Publication - Research and analysis

Educational outcomes of Learning for Sustainability: literature review

Published: 28 Jan 2020

Literature review exploring the impact of Learning for Sustainability on educational outcomes.

Educational outcomes of Learning for Sustainability: literature review
Appendix D Primary Search (76 papers comprising the primary database)

Appendix D Primary Search (76 papers comprising the primary database)

*Rating Paper Notes
Glackin, M. (2018). 'Control must be maintained': exploring teachers' pedagogical practice outside the classroom. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 39(1), 61–76. OL – not relevant
O'Brien. K., & Lomas, T. (2017). Developing a Growth Mindset through outdoor personal development: can an intervention underpinned by psychology increase the impact of an outdoor learning course for young people? Journal of Adventure Education & Outdoor Learning, 17(2), 133–147. OL Mindset interventions – PSD course
Van Poeck, K. (2015). Education as a response to sustainability issues. Practices of environmental education in the context of the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development. Environmental Education Research, 21(4), 649. Belgian policy focus
Lewis, E. (2014). Education for sustainability at a primary school: from silos to systems thinking. Environmental Education Research, 20(3), 432–433. Thesis summary
Braun, T., Cottrell, R., & Dierkes, P. (2018). Fostering changes in attitude, knowledge and behavior: demographic variation in environmental education effects. Environmental Education Research, 24(6), 899–920. OE focus – review of OE programme. Complex web of drivers that influence environmental literacy and responsible behaviour. Four country comparison. Predictors – country, rural/urban
Shephard, K., & Brown, K. (2017). How democratic is higher education for sustainable development? Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 38(5), 755–767. HE – not relevant to current study
Morrier, M. J., & Ziegler, S. M. T. (2018). I wanna play too: Factors related to changes in social behavior for children with and without autism spectrum disorder after implementation of a structured outdoor play curriculum. Journal of Autism & Developmental Disorders, 48(7), 2530–2541. 018-3523-z ASN/OL – limited relevance to current study
Najjar, D., Spaling, H., & Sinclair, A. J. (2013). Learning about sustainability and gender through Farmer Field Schools in the Taita Hills, Kenya. International Journal of Educational Development, 33(5), 466–475. ESD – gender equality
Nordén, B. (2018). Learning and teaching sustainable development in global-local contexts. Environmental Education Research, 24(5), 772–773. GL/ESD. Impact on SDGs. Abstract not clear.
Nazir, J. (2016). Using phenomenology to conduct environmental education research: Experience and issues. Journal of Environmental Education, 47(3), 179–190. Phenomenology
* Kil, N. (2016). Effects of vicarious experiences of nature, environmental attitudes, and outdoor recreation benefits on support for increased funding allocations. Journal of Environmental Education, 47(3), 222–236. OL – experiences of nature changed attitudes and experiential benefits
* Hill, A., & Brown, M. (2014). Intersections between place, sustainability and transformative outdoor experiences. Journal of Adventure Education & Outdoor Learning, 14(3), 217–232. More OL focus – place and intentionality towards sustainability
* Biasutti, M. (2015). An intensive programme on education for sustainable development: the participants' experience. Environmental Education Research, 21(5), 734–752. OL/ESD – older/young adults/ university or CLPL. Nature park in Croatia. Study with young professionals. Results showed the relevance of the setting and the methods applied to develop environmental awareness and skills.
* Waite, S., Bølling, M., & Bentsen, P. (2016). Comparing apples and pears?: a conceptual framework for understanding forms of outdoor learning through comparison of English Forest Schools and Danish udeskole. Environmental Education Research, 22(6), 868–892. OL/'Forest' and Udeskole. Connection to nature …
* McNaughton, M. J. (2014). From Acting to Action: Developing Global Citizenship Through Global Storylines Drama. Journal of Environmental Education, 45(1), 16–36. ESD/Drama/Global citizenship education – relationships developed during drama contribute a unique pedagogical dimension to ESD/GCE
* Scrutton, R. A. (2015). Outdoor adventure education for children in Scotland: quantifying the benefits. Journal of Adventure Education & Outdoor Learning, 15(2), 123–137. Empirical study of PSD. Pupils who perceive themselves as having relatively poor personal and social skills appear to gain most benefit and then lose the least
* Gress, D. R., & Shin, J. (2017). Potential for knowledge in action? An analysis of Korean green energy related K3–12 curriculum and texts. Environmental Education Research, 23(6), 874–885. ESD – impact in geography on actions. No link with the attainment. Geography curricula has potential for green energy content and knowledge into action.
* McClain, C., & Vandermaas-Peeler, M. (2016). Social contexts of development in natural outdoor environments: children's motor activities, personal challenges and peer interactions at the river and the creek. Journal of Adventure Education & Outdoor Learning, 16(1), 31–48. OL focus. Motor skills and risk awareness in the outdoors.
* Murray, P., Goodhew, J., & Murray, S. (2014). The heart of ESD: personally engaging learners with sustainability. Environmental Education Research, 20(5), 718–734. Focus on Higher Education. Undergraduate students. Relationship between ESD and values. Extra-curricular element.
* Tal, T., & Peled, E. (2017). The philosophies, contents and pedagogies of environmental education programs in 10 Israeli elementary schools. Environmental Education Research, 23(7), 1032–1053. ESD – unclear pedagogy is in Israel. Lead to ambiguity in approaches etc.
** Zamani, Z. (2016). 'The woods is a more free space for children to be creative; their imagination kind of sparks out there': exploring young children's cognitive play opportunities in natural, manufactured and mixed outdoor preschool zones. Journal of Adventure Education & Outdoor Learning, 16(2), 172–189. OL/Pre-school – positive impacts of natural environments
** MacQuarrie, S., Nugent, C., & Warden, C. (2015). Learning with nature and learning from others: nature as setting and resource for early childhood education. Journal of Adventure Education & Outdoor Learning, 15(1), 1–23. OL/ECE – not LfS focused. Nature as a resource for learning. Compares kindergartens in Scotland and two Nordic countries. Nature as a setting, resource, educator.

Sjöblom, P., & Wolff, L-A. (2017). "It wouldn't be the same without nature" The value of nature according to Finnish upper secondary school students. Journal of Environmental Education, 48(5), 322–333.

OL/Early years – value of nature maintained into high school - positive impacts of natural environments. Finnish context
** Goldenberg, M., & Soule, K. E. (2015). A four- year follow-up of means-end outcomes from outdoor adventure programs. Journal of Adventure Education & Outdoor Learning, 15(4), 284–295. OL – lasting impact – 4 years after an OB/NOLS course – impacts mostly on PSD.
** Andersson, P. (2018). Business as un-usual through dislocatory moments - change for sustainability and scope for subjectivity in classroom practice. Environmental Education Research, 24(5), 648–662. ESD – tension between instrumental and emancipatory educational objectives. Value of dislocatory moments, and thinking and acting independently
** Jegstad, K. M., & Sinnes, A. T. (2015). Chemistry Teaching for the Future: A model for secondary chemistry education for sustainable development. International Journal of Science Education, 37(4), 655–683. ESD and chemistry education. Mutually beneficial. Secondary education study.
** Winks, L. (2018). Discomfort in the field--The performance of nonhuman nature in fieldwork in South Devon. Journal of Environmental Education, 49(5), 390–399. OL and role of disruption/uncertainty/discomfort. Vignettes. Co-production of place through interaction with non-human nature. Development of environmental sensitivity. Possible mechanism.
** Ernst, J. (2014). Early childhood educators' use of natural outdoor settings as learning environments: an exploratory study of beliefs, practices, and barriers. Environmental Education Research, 20(6), 735–752. OL/Early years – educators' beliefs in the value of outdoor learning were countered by beliefs regarding the barriers – walking, time, weather and safety.
** Aguilar, O. M. (2018). Examining the literature to reveal the nature of community EE/ESD programs and research. Environmental Education Research, 24(1), 26–49. ESD/EE Community Programmes. Literature review 1994-2013. Successful programmes may be rooted in community issues, involve multiple community partners, collaborative and civic action, incorporated reflection on social institutions and power dynamics.
** Lavie Alon, N., & Tal, T. (2015). Student Self- Reported Learning Outcomes of Field Trips: The pedagogical impact. International Journalof Science Education, 37(8), 1279–1298. OL. Strongest influence on three self-reported development domains (cognitive, affective, and behavioural, and the extent of the students' socio-economic group), was the guide's storytelling.
** Atencio, M., Tan, Y. S. M., Ho, S., & Ching, C. T. (2015). The place and approach of outdoor learning within a holistic curricular agenda: development of Singaporean outdoor education practice. Journal of Adventure Education & Outdoor Learning, 15(3), 181–192. OL – urban place-based approach in Singapore
** Lysgaard, J. A., & Simovska, V. (2016). The significance of "participation" as an educational ideal in education for sustainable development and health education in schools. Environmental Education Research, 22(5), 613–630. Approach to ESD and health education. Participation as an educational ideal and teaching strategy
** Becker, P. (2015). To be in the garden or not to be in the garden—that is the question here: some aspects of the educational chances that are inherent in tamed and untamed nature. Journal of Adventure Education & Outdoor Learning, 15(1), 79–92. OL/Gardens. Philosophical
** Edwards, J. (2013). Towards effective socially critical environmental education: stories from primary classrooms. Environmental Education Research, 19(2), 258–259. Eleven teachers – working with young pupils – active participants in the social processes from which environmentally sustainable practices are improved.
*** Jørgensen, K.-A. (2016). Bringing the jellyfish home: environmental consciousness and 'sense of wonder' in young children's encounters with natural landscapes and places. Environmental Education Research, 22(8), 1139–1157. OL/Early years. Relationship between a child's multi-sensory experiences and the development of environmental consciousness. Importance of local practices taking children into nature.
*** Schindel, A., & Tolbert, S. (2017). Critical caring for people and place. Journal of Environmental Education, 48(1), 26–34. Caring role of teachers important in developing relationships between people and place
*** Braun, T., & Dierkes, P. (2017). Connecting students to nature – how intensity of nature experience and student age influence the success of outdoor education programs. Environmental Education Research, 23(7), 937–949. OL. Nature connectedness. Significant improvement in environmental behaviour. Intensity duration and age are all-important. Outdoor learning programmes promote nature connectedness. Empirical study of one and five-day programmes – the longer it was more effective. Seven to 9-year old pupils performed the stronger shifts towards nature.
*** Christie, B., Beames, S., & Higgins, P. (2016). Context, culture and critical thinking: Scottish secondary school teachers' and pupils' experiences of outdoor learning. British Educational Research Journal, 42(3), 417–437. OL – impact on critical thinking skills. Maths and Geography teachers and students. In secondary school curriculum.
*** Grimwood, B. S. R., Gordon, M., & Stevens, Z. (2018). Cultivating Nature Connection: Instructor Narratives of Urban Outdoor Education. Journal of Experiential Education, 41(2), 204–219. OL – Nature connection. In and through urban OL programmes. Three 'spatial metaphors' creating space for nature connection, engaging that space, broadening that space. Teacher perspective
*** Ampuero, D., Miranda, C. E. ., Delgado, L. E. ., Goyen, S., & Weaver, S. (2015). Empathy and critical thinking: primary students solving local environmental problems through outdoor learning. Journal of Adventure Education & Outdoor Learning, 15(1), 64–78. OL/ESD – Significance of empathy strategies – significant benefit in creating a 'sustainable citizenry'. Primary. Chile. Does ESD have an impact because it stimulates/demands approaches to education/teaching that are good practice anyway? Empathy, critical thinking, primary school focus.
*** Paulus, S. C. (2016). Exploring a pluralist understanding of Learning for Sustainability and its implications for outdoor education practice. Journal of Adventure Education & Outdoor Learning, 16(2), 117–130. OL for LfS. Pluralism – individual and multiple identities. Three themes – learning as transformation, as participation and about identities and places. Designed programme for LfS that enables learners to explore location and space.
*** Sellmann, D. (2014). Environmental education on climate change in a botanical garden: adolescents' knowledge, attitudes and conceptions. Environmental Education Research, 20(2), 286–287. ESD – impact of climate change education had positive impact on teenagers' attitudes.
*** Silverman, J., & Corneau, N. (2017). From nature deficit to outdoor exploration: curriculum for sustainability in Vermont's public schools. Journal of Adventure Education & Outdoor Learning, 17(3), 258–273. OL/ESD. Successful strategies used for environmental education – place-based education, hands-on exploration and free-choice learning. Not new ground.
*** Ideland, M., & Malmberg, C. (2015). Governing 'eco-certified children' through pastoral power: Discourse analysis used to analyse 'pastoral power'
critical perspectives on education for sustainable development. Environmental Education Research, 21(2), 173–182. (through books, games, etc.). Frames ESD in neo-liberal ideology – with 'eco-certified children' being 'constructed' through 'personal guilt and global threats'.
*** Izadpanahi, P., Elkadi, H., & Tucker, R. (2017). Greenhouse affect: the relationship between the sustainable design of schools and children's environmental attitudes. Environmental Education Research, 23(7), 901–918. School design and ESD. Sustainable design in schools improves environmental attitudes of children. Children, parents, teachers studied. Used New Ecological Paradigm Scale.
*** Price, A. (2015). Improving school attendance: can participation in outdoor learning influence attendance for young people with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties? Journal of Adventure Education & Outdoor Learning, 15(2), 110–122. OL and attendance (SEBD). Link between attendance and attainment. Students with SEBD showed improved attendance with OL. Is this a link? Maybe OL/ESD is more engaging – if so then attendance may increase and attainment may follow?
*** Kadji-Beltran, C., Zachariou, A., & Stevenson, R. B. (2013). Leading sustainable schools: exploring the role of primary school principals. Environmental Education Research, 19(3), 303–323. Leadership for ESD. Enabling approach. Encouraging teachers to engage in ESD. Collaborative approaches mentioned several limitations. Professional development needed. Empowering staff. Encouraging critique approaches and exploring alternative possibilities for curriculum pedagogy and policy.
*** Kopnina, H., & Cherniak, B. (2016). Neoliberalism and justice in education for sustainable development: a call for inclusive pluralism. Environmental Education Research, 22(6), 827–841. ESD – critique of neo-liberal and anthropocentric approaches. Argues for pluralism where social justice is not prioritised over interests of more than humans. Refers to Brundtland.
*** Munge, B., Thomas, G., & Heck, D. (2018). Outdoor Fieldwork in Higher Education: Learning From Multidisciplinary Experience. Journal of Experiential Education, 41(1), 39–53. OL – fieldwork in HE – has benefits in terms of engagement outreach and professional competencies. Some weaknesses – e.g. equity.
*** Mannion, G., Fenwick, A., & Lynch, J. (2013). Place-responsive pedagogy: learning from teachers' experiences of excursions in nature. Environmental Education Research, 19(6), 792–809. OL/Place. Impact on environmental attitudes. Place responsive OL. Enhanced by collaboration, planning visits, and excursions with pupils. Explicit intention to use place/environment to improve human/nature relations.
*** Bento, G. & Costa, J. A. (2018). Outdoor play as a mean to achieve educational goals - a case study in a Portuguese day-care group. Journal of Adventure Education & Outdoor Learning, 18(4), 289–302. OL – Early years, Portuguese study. Focus on play/development and skills. Contact with nature. OL contributes to educational goals.
*** Roesch, F., Nerb, J., & Riess, W. (2015). Promoting Experimental Problem-solving Ability in Sixth-grade Students Through Problem- oriented Teaching of Ecology: Findings of an intervention study in a complex domain. International Journal of Science Education, 37(4), 577–598. Problem orientated teaching of ecology. Improve specific components of experimental problem solving ability that small effect on transfer.
*** Stevenson, K. T., Peterson, M. N., Carrier, S. J., Strand, R. L., Bondell, H. D., Kirby-Hathaway, T., & Moore, S. E. (2014). Role of Significant Life Experiences in Building Environmental Knowledge and Behavior Among Middle School Students. Journal ofEnvironmental Education, 45(3), 163–177. Significant life experiences and environmental knowledge behaviour. Role of influences. Positive associations between your role model and time outdoors with subsequent pro- environmental behaviour. Strongest predictors of environmental knowledge and behaviour were student/teacher ratio and county income levels respectively. Life experiences appear less important than promoting small class sizes.
*** Jordan, K., & Kristjánsson, K. (2017). Sustainability, virtue ethics, and the virtue of harmony with nature. Environmental Education Research, 23(9), 1205–1229. Harmony with nature – theoretical argument – virtue ethics.
*** Wistoft, K. (2013). The desire to learn as a kind of love: gardening, cooking, and passion in outdoor education. Journal of Adventure Education & Outdoor Learning, 13(2), 125–141. OL/gardening – impact on desire to learn. Control groups – increase from baseline after intervention – pre- post-6-weeks
*** Olsson, D., & Gericke, N. (2017). The effect of gender on students' sustainability consciousness: A nationwide Swedish study. Journal of Environmental Education, 48(5), 357–370. Gender gap in sustainability consciousness – increases from 12 to 19. 2,413 pupils. Swedish study
*** Olsson, D., Gericke, N., & Chang Rundgren, S.- N. (2016). The effect of implementation of education for sustainable development in Swedish compulsory schools – assessing pupils' sustainability consciousness. Environmental Education Research, 22(2), 176–202. ESD schools have a small positive effect in grades 6-8 but negative in grade 9. Swedish study – highlighting negative findings.
*** Zijlema, W. L., Triguero-Mas, M., Smith, G., Cirach, M., Martinez, D., Dadvand, P., … Julvez, J. (2017). The relationship between natural outdoor environments and cognitive functioning and its mediators. Environmental Research, 155, 268–275. Proximity to nature benefits cognitive function. Mechanism not clear.
*** Nordén, B. (2018). Transdisciplinary teaching for sustainable development in a whole school project. Environmental Education Research, 24(5), 663–677. Transdisciplinary collaborative teaching. Nine teachers' experiences.
*** Malberg Dyg, P., & Wistoft, K. (2018). Wellbeing in school gardens - the case of the Gardens for Bellies food and environmental education program. Environmental Education Research, 24(8), 1177–1191. OL – impact of green space in developing a positive perception of school, wellbeing from being outside in school garden, positive relations with animals and plants, long-term impact not evident
*** Dieser, O., & Bogner, F. X. (2016). Young people's cognitive achievement as fostered by hands-on-centred environmental education. Environmental Education Research, 22(7), 943–957. OL – National Park – on cognitive knowledge and achievement – n=289 – comparative study
**** Kadji-Beltran, C., Christodoulou, N., Zachariou, A., Lindemann-Matthies, P., Barker, S., & Kadis, C. (2017). An ESD pathway to quality education in the Cyprus primary education context. Environmental Education Research, 23(7), 1015–1031. ESD and Quality Education. ESD and its connection with real-life has a relationship with quality education. ESD can reinforce QE that teachers need support with regard to the political and cultural dimensions SD issues collaborations with local communities and assessments.
**** Beery, T., & Jørgensen, K. A. (2018). Children in nature: sensory engagement and the experience of biodiversity. Environmental Education Research, 24(1), 13–25. OL/Early Years and biodiversity. Semi-structured interviews with adults in Sweden were analysed for understanding of the sensory experience of childhood in nature. A second study of direct observations of children's play in an outdoor kindergarten in Norway were analysed. The two studies were brought together for shared analysis. Analysis supports the idea that the experience of biodiversity childhood interaction with variation in diversity of living and non-living items from nature allows children important learning opportunities including of biodiversity understanding.
**** Hedefalk, M., Almqvist, J., & Östman, L. (2015). Education for sustainable development in early childhood education: a review of the research literature. Environmental Education Research, 21(7), 975–990. ESD and Early Childhood Education. Major review of literature 1996-2013. Discusses: 1. How ESD is defined by researchers, 2. The results of major research enquiries, 3. Evidence for young children acting for change in relation to sustainability. During the period studied 'the research has evolved from teaching children and facts about the environment and sustainability issues to educating children to act for change' This is important as it may provide a means of explaining why ESD may be valuable in developing learning and acting skills.
**** Nazir, J., & Pedretti, E. (2016). Educators' perceptions of bringing students to environmental consciousness through engaging outdoor experiences. Environmental Education Research, 22(2), 288–304. OL/ESD – effect on environmental consciousness. This is based on connecting to the environment, fostering care for the environment, and building agency for the environment. 'Educating for environmental consciousness also requires providing people with deeply engaging experiences that afford authenticity, multi-dimensionality and serendipity'. This study shows how these features 'can work to raise environmental consciousness by creating epiphanies or moments when sudden expansions of the self, realization and empowerment become possible'.
**** Mogren, A., & Gericke, N. (2017). ESD implementation at the school organisation level, part 1 – investigating the quality criteria guiding school leaders' work at recognized ESD schools. Environmental Education ESD and school leadership. Twenty-six 'quality criteria' emerged from study of school principals. Swedish. Summarised as four themes: Collaboration, student-centred
Research, 23(7), 972–992. education, co-operation with local society, pro-active leadership.
**** Mogren, A., & Gericke, N. (2017). ESD implementation at the school organisation level, part 2 – investigating the transformative perspective in school leaders' quality strategies at ESD schools. Environmental Education Research, 23(7), 993–1014. ESD and school leadership. Leaders interviewed. Empirical – mixed methods. Transformative
  • – three distinct quality strategies
  • – strong focus on transformative approach.
**** Fägerstam, E. & Blom, J. (2013). Learning biology and mathematics outdoors: effects and attitudes in a Swedish high school context. Journal of Adventure Education & Outdoor Learning, 13(1), 56–75. OL. Increased attainment in biology and maths. Learning these outdoors has positive cognitive and effective impact. Thirteen-15 year olds. Five- month study – retention. But a 2013 study so on the edge of the review dates.
**** Breunig, M., Murtell, J., & Russell, C. (2015). Students' experiences with/in integrated Environmental Studies Programs in Ontario. Journal of Adventure Education & Outdoor Learning, 15(4), 267–283. Environmental Studies Programmes on engagement, responsibility, real-world, authenticity. Three case studies. Ontario
**** Green, M., & Somerville, M. (2015). Sustainability education: researching practice in primary schools. Environmental Education Research, 21(6), 832–845. Teacher education/CLPL on willingness to teach sustainability. Relationships and pedagogies (problem solving, enquiry learning, children 'lead the way') important. Australia.
**** Witoszek, N. (2018). Teaching sustainability in Norway, China and Ghana: challenges to the UN programme. Environmental Education Research, 24(6), 831–844. ESD is in decline globally – neo- liberal competition influences the decline, Lack of a positive narrative one mobilising story reduces the attractiveness of sustainability ideals and inhibits very empowering potential. Maybe LfS has the potential to bring about positive change in both learning and action for sustainability, but three pillars don't help as they play into a neo-liberal mentality. However maybe engagement with the outdoors can re-balance
**** Garrison, J., Östman, L., & Håkansson, M. (2015). The creative use of companion values in environmental education and education for sustainable development: exploring the educative moment. Environmental Education (Approaches) Values – companion values (teacher and student) deliberating together – may be a mechanism for bringing about educational impact fostered particularly
Research, 21(2), 183–204. through the kinds of approaches used in LfS
**** O'Flaherty. J., & Liddy, M. (2018). The impact of development education and education for sustainable development interventions: a synthesis of the research. Environmental Education Research, 24(7), 1031–1049. Development education and ESDReview Paper. Literature review. Measures of assessment of learning and impact on learners.
**** Richardson, E. A., Pearce, J., Shortt, N. K., & Mitchell, R. (2017). The role of public and private natural space in children's social, emotional and behavioural development in Scotland: A longitudinal study. Environmental Research, 158, 729–736. OL/Greenspace – and SEB development. Neighbourhood natural space may reduce SEBD for 4-6 year olds. May be related to attainment. Closeness to nature may lead to improved cognitive function.
**** Quibell, T., Charlton, J., & Law, J. (2017). Wilderness Schooling: A controlled trial of the impact of an outdoor education programme on attainment outcomes in primary school pupils. British Educational Research Journal, 43(3), 572–587. OL on attainment – control groups – increase from baseline after intervention – pre- post-6- weeks. Statistically valid study with control groups. Positive effects continued after the intervention.
**** Banerjee, R., Weare, K., & Farr, W. (2014). Working with "Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning" (SEAL): associations with school ethos, pupil social experiences, attendance, and attainment. British Educational Research Journal, 40(4), 718–742. Whole-school approaches (SEAL) on attainment. Ethos. Semi-structured observation & interview. Multiple schools (49) 2,242 children.