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ESD for 2030 (2020-2022) - English

Project leader: Prof. Dr. Gerhard de Haan

Project coordination: Dr. Mandy Singer-Brodowski

Dr. Antje BrockJulius Grund, Jorrit HolstChristoph SchönherrDr. Mandy Singer-Brodowski

Duration: 2020-2023

Office of the Scientific Advisor to the UNESCO Program “ESD for 2030” in Germany - Monitoring and Scientific Advice

The nationwide monitoring on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) in Germany is an independent, multi-method research project that aims to assess the extent, quality and process of ESD implementation over time and across various educational areas. It is headed by the scientific advisor to the National Platform on ESD (Prof. Dr. Gerhard de Haan) and supports the multi-stakeholder process of implementing the UNESCO program “ESD for 2030” in Germany. The project’s results are frequently documented, summarized and communicated to the interested public, educational practitioners and academic researchers. In addition, recommendations are derived for policy-making and quality development. Split into four modules, the project includes quantitative and qualitative studies, mixed-method document analyses, and evidence-based advice and knowledge mobilization.

Module 1 aims to synthesize and communicate international and national insights into ESD between the academic community and policymakers, administrators, civil society actors, the business community and education practitioners. The scientific advisor and the monitoring team convey this empirical knowledge to the National Platform and to attendees of the Expert Forums, Partner Network meetings, and the youpaN (Youth Forum) through consulting and professional support. This helps to promote evidence-informed strategies to strengthen the further development of ESD for 2030 and the implementation of the National Action Plan.

Module 2 undertakes an assessment of the status and process of ESD implementation within documents of the German education system. Building on prior analyses of over 4,500 documents from four educational areas (early childhood education, school education, vocational education and training, and higher education), it examines the extent to which ESD and related concepts have become established within the education system via a longitudinal document analysis. Its main textual sources include, among others, curricula, exam regulations, training guidebooks, legal documents, and political resolutions. The results serve as an evidence base for recommendations to foster the effective implementation of ESD. They are communicated in various formats tailored to different audiences such as academics, policymakers and practitioners.

Module 3 adopts the methodology of Reflexive Monitoring in Action (RMA). RMA stimulates processes of learning and reflection within multi-stakeholder networks that aim to spur social innovation for sustainable development. The module offers committee members the opportunity to assess the implementation of the objectives of the National Action Plan for ESD to date and, where necessary, to adjust the objectives and strategies to strengthen ESD in the German education system. To this end, the Monitoring Team will prepare, implement and document the RMA methodology in various workshops.

Module 4 assesses sustainability-related knowledge, attitudes, behavior, and ESD implementation within formal educational settings via quantitative studies. It builds on a large scale study which surveyed over 3000 young people and teachers in 2018. Alongside comparative analyses between the two survey dates, a new component aims to yield a deeper understanding of far-reaching sustainability-related learning processes. To this end, an initial mixed-methods study inquires into the conditions under which people undertake sustainability-related transformation processes.

Recent publications:


European Journal of Futures Research bei SpringerOpen
ESD for 2030 (2023-2026)