Pedagogical Support for Education for Sustainable Development - Description and Evaluation of a New Support Function for Teachers and Programme Directors at Chalmers University of Technology
Paper in proceedings, 2013
The study programmes at Chalmers University of Technology have to fulfill the Swedish degree ordinance, which includes intended learning outcomes in environment and sustainable development (E&SD), and also the local course requirement on 7.5 higher education credits (hec) in (E&SD) and 7.5 hec in science, technology and society. A new pedagogical support function for education for sustainable development (ESD) was initiated at Chalmers in October 2012 to support mainly teachers and programme directors to fulfill the aims of Chalmers to improve the quality of ESD and to increase the quantity of ESD in the study programmes.
The aim of this paper is to share experience and to give inspiration for how a pedagogical support person for ESD can work at a university. The objectives are to: 1) describe the work performed by the support person so far by describing the involvement in projects and activities; 2) suggest a method for evaluating the projects and activities that the support person is involved in; and 3) evaluate the projects and activities that the support person has been involved in so far by applying the suggested method for evaluation.
We suggest that the projects and activities that the support person is involved in should be evaluated in relation to the aims of ESD at Chalmers: 1) improved quality of ESD, which can be defined as how well the education is aligned to the intended learning outcomes relevant for ESD in the Swedish degree ordinance; 2) increased quantity, which can be measured as the amount of higher education credits that are relevant for ESD in the study programmes. We believe that some prerequisites to be able to accomplish these aims are to 1) build competence for ESD, i.e. competence in SD and appropriate pedagogical approaches among programme directors and teachers; and 2) integrate ESD into the regular organization and administration for education. Thus, the projects and activities that the support person is involved in should be evaluated also in relation to the fulfillment of these prerequisites.
One of the main challenges is to build competence for ESD, and some of the conclusions are that 1) activities to build competence should be integrated in projects whenever it is possible, and that 2) the support person does not perform the work that the teachers or programme directors should be responsible for, but that the support person mainly work as a coach.
Education for sustainable development