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Systems Thinking and Leadership of Teachers in ESD
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Systems thinking in education for sustainable development (ESD) is defined as the ability of teachers to comprehend and solve problems thoroughly by using components and interconnecting those involved in the system. Teachers’ leadership refers to the ability of teachers to influence co-workers, superiors, parents, and other members of the school community to improve teaching and learning practices in order to enhance students’ learning and achievement in ESD.

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    1. Introduction

    It is especially for young people to have awareness and knowledge of environmental changes and damage in order to protect the natural and social environment [1][2][3]. Formal education is the main media for knowledge sharing, through the development of critical thinking [4], in situations that are often unfavorable [3]. Formal education is useful not merely for cognitive knowledge but also for strengthening social relationships through interactions between individuals to create common awareness [3]. Education forms with the goal of moving society towards sustainable development are usually known as education for sustainable development (ESD) or education for sustainability (EfS) [5][6]. Formal education in schools in the context of ESD comprises the ability to think, behave, and act in a way that is responsive to the environment [3].
    Realization of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development through education for sustainable development (ESD) was emphasized in goal 4 [7], which is to ensure that learners receive an education that is inclusive, fair, and promotes lifelong learning opportunities for all. Every student at all levels of education is expected to be able to improve skills associated with economic growth, social development, and environmental protection. To achieve this new agenda requires the participation al multi-parties on the micro-level (individual/student), meso level (school, education, training), and macro-level (government). The fourth SDG (sustainable development goal) indirectly targets the skills of students and teachers [8]. However, the targets and indicators of SDG achievement are different from those of sustainable development-oriented to the triple bottom line (TBL), i.e., people, planet, and profit. Goal 4 of the SDGs is encompassed as a single indicator, which is less relevant to the TBL concept. Unfortunately, research related to ESD often focuses on comparisons between countries at the level of students and does not consider the teachers. As active change agents, teachers play a central role in ESD. Not only do they contribute to the development of knowledge and changing attitudes in schools but also in daily life [2][3][9][10]. Therefore, teachers need to be able to develop innovative education [4] and to play a role not only as translators but also as interpreters of knowledge [3]. The capacity required by the teachers in the context of sustainable development include systems thinking, values thinking, futures thinking (anticipatory), strategic thinking (action-oriented), and collaborative (or interpersonal) thinking [11][12][13]. Unfortunately, ESD references and modules are limited, which makes it difficult for teachers to adopt them in the curriculum, even in developed countries and higher education [14]. For example, secondary school teachers in Poland were not well prepared to include the ESD agenda in the curriculum, did not feel that it was necessary to cover the ESD agenda, and only a few attended ESD training. These Polish teachers did not have adequate knowledge and understanding of ESD, such as its principles, goals, and the urgency of the program, and therefore did not prioritize its educational programs [3]. As a result, ESD was delivered with unattractive and ineffective methods. Meanwhile, a study in Pakistan showed that teachers who obtained ESD education had a better attitude towards the natural and social environment and included such issues in the curriculum [2]. Teachers in Canada reported difficulties gaining experience in environmental studies, particularly for educating students with diverse cultures, and received ESD training only from books and TV [15]. This is an unfortunate condition because teachers’ preparedness fundamentally influences the effectiveness and learning outcomes of ESD [16].
    In Indonesia, ESD has not received sufficient attention from the government, the education sector, or the public. Indonesia has been designated as one of the top emitters of CO2, along with China, Brazil, and India, due to its high population and energy-intensive industrial sectors [17]. ESD is an optional program for schools and requires extra work from institutions and teachers. ESD is considered a non-urgent agenda due to the fact that the Ministry of Education and Culture has not set formal regulations about it. Instead, environmental education is regulated by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry through the Adiwiyata School (also known as Green School) program, which promotes an environmentally friendly culture in schools. Adiwiyata School promotes responsible protection of the environment through good school governance to support sustainable development. The Ministry of Environment and Forestry provides guidance, conducts annual assessments of school performance in the implementation of environmental education through environmental cultural movements, and acknowledges programs such as Adiwiyata School with awards [18]. This present study is essential because until now, environmentally friendly education has not succeeded in changing human behavior [19]. Within the framework of systems thinking, the idea that nature is a large system, ESD is part of a complex and holistic system. Systems thinking builds a foundation for change by formulating what is desired, identifying existing conditions, setting change commitments, and ultimately making efforts toward improvement based on the theory of change [19].
    In addition to systems thinking, teachers are required to have leadership or teaching leadership. Sustainable leadership embodied in teaching leadership is important to create an ESD-effective school [20]. Teachers’ leadership is needed in ESD so that teachers can establish communication with various education participants, both individually and collectively, and influence them to improve the quality of students’ learning and achievement [21]. Teachers’ leadership involves competence beyond regular teaching duties [21].

    2. Systems Thinking

    Teachers’ Standard Competence is a measure of professional teaching abilities so that students can actively receive information, knowledge, experience, and new competencies to be able to shape or to change attitudes and behaviors in any situation. These required competencies include interpersonal, scientific, technological, and spiritual abilities. Teachers’ scientific abilities and skills are represented in the context of systems thinking, i.e., the ability to holistically think and engage in a complex and uncertain environment using various tools and techniques. [22]

    3. Teachers’ Leadership

    Teachers’ leadership (TL) is a fundamental component in the success of ESD [23][24][25] because teachers are change agents [14]. TL is needed primarily in the form of commitment and its implementations to provide role models and to actively participate in groups [26][27], i.e., to influence other parties by setting good examples (being role models) and also to actively contribute to various programs concerning environmental care and social activities.
    There are a variety of TL measures in ESD, such as those developed by Harris [28], Katzenmeyer [29], Al-Zboon [25], and Wilhelm et al. [14]. TL measures may have an intersection and overlap with systems thinking. However, TL in this entry focused on teachers’ ability to provide role models through behavior or role modeling, and to contribute to the organization or activity-based ESD or peer participation. This peer participation is essential because cognitive and emotional colleague support is needed to improve the quality of ESD competencies [25] and to inspire cooperation [30].

    References

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    2. Nousheen, A.; Yousuf Zai, S.A.; Waseem, M.; Khan, S.A. Education for sustainable development (ESD): Effects of sustainability education on pre-service teachers’ attitude towards sustainable development (SD). J. Clean. Prod. 2020, 250, 119537.
    3. Ocetkiewicz, I.; Tomaszewska, B.; Mróz, A. Renewable energy in education for sustainable development. The Polish experience. Renew. Sustain. Energy Rev. 2017, 80, 92–97.
    4. Longhurst, J.; Bellingham, L.; Cotton, D.; Isaac, V.; Kemp, S.; Martin, S.; Peters, C.; Robertson, A.; Ryan, A.; Taylor, C.; et al. Education for Sustainable Development; The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education: Gloucester, UK, 2014.
    5. Taylor, N.; Quinn, F.; Jenkins, K.; Miller-Brown, H.; Rizk, N.; Prodromou, T.; Serow, P.; Taylor, S. Education for sustainability in the Secondary Sector—A review. J. Educ. Sustain. Dev. 2019, 13, 102–122.
    6. Tomas, L.; Girgenti, S.; Jackson, C. Pre-service teachers’ attitudes toward education for sustainability and its relevance to their learning: Implications for pedagogical practice. Environ. Educ. Res. 2017, 23, 324–347.
    7. UNESCO. Education for Sustainable Development Goals: Learning Objectives; UNESCO: Paris, France, 2017; ISBN 9789231002090.
    8. Owens, T.L. Higher education in the sustainable development goals framework. Eur. J. Educ. 2017, 52, 414–420.
    9. Mróz, A.; Ocetkiewicz, I.; Tomaszewska, B. What should be included in education programmes—The socio-education analysis for sustainable management of natural resources. J. Clean. Prod. 2020, 250, 119556.
    10. Redman, E.; Wiek, A.; Redman, A. Continuing Professional Development in Sustainability Education for K-12 Teachers: Principles, Programme, Applications, Outlook. J. Educ. Sustain. Dev. 2018, 12, 59–80.
    11. Lozano, R.; Merrill, M.Y.; Sammalisto, K.; Ceulemans, K.; Lozano, F.J. Connecting competences and pedagogical approaches for sustainable development in higher education: A literature review and framework proposal. Sustainability 2017, 9, 1889.
    12. Rosenkränzer, F.; Hörsch, C.; Schuler, S.; Riess, W. Student teachers’ pedagogical content knowledge for teaching systems thinking: Effects of different interventions. Int. J. Sci. Educ. 2017, 39, 1932–1951.
    13. Schuler, S.; Fanta, D.; Rosenkraenzer, F.; Riess, W. Systems thinking within the scope of education for sustainable development (ESD)–a heuristic competence model as a basis for (science) teacher education. J. Geogr. High. Educ. 2018, 42, 192–204.
    14. Wilhelm, S.; Förster, R.; Zimmermann, A.B. Implementing competence orientation: Towards constructively aligned education for sustainable development in university-level teaching-and-learning. Sustainability 2019, 11, 1891.
    15. Blanchet-Cohen, N.; Reilly, R.C. Teachers’ perspectives on environmental education in multicultural contexts: Towards culturally-responsive environmental education. Teach. Teach. Educ. 2013, 36, 12–22.
    16. Lynch, D.; Smith, R.; Provost, S.; Yeigh, T.; Turner, D. The correlation between “teacher readiness” and student learning improvement. Int. J. Innov. Creat. Chang. 2017, 3, 1–12.
    17. Alam, M.M.; Murad, M.W.; Noman, A.H.M.; Ozturk, I. Relationships among carbon emissions, economic growth, energy consumption and population growth: Testing Environmental Kuznets Curve hypothesis for Brazil, China, India and Indonesia. Ecol. Indic. 2016, 70, 466–479.
    18. Indonesian Ministry of Environment. Implementation Guidelines for Adiwiyata School (Pedoman Pelaksanaan Program Adiwiyata); Cambridge University Press: Jakarta, Indonesia, 2013; pp. 1–30.
    19. Sterling, S. Whole Systems Thinking as a Basis for Paradigm Change in Education: Explortions in the Context of Sustainability. Ph.D. Thesis, University of Bath, Bath, UK, 2003.
    20. Verhelst, D.; Vanhoof, J.; Van Petegem, P. School effectiveness for education for sustainable development (ESD): What characterizes an ESD-effective school organization? Educ. Manag. Adm. Leadersh. 2021.
    21. Shen, J.; Wu, H.; Reeves, P.; Zheng, Y.; Ryan, L.; Anderson, D. The association between teacher leadership and student achievement: A meta-analysis. Educ. Res. Rev. 2020, 31, 100357.
    22. Karam, S.; Nagahi, M.; Nick, V.L.D.; Ma, J.; Jaradat, R.; Hamilton, M. Integrating systems thinking skills with multi-criteria decision-making technology to recruit employee candidates. Expert Syst. Appl. 2020, 160, 113585.
    23. Leal Filho, W.; Skanavis, C.; Kounani, A.; Brandli, L.L.; Shiel, C.; do Paço, A.; Pace, P.; Mifsud, M.; Beynaghi, A.; Price, E.; et al. The role of planning in implementing sustainable development in a higher education context. J. Clean. Prod. 2019, 235, 678–687.
    24. Cebrián, G.; Grace, M.; Humphris, D. Academic staff engagement in education for sustainable development. J. Clean. Prod. 2015, 106, 79–86.
    25. Al-Zboon, E. Special Education Teacher Leadership in Jordan: Current State and Constraints. Societies 2016, 6, 19.
    26. Holm, T.; Vuorisalo, T.; Sammalisto, K. Integrated management systems for enhancing education for sustainable development in universities: A memetic approach. J. Clean. Prod. 2014, 106, 155–163.
    27. Ramos, T.B.; Caeiro, S.; van Hoof, B.; Lozano, R.; Huisingh, D.; Ceulemans, K. Experiences from the Implementation of Sustainable Development in Higher Education Institutions: Environmental Management for Sustainable Universities. J. Clean. Prod. 2015, 106, 3–10.
    28. Harris, A. Improving Schools through Teacher Leadership; no. 2001; McGraw-Hill Education: London, UK, 2002; ISBN 0335208827.
    29. Katzenmeyer, M.; Moller, G. Awakening the Sleeping Giant: Helping Teachers Develop as Leaders; Corwin Press: Thousand Oaks, CA, USA, 2009.
    30. Didham, R.J.; Ofei-Manu, P. Adaptive capacity as an educational goal to advance policy for integrating DRR into quality education for sustainable development. Int. J. Disaster Risk Reduct. 2020, 47, 101631.
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      Prabawani, B. Systems Thinking and Leadership of Teachers in ESD. Encyclopedia. Available online: https://encyclopedia.pub/entry/20686 (accessed on 06 February 2023).
      Prabawani B. Systems Thinking and Leadership of Teachers in ESD. Encyclopedia. Available at: https://encyclopedia.pub/entry/20686. Accessed February 06, 2023.
      Prabawani, Bulan. "Systems Thinking and Leadership of Teachers in ESD," Encyclopedia, https://encyclopedia.pub/entry/20686 (accessed February 06, 2023).
      Prabawani, B. (2022, March 17). Systems Thinking and Leadership of Teachers in ESD. In Encyclopedia. https://encyclopedia.pub/entry/20686
      Prabawani, Bulan. ''Systems Thinking and Leadership of Teachers in ESD.'' Encyclopedia. Web. 17 March, 2022.
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