Achieving Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) in Early Childhood Education Through Critical Reflection in Transformative Learning

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Feriver Ş., Olgan R., Teksöz G.

in: Learning, Design, and Technology An International Compendium of Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy, Michael J Spector,Barbara B Lockee,Marcus D. Childress, Editor, Springer, London/Berlin , Zürich, pp.1-42, 2019

  • Publication Type: Book Chapter / Chapter Vocational Book
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Publisher: Springer, London/Berlin 
  • City: Zürich
  • Page Numbers: pp.1-42
  • Editors: Michael J Spector,Barbara B Lockee,Marcus D. Childress, Editor
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


The central role of education in creating a more sustainable future has been already recognized by educators and policy-makers alike. This chapter argues that this can only be truly achieved through the efforts of teachers in implementing an “education of a different kind,” a general educational shift that seeks to encompass a converging transformation of the priorities and mindsets of education professionals. In this regard, the professional preparation of teachers, as the leading actors in shaping children’s learning processes, and their continuous professional development are vital considerations for Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) to be successfully achieved. Linking transformative learning and ESD has emerged as a distinct and useful pedagogy because they both support the process of critically examining habits of mind, then revising these habits and acting upon the revised point of view. This study aims to describe and evaluate the potential of transformative learning in innovating mainstream education toward sustainability by focusing on the role of critical reflection in a capacity building research project realized in Turkey. The data was gathered from 24 early childhood educators using a mixed-method research design involving learning diaries, a learning activities survey, and follow-up interviews. This chapter identified content, context, and application method of the in-service training as factors that have contributed to the reflective practices of the participants. In addition, presenting the implications regarding the individual differences in how learners engage in critical reflection practices, this research offers a framework for a content- and process-based approach derived from Mezirow’s conception of critical reflection.