Designing indicators and assessment tools for SDG Target 4.7: a critique of the current approach and a proposal for an ‘Inside-Out’ strategy

Target 4.7 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) calls on states to ensure, by 2030, that “all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development”. This paper
argues that the wording of this target holds three inherent problems, which, together with a commitment to using existing datasets to measure progress towards the SDGs, are resulting in indicators and assessment tools that are not fit for purpose. In response, an alternative “Inside-Out” design strategy is proposed, which is grounded in inductive, intersubjective and values-based approaches for designing indicators and assessment. The approach is elaborated, along with the ways in which it addresses the inherent problems of Target 4.7, its potential challenges, practicalities and caveats. A case study is provided, exemplifying how the “InsideOut” design is being applied to the Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) process being developed within the Transforming Education for Sustainable Futures (TESF) research and practice Network Plus.

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