Discourse and Communication for Sustainable Education - the Journal of UNESCO Chair on the Interplay of Tradition and Innovation in Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) at Daugavpils University, Latvia - is an international, double blind peer-reviewed journal that provides a forum for the examination of policies, theories and practices related to discourse and communication for sustainable education.


The Globethics Library has vol. 1(2010) to current

Recent Submissions

  • Preservice Teachers Learn: How Coal Keeps the Lights on

    Schnittka Christine G. (Sciendo, 2023-06-01)
    At the end of 2022, there were 2439 coal-fired power plants operating around the world, and over 7000 active coal mines (Global Energy Monitor, 2022). Coal burning was the largest source of greenhouse gases that impact climate change, and coal mining caused extensive environmental damage (US Energy and Information Administration, 2022). Decisions about the use of coal in energy production are made by world leaders, but everyday citizens vote for and appoint those leaders. Do everyday citizens understand the most basic science about coal? Do the teachers who are supposed to educate them in their youth? Energy literacy is so important; it leads to informed decisions about energy use at home, wise consumer choices, and to national and international energy policies (DeWaters & Powers, 2011). In this study, 56 pre-service elementary teachers were asked if they understood how coal was used to produce electricity. They were then taught using a constructivist teaching methodology including manipulatives, diagrams, videos, and group discussions (Schnittka, 2017). After the lesson, they were asked again, “How does coal keep the lights on?” Pre-test scores were very low, but gains were strong from pre to post-test. In a delayed post-test, the participants who retained the concepts the best over time had discussed it with a friend or relative. For long-term retention and the ability to potentially apply a concept to everyday life, teachers must realize that learning gains can be ethereal, and that they need to build in tools to aid in long-term retention of concepts. More importantly, teachers need to understand the science and engineering behind the technologies that impact our world so severely, so that they can pass on lessons to youth and advocate for a sustainable future.
  • Cognitive Flexibility Levels and Self-Efficacy Perceptions of Preservice Teachers

    Kazu Hilal; Pullu Serkan (Sciendo, 2023-06-01)
    The aim of this study was to examine the correlation between preservice teachers’ cognitive flexibility levels and their teaching self-efficacy perceptions. Convenience sampling was used for the sample group of the study conducted according to the correlational survey model. The sample group consisted of 4th-year students who were studying in the departments of ‘Computer and Instructional Technologies Education’, ‘Classroom Teaching’, ‘Art Teaching’, ‘Mathematics Teaching’, ‘Turkish Teaching’, ‘Social Studies Teaching’, ‘Preschool Teaching’, and ‘Science Education’, under the body of Faculty of Education, Fırat University during the 2019–2020 academic year. The “Cognitive Flexibility Scale”, which was developed by Martin and Rubin (1995) and adapted into Turkish by Çelikkaleli (2014), and “Teachers’ Sense of Efficacy Scale,” which was developed by Tschannen-Moran and Woolfolk Hoy (2001) and adapted into Turkish by Çapa, Çakıroğlu and Sarıkaya (2005), were used as data collection tools in the study. The data were analysed using a computer-aided statistical program. Kolmogorov-Smirnov test was applied to meet the normality assumption of the data. Since the data met the assumption of normality, independent samples t-test was used to compare student views according to the variable of gender. Analysis of variance was used to make comparison based on the variables of department, grade point average and expectation to pass PPSE (Public Personnel Selection Examination). Pearson’s correlation coefficients were used to determine the correlation between the scales. As a result of the study, both the cognitive flexibility levels and the levels of teaching self-efficacy perception were found to be high in preservice teachers. While the cognitive flexibility level of female preservice teachers was higher than male preservice teachers, the cognitive flexibility levels and teaching self-efficacy perceptions were higher than others in preservice teachers having a high grade point average and a high expectation to pass PPSE. Finally, it was determined that levels of cognitive flexibility and teaching self-efficacy perception affected one another positively and significantly.
  • Sustaining Religious Education Leadership: Implications for Policy Reform

    Buchanan Michael (Sciendo, 2023-06-01)
    Religious education leaders promote the religious identity of the school as well as foster a sense of connectedness through building school community. However, these leaders who play a key role in this area are at times the ones who feel the least connected to the school community and are more likely than other leaders to resign from the position prior to completing their full term. One of the things principals of schools fear the most is the resignation of the religious education leader in their school (Crotty 2005). The high turnover rate of these leaders and the dearth of applicants to fulfil this role have resulted in less experienced personnel being appointed to these positions. Religious education leaders themselves as well as principals are concerned with the lack of suitable successors willing to take on the role. They want successors who are experienced and capable of senior leadership. Over the past decade the religious education leadership policy reforms and initiatives from diocesan based centralised authorities for Catholic education across Australia have attempted to address these concerns. Drawing on the insights from a study into the kinds of support religious education leaders need to do their job effectively, this chapter explores the general limitations of these policies and proposes some recommendations for policy reform that will sustain Religious Education Leadership as a viable career pathway.
  • Lacks, Necessities and Wants of Prospective English Teachers in ELT Departments: A Needs Analysis and Sustainability

    Gürler İsmail; Konca Mustafa Yavuz (Sciendo, 2023-06-01)
    This study aims to determine the needs of prospective English teachers in ELT departments throughout Turkey within three dimensions as lacks, necessities and wants from the perspectives of both insiders and outsiders. In the light of Target Situation Analysis (TSA), qualitative research design was administered to reach more detailed and in-depth conclusions with the help of open-ended interview questions. In order to generalize the results of the study, and do a comprehensive needs analysis, all teacher trainers and seniors in ELT departments were contacted via internet or face to face. Totally, 14 state and foundation universities throughout Turkey, 41 teacher trainers whose rankings varies from lecturer to professor, and 85 prospective English teachers attending the last year of their education took part in this study. The collected qualitative data by online, printed forms and interview recordings were analyzed by coding and categorizing. It can be concluded according to the findings that from the outsiders’ perspective, lacks are mainly clustered around four titles as more practice, prospective teachers’ qualifications, extrinsic and intrinsic needs. There are four main necessities put forward by insiders as the exterior, interior, practical and occupational necessities. The results also reveal that only 23 percent of the prospective teachers feel themselves ready to teach: however, the rest thought vice versa. To feel ready to teach, they need some supports under the title of “wants” as individual, pedagogical, linguistic and structural support.
  • A Sustainable Life: A Study on the Recycling Attitudes of Secondary School Students

    Demir Fatıma Betül; Öteleş Ülkü Ulukaya (Sciendo, 2023-06-01)
    The aim of the study is to examine and determine the thoughts of recycling of the situations (gender, grade level, educational status of parents) that affect the recycling attitudes of secondary school students. Explanatory design has been preferred among the mixed method research designs in which both quantitative and qualitative approaches are used together in the research. The study group of the quantitative part of the research consists of 700 students studying in secondary schools and the study group of the qualitative part consists of 30 students identified as selected. The data of the research were obtained with the “Recycling Scale” and “Image Form”. In order to compare the scale scores related to gender variable, Whitney U Test was used; in order to compare the scale scores related to grade level, maternal education and paternal education status variables, Kruskal Wallis Test was used. The qualitative data obtained from the students’ drawings were analyzed by content analysis. According to the results obtained from the research, students’ attitudes towards recycling are high in a positive way; it has been determined that there is no difference according to gender and education level of their mothers. It has been determined that there is a difference in the attitudes of the students towards recycling according to the grade level and educational status of their fathers. It is seen that students include elements such as people, trees, garbage, factory, cloud and garbage boxes in the paintings related to recycling. In this context, it can be said that student perceptions about recycling include recycling components.
  • Expert Teachers’ Perceptions of Their Students’ Environmental Literacy and the Practice of Environmental Education

    Huoponen Anssi (Sciendo, 2023-06-01)
    Effective environmental education (EE) is urgent as climate change and environmental degradation are proceeding. More theoretical models to enhance the effectiveness of environmental education are constantly presented, but a comprehensive view from teachers’ perspectives is absent. This paper presents unique results from expert ENO Schoolnet Association’s (ENO) expert EE teacher group interviews from the World Summit of Students for Climate Event (WSSC). These educators represent over 40 nations. The group interviews explore the teachers’ perceptions of their students’ environmental literacy and teaching of EE. The data were analyzed with content analysis. The results point out that these expert EE teachers feel that most students fail to achieve operational environmental literacy. This paper examines the potential school-related and student-related barriers preventing this operational literacy. Furthermore, the EE provided by the teachers usually lacks behavioral literacy methods. At the same time, the teachers feel that these methods should be emphasized to ensure the effectiveness of EE. In the future, it would be useful to study environmental clubs’ potential to overcome some of the barriers and promote pro-environmental actions.
  • Language Policies in STEM Subjects: Triggering Inclusion, Exclusion, or Abjection?

    Andersen Katja N.; Bagger Anette (Sciendo, 2023-06-01)
    The combination of language policies, the global testing industry, and the role of STEM subjects in school systems have been shown to undermine the inclusion of all pupils, especially with regard to language backgrounds. This lack of inclusion shows signs of developing into a point of systematic exclusion for those students. In this article we will consider the language policies in two national contexts, the Swedish and the Luxembourgish ones, and specifically examine issues of in(ex)clusion in relation to multi-lingualism in STEM teaching. This study analyzes policy documents on (1) inclusion, (2) language use, and (3) STEM teaching at school in the two national contexts, using a methodology that builds on Popkewitz’s (2013; 2014) approach to politics of schooling. Our results show, first, that different policies on language and multilingualism become visible in policy documents for primary school teaching in Sweden and Luxembourg. Secondly, this article discusses what impacts these policies may have on matters of inclusion, exclusion, or abjection in STEM teaching contexts at primary schools.
  • In a Time of War, a Political-and-Practical Theology: First Steps, Concrete Steps

    Lombaard Christoffel; Geikina Laima (Sciendo, 2023-06-01)
    Supporting a sustainable world in a situation of war is the background to this study. Additionally, interdisciplinarity forms a part of the dialogical ecosystem of searching for suitable solutions in a complex reality. For such purposes, in this contribution, the co-authors reflect on an actual instance of war. The first author provides a theological, socio-political and philosophical framework for an understanding, based in realism, of the relationship between theology and politics. The second author provides a first-hand case description from Riga, Latvia, of a politically-linked ecumenical project to assist Ukrainian refugees from the Russian invasion.
  • Mothers’ Voices on Autism Spectrum Disorder: Leaning Towards Sustainable Inclusive Education in Maragusan, Philippines

    Catubigan Robie V. (Sciendo, 2023-06-01)
    The birth of a child is the beginning of a woman’s motherhood. It is genuinely illuminated in her raising and rearing responsibilities. This study explores the understanding and experiences of Mansaka mothers about autism before and after diagnosis. This qualitative phenomenological inquiry employed face-to-face semi-structured interviews with five Mansaka mothers in the countryside of Maragusan having a child diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Colaizzi’s method was applied to analyze the data through transcribing, coding, and theming. The result of the study revealed that mothers have personal observations about their children’s behavior and share their rearing issues, retrospection, and standpoint of their children’s condition before diagnosis. It was highlighted in the result that parents had different reactions, realizations, and responses about their children’s condition after the diagnosis. The implication of the study infers development of sustainable inclusive practices and reviews of policy.
  • Experiences of International Students in Latvia: The Case of India and Germany

    Apsite-Berina Elina; Robate Liga Daniela; Berzins Maris; Krisjane Zaiga (Sciendo, 2023-06-01)
    This paper examines the internationalisation processes in the higher education sector in Latvia and explores the motives of international students to study in Latvia, their experience and their plans. The study uses a quantitative data collection method – a survey – the results of which allow us to judge the main trends of internationalisation processes in Latvia. The differences between different groups were investigated, highlighting the countries with the most respondents – India and Germany, and comparing them with each other and with students from other countries. The results show that there are substantial differences between the groups. For German students, Latvia was more of a second option when they failed to get into their preferred university in their home country or elsewhere. They chose to study in Latvia mainly because of the university’s study programmes. At the same time, students from India were also interested in factors such as culture, the Baltic region and the attractiveness of Riga.
  • Gender Audit as Basis in Developing Modules for GAD Focal Persons in Mati, Davao Oriental, Philippines

    Villegas Jhonnel P.; Bauyot Mary Fil M.; Sacro Jeralyn H.; Siarot Leorisyl D. (Sciendo, 2023-06-01)
    Many countries across the globe, including the Philippines, have implemented Gender and Development (GAD) policies to reduce gender biases and promote equality. However, mainstreaming efforts have been challenging due to the scarce availability of learning resources in the local context. This study is an initiative to provide the GAD Focal Point System (GFPS) in the Department of Education – City of Mati with a primary reference in training their GAD Focal Persons on Gender Sensitivity, GAD Planning, and Budgeting (GPB). The coverage is based on their learning needs and gaps determined through participatory strategies involving the school administrators, teachers, students, and parents. Also, the results of the gender audit using the Gender Mainstreaming Evaluation Framework (GMEF) are used as a baseline in module development. The framework presents strategic directions that agencies need to follow to advance across stages. It was found that Mati’s primary and secondary schools are in the initial stages of gender mainstreaming. As such, GAD’s basic concepts and definitions are introduced, along with various forms of gender-based violence and the appropriate mechanisms to address them aptly. The essential steps in planning and budgeting are also detailed, providing an active experience among the participants. It is imperative to sustain GAD capacity-building initiatives to catalyze a more directed and engaged policy framework.
  • Editorial: Towards a More Regenerative and Resilient Post-Pandemic World

    Heasly Berise; Iliško Dzintra (Sciendo, 2022-12-01)
  • Comparative Analysis of Turkey and Germany (Bavaria) Secondary Education Curricula in Terms of Education for Sustainable Development

    Barak Belma; Avcı Görkem (Sciendo, 2022-12-01)
    Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) is a teaching and learning approach that is based on the principles that underpin sustainability and applies to all levels of education. However, there is a scarcity of research on the integration of curricula with ESD. In this study, secondary school curricula in Germany (Bavaria) (geography, nature and technology) and secondary school curricula in Turkey (social studies, sciences) were compared in terms of learning outcomes and learning areas to the principles of sustainable development (social-environmental-economic). Attempts have been made to shed light on how ESD is reflected in the curricula of Turkey and Germany, as well as how the approach of ESD directs the education curricula. According to the findings of the study, the learning outcomes and learning areas of the curricula of Turkey and Germany are related to the principles of sustainable development, and learning outcomes related to SD dimensions are given more place in the upper grades. Turkey’s social studies curriculum is more related to SD’s social dimension principles; the science curriculum is more related to SD’s environmental dimension principles; and Germany’s geography, nature and technology curricula are more related to SD’s environmental dimension principles. The number of learning outcomes related to the economic dimension principles of SD in both countries’ curricula has been determined to be very low. Especially in Germany’s curricula, unlike Turkey’s curricula, it has been determined that students offer solutions to existing environmental-social-economic problems for sustainability in the context of problem-solving skills and learning outcomes that include case study activities are included.
  • Need the Concept of ‘Personal Worldview’ be Replaced or Just Elaborated?

    Miedema Siebren (Sciendo, 2022-12-01)
    The concept of ‘worldview’ is widely used today in education and religious education, including the sub-concepts of ‘personal worldview’ and ‘organized worldview’. This leaves the door open for both further reception and elaboration and, of course, also for theoretical and empirically based criticism. In her Keynote Address at the 2022 Nordic Conference on Religious Education in Riga, in June, Caroline Klintborg articulated the claim that instead of using the notion of ‘worldview’ – and its sub-concepts – there are good reasons for using the concept of ‘existential configurations’ instead. In this response I weigh the power of her argumentation, and conclude from what I coin as a form of conceptual sustainability that her conceptualization should be interpreted as an elaboration of the concept of ‘worldview’ instead of as a replacement.
  • How Can I Maintain my Own Identity Within a Crowd? Suggestions From Totalitarian Experiences

    Franzenburg Geert (Sciendo, 2022-12-01)
    How can the individual preserve his identity within a crowd? How can he/she counter the threats and the temptations of the mass phenomenon? In the following, these questions are answered, correctly based on two contrasting and complementary situations and approaches: on the one hand, the beginnings of the Soviet Union in the 1920s as manifested in everyday life in Moscow (journalistic-systemic view). On the other hand, on biographies of NSDAP members in Germany in the 1920s (biographical approach). The theoretical background provides philosophical treatises from this period (Elias Canetti, José Ortega y Gasset, and Karl Jaspers). Because the situations characterize starting points of totalitarian system (Sowjet-Union/Nazi-Regime), they allow transformations into current and future experiences of collective and group pressure in private and business life, where people experience similar challenges and temptations that are more elementary.
  • Entrepreneurship Tendencies of Primary School Students and Variables Affecting Their Entrepreneurial Tendency

    Fidan Nuray Kurtdede; Argıç Tuğba (Sciendo, 2022-12-01)
    The aim of the study is to identify the entrepreneurial tendencies of primary school fourth grade students. The study was designed using the survey research model, which is one of the quantitative research methods. The participants of the study are 505 students attending the fourth grade of a primary school affiliated to the Ministry of National Education in the province of Izmir, located in the western region of Turkey, during the 2020–2021 school year. The Personal Information Form developed by the authors and the Entrepreneurial Tendency Inventory for Children (ÇGEE) developed by Yurtseven and Ergün (2018) were used to collect the data of the study. The data obtained were analyzed using the statistical package program. The findings of the study indicate that while a significant difference is found in all of the entrepreneurship tendencies inventory factors in terms of gender, a significant difference is found only in the innovativeness factor based on the number of siblings. Based on the social activities that the students participated in, it is found that there is a significant difference for the students who deal with dancing. While no significant difference was found based on the mothers’ educational background, a significant difference was found in the success and problem-solving factors based on the fathers’ educational background.
  • “I believe in video!” An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis of Video as an Educational Resource

    Østereng Dag Øivind (Sciendo, 2022-12-01)
    Elevkanalen is a web-based digital educational resource containing videos, animations, pictures, learning paths, texts, quizzes, and many features that meet the Norwegian authorities’ requirements for adapted and inclusive learning issued by The Norwegian Directorate for Education and Training (UDIR). The interest of this paper is to examine how the editors of Elevkanalen comprehend video as an educational resource and accordingly contribute to a discussion of professional assessment and didactical utilisation of video in teaching and learning. The protagonists of video-based learning are generally not reluctant to advocate the benefits of using video in education. Nevertheless, in order to be beneficial, it is reasonable to suppose that a deliberate and professional didactical utilisation is required. Video-based learning is at the centre of this study, and the ICAP theory is applied to critically assess video as a learning resource. Moreover, this is discussed in relation to perspectives on education for sustainable development
  • Civic Education for Sustainable Development of UNESCO – Decade 2005–2014

    Brunold Andreas; Ohlmeier Bernhard (Sciendo, 2022-12-01)
    The aim of the research and investigation methodology was based on an expert survey, using questionnaires translated into German, English, French, Spanish and Portuguese languages. The experts, interviewed in this study as part of the international community, represent institutions or organizations, that are involved in educational policy or in university research and teaching contexts with the topics and content as well as the implementation of ESD. The answers of the experts provide a different and wide range of variations in assessments of the implementation of the UN Decade and its characteristics of democratic potential and support. This shows that the potential democratic influences can always be assessed much more positively through sustainable development than that of actual democratic changes, particularly in reference to good governance, to the basic and human rights, to the protection of minorities, to civil society participation and to the separation of powers and the rule of law.
  • Beyond Sustainability: Positioning Regenerative Futures in a Philippine State University

    Ponce Roy G.; Villegas Jhonnel P. (Sciendo, 2022-12-01)
    This paper presents the conceptual framework for positioning a government-funded higher education institution (HEI)in the Philippines as a regenerative university. It grounds the notion that academia should rethink and redefine Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through regenerative development and futures thinking. While Davao Oriental is home to a rich biological, social, and cultural heritage, this paper outlines how an academic institution can contribute to its protection, conservation, management, and regeneration. The end goal is to mainstream regenerative futures in the university’s four-fold functions: instruction, research, extension, and production. Consequently, the paradigm shift aims to influence local communities to engage in a shared regenerative future that would equally benefit the environment and human societies.

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