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The effect of education for sustainable development in Swedish schools
Karlstad University, Faculty of Health, Science and Technology (starting 2013), Department of Environmental and Life Sciences (from 2013). (SMEER)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8735-2102
Karlstad University, Faculty of Health, Science and Technology (starting 2013), Department of Environmental and Life Sciences (from 2013). (SMEER)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5446-7349
Karlstad University, Faculty of Health, Science and Technology (starting 2013), Department of Environmental and Life Sciences (from 2013). (SMEER)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7976-4860
Karlstad University, Faculty of Health, Science and Technology (starting 2013), Department of Environmental and Life Sciences (from 2013). University of Antwerp. (SMEER)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8496-096x
2017 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Perhaps the most important issue in our time is how to sustain our planet’s resources, while developing wealth and well-being for a growing population. This monumental task has been defined in the concept of sustainable development (SD). During the last few decades the world communities have agreed upon addressing SD through international treaties. As a response Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) has been launched as an answer to cope with sustainability. In the past it has been suggested that education through improved knowledge levels and/or changed values would change people’s behavior in a more environmental friendly way. These suggestions have been criticized since sustainable problems often are ‘wicked’, i.e. problems that are difficult or solve because of incomplete, contradictory, and changing requirements based on what perspectives you prioritize. Instead transformative perspectives on ESD has been propagated the last decades suggesting that education should foster ‘critical thinkers’ and ‘action competence’ so that the future generation can decided upon and take action in an insightful way to these wicked problems. However, empirical studies are a missing link in the discourse around transformative ESD approaches, where decisions and implementation strategies are heavily based on policy recommendations and gut feelings by practitioners. We used data from 2413 students in grades 6, 9, and 12 from 51 schools across Sweden to study the effectiveness of ESD. In line with the current debate on the definition of ESD, we quantified the extent to which teaching can be labeled as holistic and/or pluralistic. Through a series of descriptive analyses and the estimation of structural equation models, our results indicate that ESD can indeed impact on student outcomes in terms of their sustainability consciousness. The results of this study reveal the key role ESD plays in addressing SD, paving the way for a more sustainable future.  

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017.
National Category
Educational Sciences Biological Sciences
Research subject
Biology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-75368OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-75368DiVA, id: diva2:1360791
Conference
Oral presentation within the symposium “Biosphere Stewardship and an Earth Ethic: How ought we to steward Planet Earth?” presented at the Fourth triennial Resilience conference in Stockholm, Sweden, 2017, 21-23rd of August.
Available from: 2019-10-14 Created: 2019-10-14 Last updated: 2019-10-22Bibliographically approved

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Gericke, NiklasBerglund, TeresaOlsson, DanielBoeve-de Pauw, Jelle

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