In order to develop learning interventions that can scale, they need to be rock-solid. This is why we opt for an approach that is rigorously research-based: embedded in scientific studies and reported in peer-reviewed journals. Below you can read more about the studies that undergird our learning tools and interventions.
The development of the ‘Worldview Test’
The Worldview Test is based on academic research, reported in this article, published in the Journal of Environmental Science and Policy. With this study an important step has been taken toward the development of a valid, reliable worldview-instrument.
In this study, two different approaches to studying worldviews have been creatively combined.
Philosophers and historians have often explored worldviews in a more analytical and speculative fashion, attempting to distill the metaphysical underpinnings of our collective thinking. They forged an understanding of the general thrust of the historical-developmental trajectory of cultural epochs in the West, distinguishing between fundamentally different perspectives or Zeitgeist’s.
Social scientists often took a more empirical, quantitative approach, developing research scales and surveys to question different populations about their beliefs and values, frequently using statistics to reveal overarching patterns in meaning-making.
The Worldview Test combines these approaches. On the one hand, it is grounded in a qualitative understanding of the historical thrust of evolving worldviews in the West, distinguishing between traditional, modern, postmodern, and integrative worldviews.
Simultaneously, it bridges to more quantitative, social science approaches by developing short, relatively simple statements that answer the existential or ‘Big Questions’ that each worldview give answers to.
The survey resulting from this approach enables us to investigate these worldviews empirically, and establish overarching patterns. Using this approach, we found four worldviews with a reasonable degree of reliability, as well as consistent relationships between these worldviews and opinions, political priorities, and behaviors.
However, there are, limitations to this kind of quantitative study, as well as avenues for improvement for future research. For one, language brings complications, as the same term can have different meanings in different cultural contexts. Pilot-research aimed at culturally sensitive language-testing and refinement could help overcome this. Explorations of how the worldview-test can be translated to in particular non-Western cultural contexts would also be highly useful.
This test is the outcome of Annick de Witt’s 7 years of researching worldviews, in relation to sustainability issues, and writing her dissertation in this field.
Educational Design Research
Our interventions are designed using Educational Design Research – a genre of research in which the iterative development of solutions to practical and complex educational problems provides the setting for scientific inquiry.