Change search
Link to record
Permanent link

Direct link
BETA
Publications (10 of 22) Show all publications
Christenson, N. (2019). Teacher Education and Anthropocene. In: : . Paper presented at ESERA 2019, European Science Education Research Association 26-30 Aug Bologna Italy.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Teacher Education and Anthropocene
2019 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Education in general and teacher education in particular is believed to play a key role for a sustainable world. In recent years, there has been discussion on the need to reorient teacher education towards sustainable development. These discussions elucidated that teacher education is no longer about just a mastery of content knowledge and skill in a particular discipline that one is trained for, and necessitates the need for the development of key competences and skills. Yet it is not well documented how teacher education programmes in different nations have successfully transformed and integrated sustainable development into the core of teacher education programmes. What can teacher education contribute in terms of providing directions to rethink humans’ relationship with the planet in today’s Anthropocene era? What kind of (fresh) approach to teacher education is required in the Anthropocene/in 21stcentury? How can teacher education responds/is responding to the challenges posed by the Anthropocene? The discussion is anchored around two particular teacher training programmes, i.e. primary school teacher training at the University of Gothenburg and Karlstad University, and presented as a comparison format. Both of these programmes includes one single objective related to sustainable development in thestudy plan for teacher education for primary school respectively. During the fourth semester students can choose one specialization and in two of these, technology and natural sciences and the specialization for social sciences includes one course objective dealing with sustainability perspectives respectively. We conclude that sustainability perspectives are very limited during all of the courses for future primary teachers at both Karlstad University and the University of Gothenburg.

Abstract [en]

Education in general and teacher education in particular is believed to play a key role for a sustainable world. In recent years, there has been discussion on the need to reorient teacher education towards sustainable development. These discussions elucidated that teacher education is no longer about just a mastery of content knowledge and skill in a particular discipline that one is trained for, and necessitates the need for the development of key competences and skills. Some of these competences includes: understanding change, complexity and transitions; dealing with values, ethics and moral dilemmas; building agency and transformative capacity; utilizing diversity, uncertainty and dissonance; and boundary crossing, systems thinking and connectivism (Wals, 2014). Yet it is not well documented how teacher education programmes in different nations have successfully transformed and integrated sustainable development into the core of teacher education programmes.

 

While the integration of sustainable development into teacher education is still in question, the contemporary Anthropocene era adds another layer of complexity to the problem. The Anthropocene refers to the new geological epoch which signals human’s consumptive and destructive behavior putting significant impact on global climate and ecosystems (Crutzen and Stoermer, 2000). The notion of Anthropocene puts human in a new position (entangled with nature) and calls for a rethinking of knowledge, skills and value are required to live in the new era. Many scholars argue that the knowledge structure in modern teacher education is anthropocentric, and hence built on humans-nature binary. In doing so, the concept on Anthropocene urges us to question the implicit division between society and nature embedded within sustainable development discourse, and hence calls for rethinking its meaning (Johnson and Villumsen, 2018) and attributed ethical implications. Drawing on the urge from Anthropocene, this paper argues for the need to rethink teacher education in light of the change (in value, knowledge and skills) the Anthropocene is calling for. 

 

Aim

Anthropocene poses challenges for education which require significant changes of practice in schools and universities, and thus to teacher education. Yet, the relationship between Anthropocene and teacher education, remains a less explored topic. Among others, this paper addresses the following questions. What can teacher education contribute in terms of providing directions to rethink humans’ relationship with the planet in today’s Anthropocene era? What kind of (fresh) approach to teacher education is required in the Anthropocene/in 21stcentury? How can teacher education responds/is responding to the challenges posed by the Anthropocene? 

 

The discussion is anchored around two particular teacher training programmes, i.e. primary school teacher training at the University of Gothenburg and Karlstad University, and presented as a comparison format. The different competences, skills and values promoted in these two programmes and how they prepare future teachers to deal with Anthropocene challenges will be the focus of analysis. The overriding goals in the graduate profile of these two programmes will serve as a point of departure for the analysis and discussion. 

 

Comparison of two primary education programmes

Reviewing the teacher programme at Karlstad University for primary education, year 4-6, it is clear that SD perspective is relatively absent. In the study plan for teacher education for primary school (years 0-3 and 4-6) one of the learning outcome requirements is related to sustainable development stating that students should be able to demonstrate the ability to make assessments of educational processes on the basis of relevant scientific, social and ethical aspects with special consideration of human rights, especially children’s rights according to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and sustainable development. This exact statement can also be found in the same document regarding teacher programme for primary education at the University of Gothenburg.

 

Moreover, in a review of all the steering documents for all the courses included in the year 4-6 programme at Karlstad University, it is shown that it is only in semester 4 (out of 8) sustainable development is included. During the fourth semester the students can choose to take one out of four specializations (30 credits); music, arts, social science oriented subjects or natural science oriented subjects. In music SD can be found in one of the courses objectives as well as in one of the social science subjects – geography. In the course regarding the natural science subjects SD can be found within the objectives in biology. At the University of Gothenburg the teacher student can choose one of five specializations in their fourth semester. In two of these, technology and natural sciences and the specialization for social sciences includes one course objective dealing with sustainability perspectives respectively. We conclude that sustainability perspectives are very limited during all of the courses for future primary teachers at both Karlstad University and the University of Gothenburg.

 

Due to the aforementioned very limited focus on sustainable development in teacher education at Karlstad University, the teacher education board recently decided on a new policy regarding these issues. According to this policy, all subjects that are included and compassing at least 30 credits should include at least one objective related to sustainable development. However, the main responsibility for including these perspectives are given to the general education core courses which are courses common for all students of the program regardless of their subject specialization. The conclusion is that the focus on sustainable development will increase but a concern remain about how the courses and subjects will have the opportunity to coordinate their work. In addition, no time schedule of the implementation process of the new policy has been decided on. How and when these issues will be addressed at the teacher education programmes at the University of Gothenburg is still unknown. 

 

Discussion

Although, as stated earlier, education and consequently teacher education, is considered playing a key role in implementing the perspectives and notion of sustainable development, we can conclude that in our investigation of two large teacher education programmes in Sweden, these perspectives are seldom occurring. The discussion on how to rethink and remodel teacher education in light of the change (in value, knowledge and skills) the Anthropocene is calling for needs to be emphasized and given more attention.

 

References

Wals, A. E. (2014). Sustainability in higher education in the context of the UN DESD: a review of learning and institutionalization processes. Journal of Cleaner Production, 62, 8-15.

Crutzen, P.J., and Stoermer E.F. (2000). The Anthropocene. Global Change Newsletter 41: 17-18. 

Johnson, B., and Villumsen, G. (2018). Environmental aspects of natural resources intensive development: the case of agriculture. Innovation and Development, 8, 167-188.

National Category
Other Social Sciences
Research subject
Geography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-74939 (URN)
Conference
ESERA 2019, European Science Education Research Association 26-30 Aug Bologna Italy
Available from: 2019-10-01 Created: 2019-10-01 Last updated: 2019-11-14Bibliographically approved
Christenson, N. (2019). Teaching climate change: Teachers views, methods and good examples. In: : . Paper presented at AAG (American Association of Geographers) i Washington DC, USA 2-6/4, 2019..
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Teaching climate change: Teachers views, methods and good examples
2019 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Teaching climate change, teachers views, methods and good examples

Climate change (CC) is one of the greatest challenges facing humanity and it is of great importance that education enables students with the knowledge and skills needed for making informed and evidence-based decisions. In this pilot study we examine teachers methods and views of teaching CC. A survey included questions about the teachers’ experience of teaching the topic of climate change and their views on teaching this specific content was distributed to 84 secondary teachers. 28% of the teachers consider geography to be the subject most responsible for teaching CC, 77% report that the aim is to teach the pupils an environmentally friendly behavior. The most used teaching methods are teachers lecturing (used by 89% of the teachers), group discussions (87%) and teacher moderated whole class debates (55%). 44% reported that they have sufficient knowledge for teaching CC, 26% feel that they have enough knowledge about howto teach CC but only 12% believe they have enough time for their teaching. Although CC is perceived as an interdisciplinary issue, relatively few of the teachers reportedly use interdisciplinary work. Both the high level of lecturing and lack of interdisciplinary work can be an consequence of a (over) loaded curriculum. To cooperate with other subjects can be difficult, often the subjects are not only separated by time (different schedules) but also in space (different classrooms). We conclude by giving examples of innovative ways of facing the challenge of teaching CC using innovative pedagogical tools.

National Category
Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Risk and Environmental Studies; Geography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-71826 (URN)
Conference
AAG (American Association of Geographers) i Washington DC, USA 2-6/4, 2019.
Available from: 2019-04-12 Created: 2019-04-12 Last updated: 2019-04-25Bibliographically approved
Christenson, N. & Hindersson, E. (2019). Teaching climate change, teachers views, methods and good examples. In: : . Paper presented at AAG, American Association of Geographers, WASHINGTON, DC April 3 - April 7.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Teaching climate change, teachers views, methods and good examples
2019 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Climate change (CC) is one of the greatest challenges facing humanity and it is of great importance that education enables students with the knowledge and skills needed for making informed and evidence-based decisions. In this pilot study we examine teachers methods and views of teaching CC. A survey included questions about the teachers’ experience of teaching the topic of climate change and their views on teaching this specific content was distributed to 84 secondary teachers. 28% of the teachers consider geography to be the subject most responsible for teaching CC, 77% report that the aim is to teach the pupils an environmentally friendly behavior. The most used teaching methods are teachers lecturing (used by 89% of the teachers), group discussions (87%) and teacher moderated whole class debates (55%). 44% reported that they have sufficient knowledge for teaching CC, 26% feel that they have enough knowledge about howto teach CC but only 12% believe they have enough time for their teaching. Although CC is perceived as an interdisciplinary issue, relatively few of the teachers reportedly use interdisciplinary work. Both the high level of lecturing and lack of interdisciplinary work can be an consequence of a (over) loaded curriculum. To cooperate with other subjects can be difficult, often the subjects are not only separated by time (different schedules) but also in space (different classrooms). We conclude by giving examples of innovative ways of facing the challenge of teaching CC using innovative pedagogical tools.

National Category
Social Sciences Physical Geography
Research subject
Geography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-74938 (URN)
Conference
AAG, American Association of Geographers, WASHINGTON, DC April 3 - April 7
Available from: 2019-10-01 Created: 2019-10-01 Last updated: 2019-11-14Bibliographically approved
Christenson, N. (2018). Geography teacher students’ discussions when playing a spatial planning game with focus on sustainable urban planning.. In: : . Paper presented at AAG (American Association of Geographers) i New Orleans, USA 10-14/4, 2018..
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Geography teacher students’ discussions when playing a spatial planning game with focus on sustainable urban planning.
2018 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Previous research has shown that games can facilitate learning of complex processes. This study investigates future geography teachers’ arguments when playing an urban spatial planning game. The game consists of a mat where small models represents residential buildings, institutions such as schools, hospital, police etcetera in a flood-prone area. A play master gives instructions to plan and develop the city. The game has a turning point, the city is exposed to severe flooding and afterwards the students are asked how to rearrange the city to become more resilient. The research questions include; when playing the game – A) what aspects does the students include when planning an urban area? B) what risks does the students identify? C) what preventive actions in order to increase the city’s resilience does the students identify after playing the game? A total of seven students participated in this study, all of whom studying to become upper secondary geography teachers. The game lasted for 40 minutes, was video recorded and transcribed. The inductive analysis focused on what aspects students considered in planning a city, both before and after the flooding for example to build further away from water and increase green areas, as well as what risks the students could identify. The results indicate that this type of game induce the students to, in a social setting, discuss and develop their understanding of sustainable urban planning and that this can be a valuable tool, both in school but also at the university level. 

National Category
Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Geography; Risk and Environmental Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-71827 (URN)
Conference
AAG (American Association of Geographers) i New Orleans, USA 10-14/4, 2018.
Available from: 2019-04-12 Created: 2019-04-12 Last updated: 2019-04-25Bibliographically approved
Christenson, N., Koivisto, J., Persson, E., Hindersson, E., Gustafsson, K. & Pettersson, A. (2018). Riskville – A game for learning about disaster risks and urban planning. International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters, 36(3), 238-246
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Riskville – A game for learning about disaster risks and urban planning
Show others...
2018 (English)In: International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters, ISSN 0280-7270, Vol. 36, no 3, p. 238-246Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Education plays a key role in disaster risk reduction (DRR) and in creating resilient societies worldwide by disseminating information about risks and in improving people’s risk awareness. This, in turn, helps them to prepare, cope with and recover from possible disaster events, hence making the societies more resilient. This paper shortly presents the theoretical background and the rules of the game Riskville where the participants get to experience in a hands-on manner the connections and conflicts between urban planning, different interests and climate related risks. We conclude that Riskville promotes discussions on different perspectives on disaster risk and resilience and approaches in including them into urban planning.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Colorado Springs, CO: International Research Committee on Sociology of Disasters; International Sociological Association, 2018
Keywords
Risk, urban planning, higher education, disaster risk reduction, resilience
National Category
Social and Economic Geography
Research subject
Risk and Environmental Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-71825 (URN)
Available from: 2019-04-12 Created: 2019-04-12 Last updated: 2019-04-29Bibliographically approved
Christenson, N. & Gericke, N. (2018). Teaching sustainability using a spatial planning game – Risk Ville. In: : . Paper presented at 2018 Sweden-Norway-South Africa joint workshop on Collaboration in Science and Technology Teacher Education in The Anthropocene, Gothenburg, Sweden, 9 – 12th of August..
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Teaching sustainability using a spatial planning game – Risk Ville
2018 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Climate change is one of the greatest contemporary challenges facing humanity and consequently weneed to equip science teacher students with knowledge and understanding of the causes andconsequences of a changing climate. Societies resilience depends on its citizens’ capability to respondto risks. It is through education that learners can be subject to the responsibility of reacting to challengingsocial issues in connection to risks, e.g. associated with a changing climate, which is linked to responsible citizenship. Hence, education is a key component in the important work of transfer of risk knowledge andrisk reduction.At the Center for Climate and Safety at Karlstad University, Sweden, we use a game, Risk Ville, forlearning about issues related to building societies resilient to risks related to climate change. We use thisgame in teacher education to illustrate the complexity and promote discussions on how to handle theconsequences of a changing climate. In an ongoing research project, we investigate the potential forlearning about risks and sustainable community planning in relation to climate related hazards (e.g.flooding) when teacher students are playing Risk Ville by analyzing the students discourse. Preliminaryfindings show that the teacher students are using a wide range of different resources of knowledge butalso that values paly a large role their decision making when playing the game.

National Category
Educational Sciences Biological Sciences
Research subject
Biology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-75294 (URN)
Conference
2018 Sweden-Norway-South Africa joint workshop on Collaboration in Science and Technology Teacher Education in The Anthropocene, Gothenburg, Sweden, 9 – 12th of August.
Available from: 2019-10-14 Created: 2019-10-14 Last updated: 2019-10-22Bibliographically approved
Christenson, N., Gericke, N. & Rundgren, S.-N. C. (2017). Science and language teachers' assessment of upper secondary students' socioscientific argumentation. International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 15(8), 1403-1422
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Science and language teachers' assessment of upper secondary students' socioscientific argumentation
2017 (English)In: International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, ISSN 1571-0068, E-ISSN 1573-1774, Vol. 15, no 8, p. 1403-1422Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Researchers and policy-makers have recognized the importance of including and promoting socioscientific argumentation in science education worldwide. The Swedish curriculum focuses more than ever on socioscientific issues (SSI) as well. However, teaching socioscientific argumentation is not an easy task for science teachers and one of the more distinguished difficulties is the assessment of students’ performance. In this study, we investigate and compare how science and Swedish language teachers, participating in an SSI-driven project, assessed students’ written argumentation about global warming. Swedish language teachers have a long history of teaching and assessing argumentation and therefore it was of interest to identify possible gaps between the two groups of teachers’ assessment practices. The results showed that the science teachers focused on students’ content knowledge within their subjects, whereas the Swedish language teachers included students’ abilities to select and use content knowledge from reliable reference resources, the structure of the argumentation and the form of language used. Since the Swedish language teachers’ assessment correlated more with previous research about quality in socioscientific argumentation, we suggest that a closer co-operation between the two groups could be beneficial in terms of enhancing the quality of assessment. Moreover, SSI teaching and learning as well as assessment of socioscientific argumentation ought to be included in teacher training programs for both pre- and in-service science teachers.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2017
Keywords
Assessment, Socioscientific argumentation, Socioscientific issues, Upper secondary teachers
National Category
Educational Sciences Biological Sciences
Research subject
Biology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-45719 (URN)10.1007/s10763-016-9746-6 (DOI)000415821100002 ()
Available from: 2016-09-05 Created: 2016-09-05 Last updated: 2019-10-28Bibliographically approved
Christenson, N. (2016). A Framework for Assessment of Socioscientific Argumentation. In: : . Paper presented at EASE (International Conference of East-Asia Association for Science Education),26-28 augusti Tokyo 2016..
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A Framework for Assessment of Socioscientific Argumentation
2016 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation only (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

A framework for assessment of socio-scientific argumentation

The ability to produce a convincing argument with evidence to support a claim is important for participants in a democratic society. Research on students’ argumentation and reasoning on socio-scientific issues (SSI) has been extensive over the past decades due to its importance in science education. SSI provide a context where students can engage in reasoning and argumentation that involves the generation and evaluation of positions in response to complex issues which often lack definite solutions and have links to science and implications in society.

Research includes a great variety among the analytical frameworks that have been developed to study students’ arguments. Most of these frameworks focus on either the structure of the argument or the content and are hard to use due to its complexity and in some cases more suitable to scientific argumentation rather than informal argumentation on SSI. Consequently, there is a need for frameworks that analyze the overarching patterns of socio-scientific arguments related to both the content as well as the structure. Accordingly, this framework should not be too complicated in its organization but possible to be used for assessment purposes for teachers as well as students own practice in order to improve their argumentation.

Consequently, the aim of this research is to present a new analytical framework with focus on content, structure and the nature of the justifications that can be applied on socio-scientific argumentation. This framework is presented by applying it to authentic grade 12-students’ written arguments on a SSI about genetically modified organisms (GMO).

There are two main components relating to the structural aspects: claim (decision) and justification (with pros and cons). Justification is defined as a combination of data, warrant and backings. The justification(s) that the arguers state in favor of their own claims are the pros and the justification(s) the arguers state against their own claims are the cons. Moreover, the justification can consist of value-laden statements when the arguers express their values on the issue and/or knowledge based statements when the arguers use conceptual knowledge to support their claims (and the content in the pros and cons are part of the content aspects, se below).

The content aspect (knowledge) in the justifications (can be both pros or cons) is presented as different subjects that are based on the conceptual knowledge linked to a specific field or discipline such as politics, chemistry, economy etc. that arguers use in their justifications.

Clearly, it is of great importance that the conceptual knowledge is relevant and scientifically correct, and this is why an explicit category about the conceptual knowledge is added to the framework:

  1. Correct and relevant content knowledge included
  2. Non-specific general knowledge (not directly related to the issue/focus)
  3. Incorrect content knowledge included (misconception or superficial scientific knowledge)

This framework explicitly includes bot the structural and the content parts of a valid argument and will be fruitful both for future research on informal SSI-argumentation as well as in science education where the framework can be used as a tool assessing arguments considering both structure and content and consequently to assess the arguments as a whole.

 

National Category
Didactics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-64374 (URN)
Conference
EASE (International Conference of East-Asia Association for Science Education),26-28 augusti Tokyo 2016.
Available from: 2017-09-29 Created: 2017-09-29 Last updated: 2019-10-21Bibliographically approved
Lundström, M., Stolpe, K. & Christenson, N. (2016). Once again? - How an upcoming vaccination debate is portrayed in (Swedish) media. In: : . Paper presented at ERIDOB 2016, 5-9 September, (European Researchers in Didactics of Biology).
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Once again? - How an upcoming vaccination debate is portrayed in (Swedish) media
2016 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation only (Refereed)
Keywords
Content analysis, HPV, Media report, Risk, Side effect, Vaccination
National Category
Didactics
Research subject
Biology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-64373 (URN)
Conference
ERIDOB 2016, 5-9 September, (European Researchers in Didactics of Biology)
Available from: 2017-09-29 Created: 2017-09-29 Last updated: 2019-10-21Bibliographically approved
Christenson, N., Gericke, N. & Rundgren, S.-N. C. (2015). Science and Swedish language teachers’ assessment of upper secondary students’ socioscientific argumentation. In: : . Paper presented at ASERA 2015 (Australasian Science Education Research Association Conference).
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Science and Swedish language teachers’ assessment of upper secondary students’ socioscientific argumentation
2015 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation only (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The Swedish curricula, as well as researchers and policy makers worldwide, have recognized the importance of promoting and including sociscientific argumentation in science education to promote scientific literacy. However, to teach socioscientific argumentation in not an easy task for science teachers and among the difficulties is the assessment practice. In this small-scale qualitative study, we have, investigated and compared how science and Swedish language teachers, participating in a SSI-driven project, assess students’ written argumentation about Global warming. The Swedish language teachers have a long tradition of teaching and assessing argumentation and therefore it is of interest to identify possible gaps between these two groups. The results indicate that the science teachers focus on students’ ability to reproduce content knowledge within their respective subject that they have been teaching. The Swedish language teachers include students’ abilities to select and use content knowledge from trustable reference resources, in addition to the structure of the argumentation and the form of the language used. In fact, the Swedish language teachers’ assessment correlates more to previous research about quality in socioscientific argumentation and we suggest that a closer co-operation between these two groups can be beneficial to enhance the quality of assessing students’ socioscientific argumentation.

National Category
Didactics
Research subject
Educational Work
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-64372 (URN)
Conference
ASERA 2015 (Australasian Science Education Research Association Conference)
Available from: 2017-09-29 Created: 2017-09-29 Last updated: 2019-10-28Bibliographically approved
Organisations
Identifiers
ORCID iD: ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0003-4306-8278

Search in DiVA

Show all publications