A monitoring and evaluation framework for transformative change from sustainability programs in secondary schools

Year: 2008

Author: Duggan, Michael, Smith, Timothy, Thomsen, Dana

Type of paper: Refereed paper

Change for sustainability occurs through systemic and transformational processes. In an educational context, 'transformation' is dependent upon interactions between the school and its stakeholders. In this paper, the authors being to develop a monitoring and evaluation framework towards informing transformative change programs, developing effective education for sustainability initiatives, and predicting their potential for success or lack there of. This research is timely as providing education for sustainability has recently been endorsed as an imperative in all states and territories of Australia, guided by the document Educating for a Sustainable Future - A National Environmental Education Statement for Australian Schools. It also coincides with the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (UNDESD) 2005-2014. In exploring relevant systemic and transformational processes, the authors examine a range of drivers that influence the design, delivery and uptake of schools-based education for sustainability including the document Educating for a Sustainable Future and the National Action Plan in Education for Sustainability (NAP ESD). Analysis of drivers indicates that transformative change for sustainability can be attained through: 1) preparing both teachers and students for change; 2) empowering teachers and students to build their capacity for self-driven action for transformational change; and, 3) developing a systemic monitoring and evaluation framework that enables students' and teachers' learning outcomes to be evaluated and extended. In the process of developing the monitoring and evaluation framework, the authors introduce the concept of an Ecolect (EcoI); a person's tested and measured understanding of ecological, economic, social, and political sustainability factors, the interactions between these factors, and capacity for transformative change for sustainability.