On Friday 19 November, the Working Group was joined by Prof. Marco Rieckmann, lead author of the document “Education for the SDGs: Learning Objectives” (UNESCO, 2017). This session had a webinar format, i.e. it was open: the WG members had the possibility to have the camera open and talk to Dr. Rieckmann, but there were also people outside the WG interested in the topic who could intervene as participants through the chat.
In his presentation, the speaker presented the theoretical framework of the 8 UNESCO Competences, and how they are interrelated, within the context of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). He also questioned how we can empower students to make “radical changes” from the classroom within the framework of sustainability, exploring the transformative meaning of ESD and its link to social change. In this sense, he advocated a facilitative and action- and reflection-oriented didactics, with methodologies that promote maximum student participation: approaches such as PBL that make it possible to generate contexts, projects and practical and participatory experiences. In ESD, the role of educators is to encourage each student to make decisions based on knowledge of the problems of the environment, rather than to promote absolute certainties.
Finally, regarding the assessment of student competencies, one of the questions of the WG was whether rubrics or other assessment tools exist, and whether the option of constructing a rubric that assesses all 8 competences made sense. Dr. Rieckmann commented on existing experiences in the assessment of specific competences, which show great complexity. The speaker recommended the resource by Redman et al (2021), which includes common tools in the assessment of student competences and proposes the option of generating a rubric in accordance with the different phases of a PBL project. Another interesting resource he mentioned were the competence maps, where the achievement of different transversal competences can be clearly shown through visualisation. This type of tool is motivating and allows comparing different moments in terms of student competence.
Watch the conversation with Prof. Marco Rieckmann: