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Engaging teacher educators with the sustainability agenda: A case study of a pilot professional development program from Ethiopia

Addise Amado (Department of Development and Communications, Ethiopian Graduate School of Theology, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia)
Aklilu Dalelo (Ethiopian Graduate School of Theology (EGST), Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and College of Education and Behavioural Studies, Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia)
Maik Adomßent (Institute for Environmental and Sustainability Communication, Leuphana University of Lüneburg, Lüneburg, Germany)
Daniel Fischer (Institute for Environmental and Sustainability Communication, Leuphana University of Lüneburg, Lüneburg, Germany)

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education

ISSN: 1467-6370

Article publication date: 3 July 2017

Abstract

Purpose

There is broad consensus that the implementation of education for sustainable development (ESD) requires the consideration of geographical and cultural contexts. Despite such an agreement at a theoretical level, there is so far an apparent lack of practical experiences and solid research on approaches that effectively manage to engage professional educators in higher education with ESD in the context of a developing country from the Global South. This paper aims to address this gap and present a case study from a pilot professional development program (PDP) that sought to implement and mainstream ESD among Ethiopian colleges of teacher education (CTEs) and theological seminaries (TSs).

Design/methodology/approach

The research presented is based on the methodology of evaluative case study research in ESD. It analyzes the PDP’s specific objectives with regard to capacity and structure building, describes major activities implemented and how these relate to the objectives and explores major outcomes of the PDP.

Findings

The paper presents a comprehensive training curriculum aimed at addressing ESD in Ethiopian CTEs and TSs in a whole-institution approach. Results suggest that the PDP’s approach to combine human capacity and institutional structure building was effective in supporting the implementation and mainstreaming of ESD in CTEs and TSs in Ethiopia.

Originality/value

This case study presents original research on a pilot Ethiopian PDP that was implemented in collaboration with two academic institutions from Ethiopia and Germany.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The development and implementation of the PDP was supported by Alexander von Humboldt-Foundation. The authors would like to thank two anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments on an earlier version of the manuscript and Teresa Ruckelshauß for her support in the process of revising the paper.

Citation

Amado, A., Dalelo, A., Adomßent, M. and Fischer, D. (2017), "Engaging teacher educators with the sustainability agenda: A case study of a pilot professional development program from Ethiopia", International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, Vol. 18 No. 5, pp. 715-737. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJSHE-02-2016-0029

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited