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Olsson, D., Gericke, N., Boeve-de Pauw, J., Berglund, T. & Chang, T. (2019). Green Schools in Taiwan: Effects on Student Sustainability Consciousness. Global Environmental Change, 54, 184-194
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Green Schools in Taiwan: Effects on Student Sustainability Consciousness
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2019 (English)In: Global Environmental Change, ISSN 0959-3780, E-ISSN 1872-9495, Vol. 54, p. 184-194Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In recent decades, the Taiwanese government has worked actively to implement the concept of a sustainable Taiwan. As an important step in their strategy, the Ministry of Education has decided to promote the Green School Partnership Project in Taiwan (GPPT). However, academic research and critical reflection on the effects of this environmental and sustainability education initiative are lacking. Therefore, this study focuses on filling this gap by means of a nationwide generalizable effect study. The sampling allowed comparisons between the sixth, ninth, and twelfth grades in GPPT and non-GPPT schools and considered the geographic location (north, center, and south of Taiwan) as well as socio-economic area of the schools. A total of 1,741 students participated, answering a questionnaire that focused on student sustainability consciousness (SC) and its components (i.e., knowingness, attitudes, and behaviors in relation to sustainability). Data were analyzed through structural equation modeling. Our findings make an important empirical contribution, indicating that GPPT schools and non-GPPT schools have a similar effect on the SC of students, i.e. schools engaged in the GPPT do not enhance student SC. In addition, the gender gap regarding SC increased consistently with each increasing grade level, yielding higher mean values for the girls than for the boys. Furthermore, an adolescent dip occurred in the student SC, especially with regard to student sustainability behavior. Given these findings, implications for developing GPPT are discussed; this research could provide valuable informationabout the educational transformation process to enhance environmental and sustainability behavior among students in Taiwan.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2019
Keywords
Adolescent dip, education for sustainable development, gender gap, green schools, sustainability consciousness
National Category
Other Natural Sciences
Research subject
Biology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-70818 (URN)10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2018.11.011 (DOI)
Available from: 2019-01-28 Created: 2019-01-28 Last updated: 2019-01-29Bibliographically approved
Olsson, D. (2018). Student Sustainability Consciousness: Investigating Effects of Education for Sustainable Development in Sweden and Beyond. (Doctoral dissertation). Karlstad: Karlstads universitet
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Student Sustainability Consciousness: Investigating Effects of Education for Sustainable Development in Sweden and Beyond
2018 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Environmental and sustainability education has been an important part of education worldwide for many years, aiming to foster pro-environmental behavior among young people. Education for sustainable development (ESD) and its teaching components holism (the approach to the content) and pluralism (the approach to teaching) has been launched as the educational approach to support this aim by empowering young people with action competence for a sustainable future. Environmental and sustainability certifications are commonly used by schools as support in their ESD-implementation efforts. To date, scholarly attention to, and critical reflection on the effects of such certification on students’ perceptions of sustainability have been limited.

This doctoral thesis focuses on this gap in ESD research through five large-scale studies, four of which were conducted in Sweden and one in Taiwan. Questionnaire instruments measuring students’ sustainability consciousness (SC) and their experiences of ESD were developed for the project.  In total, 2 413 students in Sweden and 1 741 students in Taiwan (grades six, nine and twelve) participated by filling in the SC questionnaire. The Swedish students also filled in questionnaires about their experiences of ESD at their schools in terms of holistic approach to content and pluralistic approach to teaching.

The results question the impact of schools’ environmental and sustainability certification on students’ SC. The results also show the importance of holism and pluralism in ESD for students’ SC, regardless of whether schools were certified or not. Moreover, the findings reveal an adolescent dip in students’ SC as well as a gender gap, both of which were reinforced among students in the certified schools.

Given the findings, this thesis can give more generalizable guidance for schools and certifying organizations to further reorient ESD towards teaching and learning approaches that have an effect on student SC.

Abstract [en]

Education for sustainable development (ESD) has been launched worldwide to empower young people by providing them with action competence for a sustainable future. ESD certifications are commonly used by schools as support in their ESD implementation efforts. To date, scholarly attention to and critical reflection on the effects of such certification on students’ perceptions of sustainability have been limited.

This doctoral thesis focuses on this gap in ESD research through five large-scale studies of which four were conducted in Sweden (N=2413) and one in Taiwan (N=1741). Questionnaire instruments measuring students’ sustainability consciousness (SC) and experiences of ESD were developed for the project. The findings reveal that the effect of ESD certifications on students’ SC is limited. The results also show positive effects of ESD on students’ SC in the form of the teaching approaches based on holism and pluralism, regardless whether schools were ESD certified or not. Moreover, results also reveal that in the certified schools the general adolescent dip and gender gap in students’ SC were reinforced. Given the findings, this thesis can give more generalizable empirical guidance for schools and certifying organizations to further reorient education towards ESD.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Karlstad: Karlstads universitet, 2018. p. 104
Series
Karlstad University Studies, ISSN 1403-8099 ; 2018:48
Keywords
Education for sustainable development, effects, environmental and sustainability education, holism and pluralism, students, sustainability consciousness
National Category
Other Biological Topics
Research subject
Biology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-69838 (URN)978-91-7063-887-9 (ISBN)978-91-7063-982-1 (ISBN)
Public defence
2018-12-14, 1B 364 (Frödingsalen), Karlstad, 13:30 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2018-11-23 Created: 2018-10-23 Last updated: 2019-03-26Bibliographically approved
Gericke, N., Boeve-de Pauw, J., Berglund, T. & Olsson, D. (2018). The Sustainability Consciousness Questionnaire: The theoretical development and empirical validation of an evaluation instrument for stakeholders working with sustainable development. Sustainable Development, 27(1), 35-49
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Sustainability Consciousness Questionnaire: The theoretical development and empirical validation of an evaluation instrument for stakeholders working with sustainable development
2018 (English)In: Sustainable Development, ISSN 0968-0802, E-ISSN 1099-1719, Vol. 27, no 1, p. 35-49Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In this paper, the concept of sustainability consciousness, an individual's experience and awareness of sustainable development, is introduced. Based on UNESCO's definition of sustainable development, a sustainability consciousness questionnaire (SCQ) is theoretically and empirically developed. Using the data of 638 respondents from Sweden aged 18-19 years old, the scale is developed in two versions. The long version (SCQ-L) can be used to measure individuals' environmental, social and economic knowingness, attitudes and behaviour (nine valid and reliable subscales), in addition to the second order constructs of sustainability knowingness, sustainability attitudes and sustainability behaviour, as well as the third order construct, sustainability consciousness. For the short version (SCQ-S) 27 items were identified that can be used to measure the second and third order constructs. Both versions of the scale present excellent psychometric quality. Possible applications of the questionnaire instruments in the context of evaluation of sustainability policies, practices and stakeholder engagement are discussed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Hoboken, N. J., USA: John Wiley and Sons Ltd, 2018
Keywords
Empirical validation of the sustainability consciousness questionnaire, Questionnaire instrument, Stakeholder engagement, Sustainability Consciousness, Sustainable development, Sustainable development policy, Theoretical development of the construct of sustainability consciousness
National Category
Environmental Sciences Biological Sciences
Research subject
Biology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-69078 (URN)10.1002/sd.1859 (DOI)000458174300004 ()2-s2.0-85050470816 (Scopus ID)
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 721‐2011‐5897, B0589701
Available from: 2018-09-05 Created: 2018-09-05 Last updated: 2019-02-28Bibliographically approved
Olsson, D. & Gericke, N. M. (2017). The Effect of Gender on Students’ Sustainability Consciousness: A Nationwide Swedish Study. The Journal of Environmental Education, 48(5), 357-370
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Effect of Gender on Students’ Sustainability Consciousness: A Nationwide Swedish Study
2017 (English)In: The Journal of Environmental Education, ISSN 0095-8964, E-ISSN 1940-1892, Vol. 48, no 5, p. 357-370Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study extends previous environmental education research on gender differences by investigating the gender gap between boys’ and girls’ sustainability consciousness. The issue of whether the gender gap in environmental education can be identified also in sustainability education is addressed. It has been suggested that Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) is a teaching approach that could play a key role in diminishing the gender gap. However, the possible gender-specific effect of an ESD-oriented teaching approach is empirically untested. A survey instrument was used to detect the hypothesized gender gap in students’ sustainability consciousness on a sample of 2,413 Swedish students aged 12–19. Findings reveal a gender gap in students’ sustainability consciousness. The gender gap increases throughout the age span and is amplified in ESD oriented schools.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis Group, 2017
Keywords
education for sustainable development; effect studies; gender gap; socialization processes; sustainability consciousness
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences Biological Sciences Educational Sciences
Research subject
Biology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-48545 (URN)10.1080/00958964.2017.1310083 (DOI)000412625700005 ()
Available from: 2017-05-10 Created: 2017-05-10 Last updated: 2018-10-23Bibliographically approved
Olsson, D. & Gericke, N. (2016). Eco-Schools in Sweden and the Effects on Students’ Sustainability Consciousness. In: : . Paper presented at The ECER (European Conference on Educational Research) conference held by EERA (European Educational Research Association) in Dublin, Ireland, 22-26 August, 2016..
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Eco-Schools in Sweden and the Effects on Students’ Sustainability Consciousness
2016 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
National Category
Social Sciences Educational Sciences Didactics
Research subject
Biology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-65162 (URN)
Conference
The ECER (European Conference on Educational Research) conference held by EERA (European Educational Research Association) in Dublin, Ireland, 22-26 August, 2016.
Available from: 2017-11-09 Created: 2017-11-09 Last updated: 2018-07-26Bibliographically approved
Olsson, D. & Gericke, N. (2016). Gender and students’ sustainability consciousness. In: : . Paper presented at The ECER (European Conference on Educational Research) conference held by EERA (European Educational Research Association) in Dublin, Ireland, 22-26 August, 2016..
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Gender and students’ sustainability consciousness
2016 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
National Category
Social Sciences Educational Sciences Didactics
Research subject
Biology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-65163 (URN)
Conference
The ECER (European Conference on Educational Research) conference held by EERA (European Educational Research Association) in Dublin, Ireland, 22-26 August, 2016.
Available from: 2017-11-09 Created: 2017-11-09 Last updated: 2018-07-26Bibliographically approved
Olsson, D. & Gericke, N. (2016). The adolescent dip in students' sustainability consciousness: Implications for education for sustainable development. The Journal of Environmental Education, 47(1), 35-51
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The adolescent dip in students' sustainability consciousness: Implications for education for sustainable development
2016 (English)In: The Journal of Environmental Education, ISSN 0095-8964, E-ISSN 1940-1892, Vol. 47, no 1, p. 35-51Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Previous research has shown that interest in and concern about environmental issues tends to decrease in adolescence, but less is known about adolescents' broader consciousness of sustainable development, also including economic and social issues. This study investigates students' sustainability consciousness in the transition to adolescence. This was done by surveying 2,413 Swedish students in the sixth, ninth and twelfth grades using an age-adapted questionnaire. The results unambiguously show that Swedish students' sustainability consciousness dips in adolescence, strongly indicating a need to modify the sustainability education for adolescents. Education for sustainable development is recommended as an approach to meet that need.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis Group, 2016
Keywords
Adolescents, Education for Sustainable Development, Sustainability attitudes, Sustainability behavior, Sustainability Consciousness
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Biology; Education; Environmental Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-33775 (URN)10.1080/00958964.2015.1075464 (DOI)000366212100003 ()
Funder
Swedish Research Council, B0589701
Note

The article is part of the thesis Young People's "Sustainability Consciousness" and was in manuscript form at the time the thesis was published.

Available from: 2014-09-22 Created: 2014-09-22 Last updated: 2018-10-23Bibliographically approved
Olsson, D., Gericke, N. & Shu-Nu, C.-R. (2016). The effect of implementation of education for sustainable development in Swedish compulsory schools: Assesing pupils' sustainability consciousness. Environmental Education Research, 22(2), 176-202
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The effect of implementation of education for sustainable development in Swedish compulsory schools: Assesing pupils' sustainability consciousness
2016 (English)In: Environmental Education Research, ISSN 1350-4622, E-ISSN 1469-5871, Vol. 22, no 2, p. 176-202Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

During the past decade, numerous schools in Sweden have implemented education for sustainable development (ESD) as an explicit guiding approach in teaching. In this paper, we investigate the effect of this approach in comparison with that of pupils taught in ordinary schools. Accordingly, we introduce the concept of sustainability consciousness to represent the holistic view of sustainability. Within the concept of sustainability consciousness, we combine and investigate the environmental, economic, and social dimensions of sustainable development in terms of sustainability knowingness, attitudes, and behavior. A Likert-scale questionnaire with 50 items was developed to evaluate pupils’ sustainability consciousness through a nationwide study in Sweden. A total of 1773 pupils from the 6th and 9th grades participated. The results indicated that the ESD profile schools had a small positive effect on the pupils’ sustainability consciousness, while in grade 9 the effect was negative. The implications for further ESD implementation are discussed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
London: Routledge, 2016
Keywords
Compulsory school, Education for sustainable development, Pupils’ perceptions, Sustainability attitudes, Sustainability behavior, Sustainability consciousness
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Biology; Education; Environmental Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-33773 (URN)10.1080/13504622.2015.1005057 (DOI)000371816300002 ()
Funder
Swedish Research Council, B0589701
Note

This article has been published after the thesis defense. In the thesis it has the title The effect of implementation of education for sustainable development in Swedish compulsory schools : assesing pupils' sustainability consciousness

Available from: 2014-09-22 Created: 2014-09-22 Last updated: 2018-10-23Bibliographically approved
Olsson, D. & Gericke, N. (2016). The Gender Gap in Environmental and Sustainability Education - A cross sectional study of Swedishstudents from grade six, nine and twelve. In: : . Paper presented at The 11th ERIDOB (European Researchers In Didactics Of Biology) – conference. 5th – 9th of September, Karlstad, Sweden..
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Gender Gap in Environmental and Sustainability Education - A cross sectional study of Swedishstudents from grade six, nine and twelve
2016 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
National Category
Social Sciences Educational Sciences Didactics
Research subject
Biology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-65159 (URN)
Conference
The 11th ERIDOB (European Researchers In Didactics Of Biology) – conference. 5th – 9th of September, Karlstad, Sweden.
Available from: 2017-11-09 Created: 2017-11-09 Last updated: 2018-07-26Bibliographically approved
Olsson, D. & Gericke, N. (2015). Adolescents and the dip in sustainability consciousness. In: : . Paper presented at ESERA 2015 - Engaging Learners for Sustainable Future, 31 Aug – 4 Sep 2015,Hesingfors..
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Adolescents and the dip in sustainability consciousness
2015 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Previous research has shown that interest in and concern about environmental issues tends to decline in adolescence, in this paper referred to as a “dip”. However, less is known whether adolescents’ interests and concerns for sustainable development (SD), i.e. a more inclusive concept including economic and social issues, also dip in adolescence. Education for sustainable development (ESD) could be regarded as a teaching approach that in a good way meets the educational needs of adolescents. Therefore before promoting widespread adoption of such an approach it is important to rigorously test the hypothesis whether adolescents’ broader consciousness of SD really dip.  A research group in Sweden has recently developed an instrument for surveying students’ sustainability consciousness (SC), a broad concept integrating affective and cognitive aspects of the three dimensions of SD. Thus, this study aims to investigate students’ SC in the transition to adolescence. This was done by surveying 2413 Swedish students in the 6th, 9th and 12th grade using an age-adapted questionnaire. The results unambiguously show that Swedish students’ SC dips in adolescence, strongly indicating a need to modify the sustainability education of adolescents. Education for Sustainable Development is recommended as an approach to meet that need. However, further research is needed to evaluate the potential utility of ESD as a teaching approach for tackling the adolescent dip in students’ SC.

National Category
Biological Sciences
Research subject
Biology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-42047 (URN)
Conference
ESERA 2015 - Engaging Learners for Sustainable Future, 31 Aug – 4 Sep 2015,Hesingfors.
Available from: 2016-05-18 Created: 2016-05-18 Last updated: 2018-06-04Bibliographically approved
Organisations
Identifiers
ORCID iD: ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0001-7976-4860

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