The implementation of education for sustainable development in Sweden: Investigating the sustainability consciousness among upper secondary students
2014 (English)In: Research in Science & Technological Education, ISSN 0263-5143, Vol. 32, no 3, 318-339 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
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.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge, 2014. Vol. 32, no 3, 318-339 p.
Education for sustainable development, sustainability consciousness, holistic, upper secondary, students
Natural Sciences Didactics
Research subject Biology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-34536DOI: 10.1080/02635143.2014.944493ISI: 000344856200006OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-34536DiVA: diva2:761245
FunderSwedish Research Council, B0589701