This thematic focus aims to conduct and promote academic research at the Master and Ph.D. level on key areas of ESD and ICT-enabled ESD. Currently, there is a number of M.A. and Ph.D. Theses completed and in progress.

Integrating the Theme of “Climate change” in the Greek Primary School Curriculum of Natural Studies, Environmental Studies and Mathematics with the Support of ICTs.

Level: Ph.D. Thesis
Research student: Golfo Kaliantzis
Scientific supervisor: Prof. Vassilios Makrakis
Status: In progress

This thesis deals with the integration of climate change in the primary school curricula of natural studies, environmental studies and mathematics through the support of ICTs. Within the scope of the thesis is to assess the level and depth of climate change in school curricula; identify gaps and develop Web-based inter/cross-disciplinary instructional material to fill the gaps and enrich the curriculum. The instructional material to be developed and assessed is expected to engage primary school learners in social activism and an exploration of the impacts of climate change on ecosystems and natural resources, on local community, and on individuals and global society. The focus of research methodology is on critical action research for a transformative climate change education and sustainable behavior change.

Design, Develop and Assess a Euro-Mediterranean Online ESD “Community of Practice” for Reforming Higher Education Curricula to Address Sustainable Development

Level: Ph.D. Thesis
Research student: Michael Klisarchakis
Scientific supervisor: Prof. Vassilios Makrakis
Status: Completed February 2015

This thesis seeks to develop a Euro-Mediterranean “community of practice” in Higher Education committed to the principles of sustainable development. In particular, it aims to design, develop and assess an online “community of practice” that goes beyond awareness raising to action competence and re-orienting higher education curricula and campus practices to address sustainability. The thesis is founded on a sound basis of merging theory and practice in higher education systems and constructivist web-based open and flexible learning management systems. It basically adopts participatory action research consisted of a corpus of academic staff coming from European and Mediterranean Universities.

The Teacher as a Change Agent: Development of an Online Problem-based Learning Environment for Health EducationLevel: Ph.D. Thesis

Level: Ph.D. Thesis
Research student: Nikos Dovros
Scientific supervisor: Prof. Vassilios Makrakis
Status: Completed June 2013

This Ph.D. thesis deals with the development and assessment of an online problem-based learning “community of practice” enriched with inter-disciplinary hypermedia-based instructional lessons on health education issues. Participatory action research is the research method adopted with two parallel action research teams working together in the prefectures of Rethymnon and Chania in the of Crete. The ultimate aim of the study is to provide sustained, reform-based professional development to guide teams of teachers through the process of creating and implementing interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary hypermedia-based learning interventions focusing on local environmental health issues for 5th-9th graders.

Alternative-Management-of-Solid-Waste-Educational-Process-and-New-Technologies

Level: Master Thesis
Research student: Panayiotis Marentakis
Scientific supervisor: Prof. Vassilios Makrakis
Status: Completed June 2009

This Master thesis dealt with the evaluation of an educational initiative carried out by the Municipality of Chania to infuse awareness and action towards recycling and reduction of solid waste. The study was implemented in all primary schools of the municipality, with specific reference to the 6th grade. The specific objectives of the study were: 1) to measure students’ level of awareness, knowledge and action towards solid waste reuse, reduction and recycle; 2) to identify the degree to which issues concerned with the alternative management of solid waste were integrated into educational processes and practices; and 3) to develop a WikiQuESD learning module for waste reuse, reduce and recycle.

Educational Robotics as a Tool for the Development of Technology Literacy, Problem Solving Skills and Environmental Awareness

Level: Master Thesis
Research student: Simos Anagnostakis
Scientific supervisor: Prof. Vassilios Makrakis
Status: In progress

This Master thesis aims at examining the potential of educational robotics to raising environmental awareness. More specifically, the objectives are: 1) the development of a teaching intervention with the use of educational robotics on issues pertaining to the environmental dimension of sustainable development; 2) the development of primary school learners’ technology literacy and their problem solving skills to environmental problems through constructing relevant robotic artifacts; and 3) the development of an online “learning community” platform which is expected to empower teachers’ professional development on the integration of educational robotics in the teaching and learning for sustainability.

Assessing the Impact of the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development on Teacher Education in Greece

Level: Ph.D. Thesis
Research student: George Markatatos
Scientific supervisor: Prof. Nelly Kostoulas
Status: In progress

One of the great challenges of ESD is to have student teachers able to infuse ESD in their teaching methods and practices. Accordingly, reorienting teacher education to address sustainability becomes of critical importance to reach this end. This thesis aims to investigate the influence of the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (DESD) (2005-2014) in the Primary Teacher Education in Greece with respect to: 1) the extent to which ESD is infused in study programs, course content and the didactic/epistemological approaches adopted and practiced by teaching staff; and 2) the development and assessment of student teachers’ competencies for ESD based on the domains of knowledge, systems thinking, emotions, ethics and values action.