Introduction to special issue: Learning assessments for sustainability? Exploring the interaction between two global movements

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The aim of this special issue, “Learning Assessments for Sustainability?”, is to examine the interaction between the environmental and sustainability education (ESE) movement and the international large-scale assessments (ILSAs) movement. Both global educational movements emerged in the 1960s and their simultaneous work have affected each other since then. While the articles in this special issue highlight the potential benefits of ILSAs as a source of data for secondary analysis, they also demonstrate the limitations of ILSAs and their negative consequences to ESE. As such, we call for more research on the interaction between ESE and ILSAs and for a serious consideration of how test-based accountability practices might work against meaningful engagement with ESE. This introductory article includes three sections. The first section provides context about the movements. The second section presents an overview of the articles and alternative ways for reading them. The third section discusses lessons learned from the collection of articles. We conclude with a call for further research and reflection.


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How to Cite
Pizmony-Levy, O., & Gan, D. (2021). Introduction to special issue: Learning assessments for sustainability? Exploring the interaction between two global movements. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 29(August - December), 121.
Learning Assessments for Sustainability?
Author Biographies

Oren Pizmony-Levy, Teachers College, Columbia University

Oren Pizmony-Levy, Ph.D., is an associate professor in the Department of International and Transcultural Studies at Teachers College, Columbia University. He holds a PhD in sociology and comparative and international education from Indiana University-Bloomington. His scholarship focuses on the intersection between education and social movements. Through diverse set of research methods, he studies the roots and impact of global educational movements – including international large-scale assessments, environmental and sustainability education, and LGBT education. He is the founding director of the Center for Sustainable Futures and a co-leader of the New York City Partnership for Sustainability Education, a research-practice partnership between the Department of Education and the Center.

Dafna Gan, Kibbutzim College of Education, Technology, and the Arts

Dr. Gan, Ed.D., an environmental and sustainability education researcher and lecturer at the Kibbutzim College of Education, Technology, and the Arts, Israel. She is the program director of the Environmental Education Master program at the science department. Her research focuses on environmental and sustainability education, multicultural education, transformative learning, leadership in higher education and non-governmental sustainability organizations. Her academic practices are devoted to sustainability implementation in both the college sector and in the educational system in Israel. She is the founder and director of the Center for Sustainability Education - Integrating Environmental Educational Research, and Practice.