Evaluating Education for Sustainable Development Programs
Michaela Zint Abstract Purpose: While the importance of evaluating education for sustainable develop- ment (ESD) programs has been recognized, little information is available on the topic. This chapter provides an introduction to program evaluation, reviews “les- sons learned” from environmental education program evaluation on which ESD can build, and provides suggestions for how to advance ESD program evaluation. Design/methodology/approach: Documents prepared under the auspices of the UNESCO Monitoring and Evaluation Expert Group, publications including reports of ESD program evaluations, reviews of EE program evaluation literature, and the author’s program evaluation experiences provide the basis for the observations made in this chapter. Findings: Program evaluations should not only be completed for accountability purposes but should be used to improve ESD programs and to contribute to ESD research. To maximize the potential benefits of program evaluation, providers of ESD programs are encouraged to 1) make evaluation an integral part of their pro- grams, 2) articulate their program objectives, 3) commission/conduct evaluations relying on sound research methods, and 4) draw on relevant evaluation research. Originality/value: There are only a few publications that focus on ESD program evaluation. This chapter is one of the first to offer suggestions for advancing ESD program evaluation based on insights from ESD and EE program evaluations. Introduction Program evaluation is receiving increasing attention, not only in the USA but also in Europe and other parts of the world. This also applies to environmental education (EE) and, more recently, to education for sustainable development 330 Michaela Zint (ESD). For...
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