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Interfakultäre Koordinationsstelle für Allgemeine Ökologie (IKAÖ)



Allgemeine Ökologie zur Diskussion gestellt

Education on the Path to Sustainability
Proposal of an indicator set to evaluate education for sustainable development

(pdf PDF 1.9 MB)


A majority of actors in politics and science stated that the idea of sustainability should be established in national education systems around the world. Practitioners, politicians and scientists all unanimously agree that simply taking action is not enough – it is also necessary to evaluate how successful efforts at reaching this goal have been. Subsequently a number of initiatives with the aim of developing relevant indicators started in different countries, including Switzerland, Germany and Austria.

The international research project “Development of Indicators to Evaluate Offerings and Performance in the Area of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)” (2008-2011) is one of these initiatives. It was supported in Germany by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), in Austria by the Federal Ministry for Education, Arts and Culture (BMUKK) and in Switzerland by the State Secretariat for Education and Research (SER).

This book presents the theoretical foundations, methods and chosen results of this interdisciplinary project. The goal of the project was to present indicators that would allow to answer the question of whether and to what extent the idea of sustainability has been integrated in the education system for all levels of formal education, and not only at a national level in the participating countries, but also in international comparison. The work resulted in a set of ten ESD indicators, which due to a process of negotiation among actors from science, politics and practice has a broad foundation. The book provides a transnational description of the indicators and a description format to be used in their concretization for a given country. It thus provides a basis for the further implementation of indicators for education for sustainable development. The book is an extract of the project‘s results provided for the international expert conference in the aftermath of the project where the indicators were put up for discussion in a broader context. In the full version, available only in German, the indicators are concretized for the three countries participating in the project.


Preface 5
1. Introduction 9
2. Theoretical foundations 13
3. Limitations to the developed ESD indicator set 23
4. Methodological approach 27
5. Explanatory remarks on the proposed
ESD indicator set
6. The ESD indicator set 41
7. List of participating experts 51
8. References 55
Appendix 61


Interfakultäre Koordinationsstelle für Allgemeine Ökologie (IKAÖ) der Universität Bern (1988-2013)
© Universität Bern 05.09.2012 | Impressum