participation in sustainability-related activities at school, create accountability concerning the school’s efforts, help structure the existing sustainability projects and demonstrate new possible courses of action. The high expenditure of time, the teachers’ high workload and lack of support given to the teachers have been identified as major challenges of the reporting process. Further directions for future research into reporting practices at schools are given.
Daniel Fischer, Elisabeth Lena Aubrecht, Maria Brück, Laura Ditges, Lea Gathen, Maximilian Jahns, Moritz Petersmann, Jörn Rau and Christiane Wellmann
The United Nations (UN) proclaimed the years 2005 to 2014 the World Decade on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). As a follow up on the World Decade, the UN launched a Global Action Programme (GAP) that is designed to set the framework for international activities on ESD. The GAP focuses on five priority areas that are of high relevance for further implementation of ESD in educational systems.
The research presented in this paper results from a training research course that was conducted with advanced bachelor students in environmental and sustainability science. This project pursued two main objectives on different levels: the aim of the research aspect was to identify well-documented success factors for specific research questions associated with the GAP designated priority action areas by means of conducting systematic literature reviews. The aim of the training was to enable students enrolled in the university course to experience systematic review and critical appraisal of the current state of research in the various fields of ESD. As a result, the paper summarizes and discusses both the findings of the research projects and university course. Inclusive is the potential of the teaching approach and its contribution to advancing higher education for sustainable development.
Laura Stanszus, Daniel Fischer, Tina Böhme, Pascal Frank, Jacomo Fritzsche, Sonja Geiger, Julia Harfensteller, Paul Grossman and Ulf Schrader
Several widespread approaches to Education for Sustainable Consumption (ESC) have emerged from the tradition of consumer information. A major shortcoming of such cognitive-focused approaches is their limited capacity to facilitate reflection on the affective processes underpinning people’s engagement with consumption. More holistic pedagogies are thus needed to increase the effectiveness of ESC. The concept of mindfulness has recently received growing attention in research on sustainable consumption, given its potential to address both cognitive and affective processes and to stimulate reflection on the drivers of often routinized consumption practices. Despite this recent interest, mindfulness has to date not been systematically connected to ESC. This paper provides a reflexive case study of the development of mindfulness-based intervention (MBI) specifically tailored to ESC (“BiNKA-training”). It elaborates the conceptual connections between mindfulness and ESC, offers insights into the process of adapting MBI to ESC and concludes with lessons learnt and an outlook on future work seeking to tap the potential of MBIs to form more holistic approaches to sustainability education.