Development and Evaluation of an Educational Concept for Sustainable Mobility at Primary Schools.

How can we contribute to the further development of mobility education towards a more comprehensive and transformative approach?

Referring to the SDGs of the United Nations (UN, 2015), “Rethinking Environment“ and thus an ecological transformation of society presupposes Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) at schools. This necessity concerns, among other topics, the field of mobility, in which educational research and concrete educational concepts are still rare (Spitta, 2015). Primary schools mainly focus on traditional road safety education (Mödl, 2020).  A more comprehensive mobility education – including a look at human-environment interactions and one’s behavior (GDSU, 2013) – is rarely implemented.

Therefore, the project wants to examine how an educational concept for primary schools in sustainable mobility needs to be designed to initiate and change students’ ways of thinking and acting. The aim is to develop a concept for mobility education in primary schools and empirically investigate and evaluate its implementation using Design-Based Research (DBR) as a methodological framework. In doing so, the approach also contributes to the clarification of design principles of transformative learning.

In the first step, design principles are derived from relevant theoretical and empirical research findings on sustainable mobility, mobility practices, transformative learning, and (geography) didactics. In designing the educational concept, motivational approaches such as experiential and inquiry-based learning and participatory planning will be used to initiate reflective processes of opinion-forming and to raise awareness of opportunities for participation for individuals. Based on the accompanying research, the concept will be redesigned and modified for the second implementation.

Elisabeth Schuster is a Ph.D. student at the Wissenschaftszentrum Umwelt, Augsburg University. Contact: