Dr. M.C.P.J. (Marie-Christine) Knippels

Dr. M.C.P.J. (Marie-Christine) Knippels

Associate Professor
Science Education
Projects
Project
IMP>ACT : Impact assessment for action competence 01.01.2024 to 31.12.2027
General project description

IMP>ACT aims to better understand and provide recommendations on how to measure what learners actually learn in sustainability and climate change education (SCCE). Central to achieving this goal is the development and validation of the IMP>ACT assessment framework for users in policy and practice.

SCCE is still relatively new in the EU context. There is still a lack of understanding of what effective SCCE looks like and how its impact can be measured. As a result, an evidence base to inform decisions for further development of programs and policies is still lacking. Existing evidence is scattered across scientific fields and societal actors, often resulting in underutilised feedback loops between monitoring, evaluation and implementation. These gaps hinder effective policy making and achievement of SCCE learning outcomes.

At the core of the IMP>ACT assessment framework are the concepts of action competence (key observable learning outcome of SCCE) and action-orientation (key qualities of teaching, driving learning in SCCE). IMP>ACT will design and validate the framework in a usercentred, iterative approach through small-scale interventions, followed by six large-scale case studies, selected to cover the lifelong learning scope of SCCE. IMP>ACT brings together an interdisciplinary consortium with partners from SCCE research, policy and practice. In each country a national stakeholder group (35 committed organisations) actively co-develops and validates the IMP>ACT assessment framework, contributing to its validity and viability beyond the project’s lifetime.

The IMP>ACT assessment framework will allow designers and implementers of SCCE policies, curricula and practices to collect information on the impact they achieve, and as such drive improved feedback loops between research, policy and practice. This ensures that SCCE materials, tools, interventions, and curricula stay relevant, and leads to evidence-based quality improvement of SCCE policies and practices.

Role
Researcher
Funding
EU grant
External project members
  • Michiel van Harskamp
Project
Exploring Teachers' Assessment Practices in Education for Sustainability 01.09.2023 to 31.08.2028
General project description

In the wake of UNESCO’s Global Action Program on Education for Sustainable Development, sustainability competencies have come front and center in educational reforms across the globe. ESD aims to empower learners with the competence to take action toward sustainability, both at individual and collective level, in the private and public sphere. Pedagogical approaches that support teachers to implement education that can lead to this action outcome are being developed across Europe and beyond, with the Freudenthal Institute at Utrecht University taking a central position in leveraging the science curriculum towards ESD, specifically in secondary education.
 
Research on the professional development of teachers highlights that assessing the learning processes and outcomes of ESD is a key challenge. This is mirrored in the academic field as well, where the practice of measuring action competence as a learning outcome of education is still in its infancy. The challenge thus exists on both sides of the issue: within educational practice and within academia. Through transdisciplinary collaboration, this PhD project aims to move beyond the state of the art on both fronts. It aims to contribute to evidence informed assessment practices of ESD in secondary schools, as well as practice informed validation of measurements instrument in academia. The overall goal is thus twofold: to study and develop (formative and summative) ESD assessment practices of teachers, as well as strengthen the validity of research instruments. 

Role
Researcher
Funding
Utrecht University
Completed Projects
Project
Impactassessment in Sustainability and Climate Change Education (PtS seed funding for proposal development) 01.01.2023 to 30.04.2023
General project description

This project involves seed funding from the Pathways to Sustainability strategic theme to support the development of a proposal for a Horizon Europe RIA Call on the topic of impact assessment in sustainability and climate education.

Role
Researcher
Funding
Utrecht University
External project members
  • Michiel van Harskamp
Project
Scientific basis for a qualitative, effective and efficient follow-up of the operations of Duurzaam Educatiepunt 01.09.2022 to 30.09.2023
General project description

This project concerns the scientific basis for a qualitative, effective and efficient monitoring of the operations of Duurzaam Educatiepunt (the ESD hub of the Flemish government). This includes 3 educational programs: the EE program, eco-schools and eco-campus. Through these programs, Duurzaam Educatiepunt aims to contribute to increasing support and competences for sustainability among various target groups, including pupils, students and citizens. Promoting the quality and innovation of Education for Sustainable Development in Flanders and Dutch-language education is also an important objective.

The project leads to the scientific foundation of future policy choices regarding the educational activities of the Department of the Environment and its efforts to strengthen public support. The assignment will be carried out by a multidisciplinary team of researchers from three research institutes (KULeuven, UAntwerp and Utrecht University), each with strong complementary and relevant expertise on recent scientific developments in ESD and EE and other relevant sub-educations such as global citizenship education, active citizenship & diversity, cultural education. In addition, the consortium has a very broad research experience on complexity-oriented monitoring and evaluation methods, aiming for a 'mixed methods' approach.

Role
Researcher
Funding
External funding
External project members
  • Wanda Sass en Peter van Petegem (Universiteit Antwerpen)
  • Jan Van Ongevalle (KULeuven)