For those who wish to develop their own assessment programme for educator competences linked to learning for sustainability, each one of the 12 RSP competences is sub-divided into three learning outcomes. Rather than providing a detailed breakdown of attributes for each competence, the RSP framework identifies a number of underpinning components linked to the learning outcomes that in turn relate to each of the twelve educator competences.
The competences are not sub-divided further into skills, values, knowledge, etc. for two reasons:
- This atomises learning into discreet components that can appear meaningless in relation to the educator’s role
- Such an approach of assessing individual ‘pieces of learning’ runs counter to the whole notion of holistic thinking that is central to sustainable development.
Even the competences themselves should not be viewed in isolation as they can be blended in novel ways according to different contexts. Indeed, a Dutch teacher attending an RSP training program observed, “As soon as you start to teach one of the competences, you inevitably touch on the other eleven.”
We do however accept that some form of assessment is essential for learners, such as student teachers, to demonstrate their competence in these areas. Rather than focus on measurement, the RSP approach is based on quality criteria. For example, see the marking grid that we have developed for use with RSP undergraduate programmes in the UK.
The University of Vechta has developed a self-assessment survey for the participants of the ESD staff training workshops that took place in 2018 and 2019. This self-assessment looks at the development of the 12 RSP competencies and hence the learning outcomes of the staff training workshops.
The IASS – Italian Association for Sustainability Science – experimented with a transformative approach to evaluation and assessment, which aimed to be consistent with the values underlying the RSP competences model itself and which could stimulate reflectiveness and therefore be supportive of professional development of Sustainable Educators, Agents of Change.
The main tools used for the evaluation and assessment process piloted with both in-service teachers and experienced non-formal educators have been:
- RSP 12 competences palette, as a guide to introduce a transformative evaluation, consistent with the aims of the project, and of Agenda 2030
- A personal portfolio of evidence, intended to support awareness building and construction of professional competences of learners (including an environmental autobiography and story telling exercises)
- Three stages of achievement, as proposed by the project
- Self- and peer-evaluation exercises.
From a methodological point of view, the evaluation process has been conceptualised and organised to be consistent with – and strongly inspired by – the concepts and values expressed by the RSP palette, in a search of a ‘constructive alignment’ between the development of competences and their assessment.
Preliminary results of this piloting have been published in the GUNi Conference Report “2nd GUNi International Conference on SDGs. Higher Education & Science Take Action. Summary Report” (at pag. 101) which can be downloaded through this link (pdf).
Further piloting of the above ‘transformative evaluation’ approach has been carried out in an ‘on-line’ course/focus group held from April to October 2020, addressed to a mixed group of learners composed by professional experienced educators and officials or environmental technicians with experience in management and/ or communication. Results from this piloting will be uploaded shortly.