Collaborative Research Centre 990: EFForTS

Project: Project Ö (PR) – Teacher education for society: Making EFForTS knowledge available for Indonesia (2020-2023)
Joint Project: Collaborative Research Centre 990: Ecological and Socioeconomic Functions of Tropical Lowland Rainforest Transformation Systems (Sumatra, Indonesia) (CRC990: EFForTS)
Funding: German Research Foundation (DFG, Project ID 192626868)
Project PI: Prof. Dr. Susanne Bögeholz
Counterparts: Dr. Leti Sundawati (IPB University, Bogor), Dr. Upik Yelianti (University of Jambi), Prof. Dr. I Nengah Suparta (Ganesha University of Education, Singaraja)
Project Scientist: Finn K. Matthiesen

The Collaborative Research Centre “EFForTS” – Ecological and Socioeconomic Functions of Tropical Lowland Rainforest Transformation Systems (Sumatra, Indonesia) investigates land-use change in Jambi Province. Land-use change from tropical rainforest towards oil palm plantations and rubber plantations has environmental and socioeconomic effects. Scientific knowledge on complex and controversial issues, as generated by EFForTS, has high relevance for informed decision-making concerning the environmental, economic, social, and political dimensions of sustainable development. Moreover, land-use (change) issues meet learning objectives regarding Sustainable Development Goals (e.g., SDG12-responsible consumption and production, SDG13-climate action, and SDG 15-life on land; UNESCO 2017, 2019).
EFForTS Public Relation (PR) project aims to make EFForTS knowledge available for society via teacher education and further higher education. We collaboratively design, evaluate, implement and disseminate evidence-based EFForTS educational resources as Open Educational Resources in English and Bahasa Indonesia.
Our EFForTS PR team – involving German and Indonesian research assistants and Master of Education teacher students – develops drafts of teaching and learning units on EFForTS research issues (modules with several linked sessions bases on EFForTS research). Then, the drafts are further developed in an iterative and collaborative design process together with international researchers and educators. The procedure aims to ensure research-oriented and high-quality educational resources on EFForTS issues, which meet the curricular needs of teacher education and other higher education, e.g., agroforestry education, at the same time.
In teacher education courses, EFForTS educational modules serve learners to gain background content knowledge for societal relevant teaching and learning with respect to Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). From a science education perspective, land-use change towards oil palm plantations and rubber plantations in Jambi can be classified as Socioscientific Issues (SSI; cf. Zeidler, 2014).
We develop teaching and learning units on, e.g., (i) sustainable oil palm management practices (focus: fertilizer and weeding), (ii) effects of palm-oil based Biodiesel, (iii) biodiversity across land-use types in Jambi, (iv) ecological restoration (tree-island enrichment) in oil palm plantation, and (v) effects of oil palm expansion on the livelihood of smallholders and welfare of villages. At the same time, we use these content knowledge units as a resource for a guided training of teacher students on improving their pedagogical content knowledge by designing SSI lessons (cf. Sadler et al. 2017) according to SSI education on EFForTS issues. The training serves to improve planning competencies for teaching and learning units of teacher students for SSI education (Nida et al., 2021; Zeidler et al., 2019), interdisciplinary teaching (Syahril, 2018) and Education for Sustainable Development Goals (UNESCO, 2017).

EFForTS Collaborative Design
Figure 1: Collaborative Design of “EFForTS-Education” (EFForTS educational resources).

The core of the design process and the PR Project is the so-called EFForTS Professional Learning Community (PLC), which consists of mainly Indonesian and German researchers and educators. It is a collaboration of international experts on exchanging knowledge to advise and support the design process of EFForTS educational resources. Working on teaching challenges and communal learning in groups are crucial factors to support change and innovation in the professional development of teacher education of teachers and teacher educators (Hadar & Brody 2018; cf. SDG 4-quality education in UNESCO, 2019). For science (teacher) education, the educational reconstruction of cutting-edge research in such a PLC seems to be a promising approach (cf. Parchmann et al., 2017), especially for local contexts. For the work in the PLC, there are different formats for the collaboration: plenary meetings, talks, and workshops, as well as topic-specific special interest groups and webinars for lecturers (“train-the-trainer”).
The Indonesian members of the EFForTS PLC come from eight institutions of four different islands. As multipliers, they can make EFForTS knowledge available and disseminate EFForTS educational resources to their institutions and national and international teacher and higher education networks.

Making EFForTS issues available for Indonesian teacher education on Sumatra, Java, Bali and Sulawesi.
Figure 2: Making EFForTS issues available for Indonesian teacher education on Sumatra, Java, Bali and Sulawesi.

For the evidence-based optimization of the educational resources, experts of the PLC and (teacher) students evaluate the educational resources formatively based on instructional design criteria. Furthermore, the accompanying research follows a mixed-methods approach triangulating analysis of documents and artefacts, questionnaires and interviews. Questionnaires comprise, e.g., interest in and self-rated knowledge on land-use change and sustainable development issues, as well as self-efficacy beliefs to teach SSI in the context of land-use change.
After conducted expert evaluation at the beginning of 2021, the first evaluations of EFForTS educational resources currently take place with biology teacher students on Sumatra and Bali: 95 teacher students (4th semester) in the Plant Physiology course at the University of Jambi (Sumatra) and 20 teacher students (8th semester) at the Ganesha University of Education, Singaraja (Bali) work on the designed self-learn module comprising several sessions on Sustainable Oil Palm Management. We combine an evaluation of the generation of situational interest working on each single session with a pretest before working on the module and a posttest after completing the whole work on the module. We used this combined approach to identify in which way interest on sessions on, e.g., “Oil Palm Plantations – How to Manage them?”, “Network of Relationships regarding Oil Palm Management Practices“, and “Ways towards Sustainable Oil Palm Management? The [EFForTS] OPMX” is triggered and maintained (cf. Linnenbrink-Garcia et al. , 2010) within the module and generated by the whole self-learn module on sustainable oil palm management (cf. Knekta et al., 2020).
In sum, EFForTS Public Relation (PR) project aims to make EFForTS knowledge available for teacher education and further higher education (in short-term), students at school (in mid-term), and the public (in long-term) nationally and globally via evidence-based Open Educational Resources.

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  • Nida, S., Mustikasari, V. R., & Eilks, I. (2021). Indonesian Pre-Service Science Teachers’ Views on Socio-Scientific Issues-Based Science Learning. Eurasia Journal of Mathematics, Science and Technology Education, 17(1), em1932. https://doi.org/10.29333/ejmste/9573
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  • UNESCO. (2017). Education for sustainable development goals: Learning objectives. https://www. unesco.de/sites/default/files/2018-08/unesco_education_for_sustainable_development_goals.pdf
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Poster presentations of the EFForTS PR Project:
  • Matthiesen, F. K., & Bögeholz, S. (2020). EFForTS-Education – Knowledge Transfer regarding Research on Tropical Lowland Rainforest Transformation Systems into Indonesian Teacher Education. Tropentag 2020. A Virtual Conference. ATSAF e.V. Germany. 09.09.-11.09.2020. (Abstract: https://www.tropentag.de/2020/abstracts/links/Matthiesen_xwNp8RPD.pdf)
  • Matthiesen, F. K., Müller, T., Buchori, D., & Bögeholz, S. (2019). Integrating Land Use Change Issues into Indonesian Teacher Education – Transfer of Knowledge gained by EFForTS. 21. Internationale Frühjahrsschule der Fachsektion Didaktik der Biologie, 18.03.-21.03.2019. Bonn. (Abstract: https://www.fjs2019.uni-bonn.de/beitraege/tagungsband-fjs-2019.pdf)