Research team

EduBROn

Expertise

- educational effectiveness - environmental education & education for sustainable development - conservation psychology - psychometrics of environmentalism - STEM education & socioscientific issues - place-based education & informal education - traffic education (safety & sustainability) - didactics of the natural sciences - diversity, cross-cultural psychology and interculturality

(D)EESD - (Differential) Effectiveness of Education for Sustainable Development. 01/12/2021 - 30/11/2023

Abstract

Education for sustainable development (ESD) plays a key role in achieving the European ambitions within the Green Deal and beyond. ESD aims to empower learners with the competences necessary to achieving a better future for all, contributing to solutions for social, economic and ecologic issues. Building on European references framework like the 'Lifelong Learning Competences' and the 'Green Competences', recent scholarly work has identified the concept of action competence as central to ESD. Action competence can, as such, be a foundation for citizens to tackle wicked problems that characterize sustainability. Consensus among academics and societal stakeholders is that ESD, and its key pedagogical principles (holism, pluralism and action orientation) have the potential to facilitate learners' development of action competence. Evidence is building to support such claims, but it remains unclear under which conditions ESD is effective for who. Building on results and data from existing research, the DEESD project will focus on the complex issue of differential educational effectiveness in ESD in terms of achieving action competence in learners at schools. Secondary analyses using large scale data sets, and within the ethical constraints of those data, will be performed to address the central question 'what works for who in ESD'? Guiding questions concern the relation between configurations of ESD's pedagogical principles on the one hand and configurations of students' action competence on the other. The results will contribute to identifying effective strategies for facilitating the development of action competence of diverse target groups within formal education, and tailor ESD to the needs of learners. These insights pave the way for contributing to Horizon Europe ambitions of addressing global challenges in the fields of climate, energy, mobility, food, natural resources, agriculture, environment, democracy and security.

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AIRbezen@School. 01/06/2018 - 31/05/2020

Abstract

Measuring air pollution by using strawberry plants The AIRbezen project is a clever word pun on the Flemish of Antwerp dialect word for strawberries (jarrebezen) and, obviously, the word air. By examining the leaves of strawberry plants, AIRbezen maps the air quality of a city or province. Strawberry plants are distributed among families, schools or associations, who give the plant a place on the windowsill. After 2 months the strawberry-hosts cut off a few leaves and bring them in at the distribution points. The researchers at the University of Antwerp then measure the concentrations of particulate matter on the leaves, thus revealing to what the plant was exposed. AIRbezen is a real citizen science project in the sense that citizens actively participate in a research project. There is a strong interaction between participants and the University of Antwerp, whereby citizens collect data, the university interprets said data and the results flow back to the citizens. The project was successfully applied for the first time in 2014 in Antwerp, but soon expanded to schools, East Flanders and projects abroad. AIRbezen came to be thanks to a number of enthusiastic volunteers, Stadslab 2050 and the Department of Bio-Engineering Sciences of the University of Antwerp. If you have more questions about past projects or want to collaborate with us, you can reach us at AIRbezen@uantwerpen.be

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Trends in International Mathematics en Science Study (TIMSS) 2019 – grade 4 in Flanders. 01/09/2017 - 31/12/2021

Abstract

TIMSS is an international comparative study on the achievement for science and mathematics of pupils in the fourth grade. The data collection takes place in a representative sample and the results will be the basis for policy recommendations. We focus on (1) achievement of Flemish pupils, (2) explain differences based on pupil, class and school characteristics, (3) compare with other participating countries and (4) trends in the achievement of Flemish pupils over time.

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Valorizing Integrated and Action-Oriented Education for Sustainable Development at School (VALIES). 01/09/2017 - 31/08/2021

Abstract

VALIES focuses on the implementation of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) in formal education in Flanders. A central issue is a teacher professional development (TPD) within which teacher teams develop and implement ESD in the context of their own school. The research focuses on (1) the operationalisation of 'action competence' as the outcome of ESD, (2) the effectiveness of the TPD (3) the effectiveness of ESD (4) the role school culture, en (5) the role of social contexts. The project will result in tools that aim to facilitate the implementation of ESD in formal education in Flanders.

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ARTIFEX – Informal STEM learning in innovative learning spaces 01/09/2017 - 31/08/2020

Abstract

ARTIFEX is an ERASMUS+ project designed to establish a practical European framework for STEM education in innovative out-of-the-classroom learning environments such as Fablabs or Makerspaces. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, thus incorporating science, technology and mathematics. A Fablab or Makerspace is a small-scale workplace where you can manufacture products using modern technologies such as 3D printers and laser cutters.

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Short and long term effects of Environmental Education for Sustainable Development 01/01/2017 - 31/12/2018

Abstract

This project focuses on the evaluation of short and long term effects on environmental education for sustainable development. The project entails a close collaboration with practioners in the field of EE and also focuses on building their competences for performing outcome evaluation.

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Supporting Green School councilors to establish professional development activities. 01/03/2015 - 31/08/2016

Abstract

MOS Vlaanderen recently made a lot of changes. Also today, the organization and its organization are innovating. The project 'Guidance of MOS employees in helping to set up training, exchange and process guidance' fits into this process. A number of practices were examined in the project and investigated in view of further renewal. The project took place from March 2015 to July 2016. During this period, MOS supervisors went into an research oriented practice. From the Edubron research group, support was provided and the learning outcomes were mapped. The project included two learning networks, an interview and six experiments. The experiments took place in six different schools, with a maximum of variation. Each experiment had a different theme: greening, pedagogical guidance, intakes, participation, measuring learning gains, and campus school. Together, these parts of the project were a rich source of learning experiences, which oriented the recommendations for the MOS practice

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Is it really all about knowledge? Educators' perception on the process of changing ecological behavior. 01/02/2014 - 31/12/2014

Abstract

Researchers agree that the environmental problems we face as a society are due to maladaptive human behavior. Environmental education (EE) is seen as a key instrument in reversing those problems. EE however does, however, seldom impact on children ecological behavior. Through a qualitative design we study educators' perception of the process of changing children's ecological behavior, as a mediator in the effectiveness of EE.

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Impact study of the project Mobilus. 01/01/2013 - 30/09/2013

Abstract

This project represents a formal research agreement between UA and on the other hand the Vlaamse Stichting Verkeerskunde. The subject of the study is the effectiveness of the educational intervention 'Mobibus'. Specific attention goes to its impact on the knowledge, attitudes and competences relating to both trafic safety and sustainable mobilty of Flemish 9th graders.

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