SysKo-BNE – Measuring System Competence as an Indicator in the Field Of Education for Sustainable Development

The aim of the SysKo-BNE project is to develop an indicator of system competence in the field of education for sustainable development.

Project Description

Global society is facing major challenges such as climate change, scarcity of resources or social inequality. In their Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the United Nations have described the goals that need to be addressed in order to face these challenges. In this process, education for sustainable development (ESD) can be a driving force. ESD aims at developing competencies that empower individuals to reflect on their own actions, taking into account the current and future local and global impacts of these actions, and to act in the sense of social, environmental and economic sustainability (UNESCO, 2017). Such reflection and corresponding actions are only possible if individuals have a sufficiently pronounced system competence. The latter refers to the ability to understand a complex system in which social and natural as well as local and global aspects are intertwined and to make forecasts and take measures for system use and regulation.

In the framework of this project, an indicator will be developed to assess students’ system competence in grade 9. It should be a compact and easy- to -use test instrument which nonetheless assesses system competence in the context of ESD validly and reliably. The instrument should contribute to validating the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals formulated in Agenda 2030 with regard to Objective 4.7 – Education for Sustainable Development.

Project Objectives

The overall objective of the project (i.e. the design of an instrument to measure system competence in the field of ESD)  is targeted as follows:

  1. Development of items in the sense of different levels of socio-ecological system understanding for different ESD themes as well as qualitative and quantitative piloting
  2. calibration of the items in order to derive a basis for a criterion-oriented interpretation of the test
  3. production of the final test, i.e. the compilation of the instrument, comprehensive documentation and preparation of accompanying scientific publications



National: Justus Liebig University, Giessen

Project Management

Project Details

Completed Projects
Area of Focus Differential Educational Conditions and Educational Trajectories
Department: Teacher and Teaching Quality
02/2019 – 06/2022
External funding