Education for sustainable development in Norway : calling for a whole institution approach
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Sustainable Development is appointed as one of three interdisciplinary topics currently guiding Norway’s national curricula renewal, thus establishing a need for research concerning Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) in Norway. The Whole Institution Approach (WIA), a holistic integrated approach known for effective implementation of ESD, is adopted as an academic and policy lens, through which ESD-practices at a case study upper-secondary school are explored and benchmarked against. Through this Whole Institution Approach lens an analytical framework collating multiple policy, practitioner and academic perspectives of ESD is obtained; whereby the case study school’s current ESD-practices are explored and numerous key barriers and leverage points identified. The findings conclude that while ESD features as a dominant vision within the case study school, the school’s capacity for ESD to be taught holistically and integrated throughout the whole school is limited. One of the key leverages identified for implementing ESD-practises more effectively is for school leaders, managers and the national curriculum to take a leading role in ESD to ensure the necessary support and accountability is in place. This thesis argues that Norway possesses the means to be at the forefront of advancing ESD, in terms of leading education reform and transformation, and by increasing their contribution to the international ESD research and policy fields. This thesis calls for the Whole Institution Approach to be considered as a way to support the advancement of future ESD policy, research and practice in Norway, and for ESD to be prioritised as a central tool both within and beyond formal education.