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Investigating opportunities for Service Design in Education for Sustainable Development

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posted on 19.11.2014, 16:10 by Ksenija KuzminaKsenija Kuzmina
This research investigates opportunities for Service Design in Education. The focus is on a particular type of change happening within education that of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) where Service Design has little presence and limited knowledge. This research has been carried out through grounded theory and contextualised in English institutions of primary education. As a result it identified Service Design as an approach to enable transformational change within educational institutions that seek to move towards ESD. To establish the basis for the research, a literature review has been carried out on Service Design, the vision of ESD and its application in the context of English schools. As a result, Service Design capability to re-design services at organisational level was linked to the gap in normative re-educative change processes towards ESD in English schools. The rest of the research sought to build on these findings. In-depth case studies with five primary schools and a cross-case analysis have been carried out to establish an understanding of ESD change at organisational level. It focused on elements relevant to normative re-educative change processes, which included social and personal norms and values residing within organisational systems. From the case studies, principles, concepts and processes were identified that enabled schools to engage with ESD at the deepest level. The knowledge derived from the case studies was further developed in order to relate the ESD phenomenon to Service Design. Service thinking and organisational change theory were applied to develop a Sustainable Education as a Service Model (SES MODEL) to understand ESD as a phenomenon in a service system. A SES Model was presented back to Service Design community. The sense-making of ESD was undertaken with seven service design practitioners by conducting semi-structured interviews during which they explored the SES Model. The outcome of the interviews showed the model to build service designer s capacity to engage with ESD, while the use of the model showed that designers could envision using it at a normative re-educative change level. The research shows that ESD is a new concept, which is relevant to Service Design. It therefore offers opportunities for further service design research and practical applications.


Loughborough University



  • Design


© Ksenija Kuzmina

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This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at:

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A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.

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