How are competencies selected in ESD frameworks?

As is the case for the general field of education, Environmental and Sustainability Education (ESE) has experienced a shift from a focus on learning contents to learning outcomes. These have been described in so-called competency frameworks, aiming to define skills, abilities, and proficiencies individuals need to become change agents for sustainable development. Throughout the last decade, a series of competency frameworks have been suggested (Barth et al., 2007; Brundiers et al., 2010; de Haan, 2010; Frisk & Larson, 2011; Wiek et al., 2011; Rieckmann, 2012; Lambrechts et al., 2013; Lans et al., 2014; Murga-Menoyo, 2014), claiming to prepare learners for the challenges they face when engaging with the cause of sustainability both as private and professional actors. These frameworks exert an important influence on ESE, as they are meant to guide and evaluate both entire ESE programs and specific learning activities.

What remains unclear, however, is how these frameworks are in fact derived. Do experts (who counts as an expert?) define these competencies? Are they derived from other disciplines? Are they developed with ‘role models’, that is to say people who act in accordance with their sustainability-related values?

SuCo2 is looking for Bachelor/Master candidates interested in addressing these questions. In detail, the candidate is asked to

  • Undertake a systematic literature review identifying suggestions for competency frameworks for sustainable development and
  • Provide answers how these competency frameworks were developed

If you are interested, please get in touch with Pascal Frank.

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