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The implementation of education for sustainable development in Sweden: Investigating the sustainability consciousness among upper secondary students
Karlstads universitet, Fakulteten för hälsa, natur- och teknikvetenskap (from 2013), Institutionen för miljö- och livsvetenskaper (from 2013).ORCID-id: 0000-0002-5446-7349
Karlstads universitet, Fakulteten för hälsa, natur- och teknikvetenskap (from 2013), Institutionen för miljö- och livsvetenskaper (from 2013). (SMEER)ORCID-id: 0000-0001-8735-2102
Karlstads universitet, Fakulteten för hälsa, natur- och teknikvetenskap (from 2013), Institutionen för ingenjörs- och kemivetenskaper (from 2013). (SMEER)ORCID-id: 0000-0002-9521-1737
2014 (Engelska)Ingår i: Research in Science & Technological Education, ISSN 0263-5143, Vol. 32, nr 3, s. 318-339Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: Sustainable development (SD) is a complex idea, based on environmental, economic and social dimensions. In line with SD, education for sustainable development (ESD) is an approach to teaching that combines cognitive and affective domains and aims to build empowerment abilities.

Purpose: The purpose of this article is to investigate effects of the implementation of ESD in Sweden, in terms of developing students’ sustainability consciousness (SC). Two groups of students were included: one was from schools with a profile of ESD and the other one was from comparable schools without explicit ESD-profile.

Sample: A total of 638 students from upper secondary schools (grade 12) in science-related or social science-related programs participated in the study.

Design and methods: A procedure was created for the selection of schools considered to be the most active in using an ESD approach as well as comparable schools with no explicit ESD approach. During spring 2013, the students responded to a questionnaire based on sustainability knowingness, attitudes and behaviors within the environmental, economic and social dimensions of SD that together constitute the concept of SC. Data were analyzed using SPSS software.

Results: The results indicate that there are significant differences in SC between students from schools that teach with an ESD approach compared to students from regular schools. Furthermore, a significant difference between the two groups of students was found in the underlying economic dimension of SC. No significant differences were found in the environmental and social dimensions of SC.

Conclusions: Although the results show that ESD-profiled schools have effect on students' SC, the effects are relatively small. Therefore, the effects and nature of the implementation of ESD are discussed.

Ort, förlag, år, upplaga, sidor
Routledge, 2014. Vol. 32, nr 3, s. 318-339
Nyckelord [en]
Education for sustainable development, sustainability consciousness, holistic, upper secondary, students
Nationell ämneskategori
Didaktik Biologiska vetenskaper
Forskningsämne
Biologi
Identifikatorer
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-34536DOI: 10.1080/02635143.2014.944493ISI: 000344856200006OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-34536DiVA, id: diva2:761245
Forskningsfinansiär
Vetenskapsrådet, B0589701Tillgänglig från: 2014-11-06 Skapad: 2014-11-03 Senast uppdaterad: 2020-04-07Bibliografiskt granskad
Ingår i avhandling
1. Student 'sustainability consciousness' and decision making on sustainability dilemmas: Investigating effects of implementing education for sustainable development in Swedish upper secondary schools
Öppna denna publikation i ny flik eller fönster >>Student 'sustainability consciousness' and decision making on sustainability dilemmas: Investigating effects of implementing education for sustainable development in Swedish upper secondary schools
2014 (Engelska)Licentiatavhandling, sammanläggning (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
Abstract [en]

The central role of education for sustainable development (SD) has been emphasized since the 1990s. SD involves the three areas of environment, economy and society, with a focus on the relationships between environmental protection and human development. Education for sustainable development (ESD) takes a holistic view on the environmental, economic and social dimensions of SD and aims to empower students to engage in the democratic development of society in a more sustainable direction. Policy-level and research community discussions have addressed the ways in which ESD has been implemented internationally. This study focuses on upper secondary students, and investigates their views on sustainability and the ways they make decisions related to SD. The study aims to address the interdisciplinary and multidimensional content embraced in the concept of SD and the development of competences often associated with ESD. A survey investigating students’ (n=638) sustainability consciousness (SC) and their decision-making in a number of SD related contexts was conducted in 15 Swedish upper secondary schools. The results show that students attending schools with an ESD profile are characterized by stronger SC than students attending regular schools; however the difference is small and mostly related to the economic dimension of SD. Furthermore, students who prioritize environmental decisions in SD dilemmas show stronger SC than students giving priority to economic reasons. When environmental, economic and social dimensions are introduced separately, social aspects are given the highest priority by the students. In contrast, environmental aspects are up-graded when the dimensions are introduced in an integrated manner. However, different dimensions are prioritized in different contexts. The study provides empirical support for using multiple contexts and including both harmonious and conflict-based perspectives on SD in education. It also contributes knowledge to the discussion about the implementation of ESD in Sweden in terms of outcomes among students.

Abstract [en]

This study addresses the interdisciplinary and multidimensional content embraced in the concept of sustainable development (SD) and the development of competences often associated with education for sustainable development (ESD). A survey was conducted among 638 students from 15 upper secondary schools, investigating their sustainability consciousness (SC) and their decision-making in relation to a number of sustainability dilemmas. The results showed that students attending schools with an ESD profile were characterized by stronger SC than students attending regular schools; however the difference between the groups was small and mostly related to the economic dimension of SD. Students who prioritized environmental decisions in SD dilemmas showed stronger SC than students who prioritized economic reasons. The SD dimensions were given varying importance depending on the context and whether a harmony-based or a conflict-based perspective on environmental, economic and social dimensions was used. The study provides support for using multiple perspectives and including both harmonious- and conflict-based perspectives on SD in education. It also contributes knowledge of the implementation of ESD in Sweden in terms of the student sustainability consciousness in the two groups.

Ort, förlag, år, upplaga, sidor
Karlstad: Karlstads universitet, 2014. s. 66
Serie
Karlstad University Studies, ISSN 1403-8099 ; 2014:59
Serie
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology Education, ISSN 1652-5051 ; 78
Nyckelord
Sustainable development, education for sustainable development, dimensions of sustainable development, upper secondary students, conceptions, sustainability consciousness, decision making
Nationell ämneskategori
Didaktik Miljövetenskap
Forskningsämne
Biologi
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-34196 (URN)978-91-7063-599-1 (ISBN)
Presentation
2014-11-28, 9C203, Karlstads universitet, Karlstad, 10:00 (Engelska)
Opponent
Handledare
Forskningsfinansiär
Vetenskapsrådet, B0589701
Tillgänglig från: 2014-11-07 Skapad: 2014-10-09 Senast uppdaterad: 2018-01-16Bibliografiskt granskad
2. Student views of environmental, social and economic dimensions of sustainable development and their interconnectedness: A search for the holistic perspective in education for sustainable development
Öppna denna publikation i ny flik eller fönster >>Student views of environmental, social and economic dimensions of sustainable development and their interconnectedness: A search for the holistic perspective in education for sustainable development
2020 (Engelska)Doktorsavhandling, sammanläggning (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
Alternativ titel[sv]
Elevers föreställningar om miljömässiga, sociala och ekonomiska dimensioner av hållbar utveckling och deras sammanlänkning : En utforskande studie av det holistiska perspektivet i utbildning för hållbar utveckling
Abstract [en]

The work in this thesis centers on upper secondary students’ views of the environmental, social and economic dimensions of sustainable development and their interconnectedness. The focus has been to study the diversity of students’ views in various contexts. The research uses as its starting point the aims of education for sustainable development to facilitate a holistic understanding among students, which implies the consideration of environmental, social and economic perspectives when dealing with issues of sustainability.

A mixed methods and iterative approach was applied in this research. Two data sets were collected: one larger-scale data set from 638 students in grade 12 (aged 18-19) on science and social science programs, and one smaller set involving 18 students of similar age and programs. In the first data collection exercise, the students responded to questionnaires investigating their sustainability consciousness and decision-making within different everyday contexts. The aim of the second data collection exercise was to study, in-depth, patterns of students’ views on the interconnectedness of sustainability dimensions. 

The results reveal a diversity of student views that specifically relate to the economic dimension in sustainable development. The economic dimension is perceived differently in their sustainability consciousness, and when they encounter the economic dimension in various sustainability contexts. Moreover, there are four distinctly different beliefs among students about the interconnectedness of the economy and sustainable development. The four beliefs are identified as the un-differentiating positive, the nuanced ambivalent, the two-way convinced and the critical, differing in their arguments about the interconnectedness of environmental, social and economic dimensions. The findings indicate the potential resource students’ views and different contexts can represent in teaching that aims at perspective-shifting and learning about the complexity and dynamic nature of sustainability issues.

Abstract [en]

Education for sustainable development (ESD) is described as a learner-centered teaching approach in which the perspectives of the learners constitute an important part. In line with the holistic aims of ESD, social and economic perspectives are considered alongside environmental perspectives when dealing with sustainability issues. This thesis is a compilation of four sub-studies, centering on the diversity of views among upper secondary students on sustainable development, its underlying environmental, social and economic dimensions and their interconnectedness. Both quantitative and qualitative methods were used to investigate the diversity in students’ views in different contexts. The results reveal a diversity in views that specifically relates to the economic dimension of sustainable development. Four distinctly different beliefs were identified among the students on how the economy and sustainable development are connected. Moreover, students’ views differed depending on whether they encountered environmental, social and economic dimensions in an integrated way or in isolation. The findings indicate the potential resource students’ views and different contexts can represent in education that aims for learning about the complex and dynamic nature of sustainable development.

Ort, förlag, år, upplaga, sidor
Karlstad: Karlstads universitet, 2020. s. 99
Serie
Karlstad University Studies, ISSN 1403-8099 ; 2020:14
Nyckelord
Education for sustainable development, sustainable development, upper secondary, student views, sustainability consciousness, interconnectedness, holism, pluralism
Nationell ämneskategori
Didaktik Biologiska vetenskaper
Forskningsämne
Biologi
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-77040 (URN)978-91-7867-097-0 (ISBN)978-91-7867-107-6 (ISBN)
Disputation
2020-04-03, 21A 342, Eva Eriksson-salen, Universitetsgatan 2, Karlstad, 10:00 (Engelska)
Opponent
Handledare
Tillgänglig från: 2020-03-12 Skapad: 2020-02-24 Senast uppdaterad: 2020-03-12Bibliografiskt granskad

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