“Learning” time in ESE

PhD project by Claire Grauer

Photo by Cats Coming on Pexels.com

In my PhD I am interested in inquiring into how to operationalize time as a resource for sustainability for ESE learning in school-based settings.

My research interests stems from the assumption that the way we use time is connected to fulfilment of our personal needs, and has consequences with regard to sustainability, that is it impacts our personal well-being as well as has more or less severe impacts on the environment.

If there is such a thing as “time shaping competence”, how can we promote this in educational settings, and what needs ESE to include in order to promote a sustainable mindset with regard to time use?

The PhD includes empirical research reviewing German curricula with regard to in how far time as a resource is being found within these. A second study consists of a school-based intervention study testing a curriculum designed to promote time shaping competency. A third study was developed as an ad hoc reaction to school closures caused by COVID-19, inquiring into students’ time use during the pandemic and related learning potentials.

While research into the relation between time use and sustainability is not new, there is not much evidence on how time as a resource for sustainability might be conceptualized and operationalized for learning settings such as formal secondary education. In my PhD I am therefore drawing on data gathered during a three-year research project and putting these into a theoretical framework drawing on research from learning and ESE in order to make our evidence-based findings fruitful for further ESE research and practice.

Given the massive changes millions of students experienced during Covid-19-related school closures, one main finding from this time has been that students need to learn different approaches to using their time. Once schools closed, many students struggled to participate in remote learning. While this by far was not solely due to their ability or inability to self-pace their assignments, the ability of organizing one’s time independently, while being able to taking care of one’s own well-being has proven to be important not only for school students, but is considered an essential ability for professionals as well. School therefore has a responsibility to teaching young people how using time is a matter of sustainability as well.

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