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Teachers' objects of responsibility: something to care about in education for sustainable development?
Mälardalen University, School of Sustainable Development of Society and Technology.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3386-3411
Stockholms Universitet,Institutionen för utbildningsvetenskap med inriktning mot matematik och naturvetenskap.
2008 (English)In: Environmental Education Research, ISSN 1350-4622, E-ISSN 1469-5871, Vol. 14, no 2, p. 145-163Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Answers to questions about good teaching in environmental education can be expressed in different selective traditions. Questions as to what should be included in good teaching tend to be addressed by both teachers and researchers on an ideological basis. This qualitative study was made using a pragmatist approach, and aims to make an empirical contribution to the debate. Rather than telling teachers what they should teach, this study listen to ten upper secondary school teachers arguments in interviews concerning their long-term teaching purposes. Why should students learn particular things? The teachers’ answers revealed habits and frequently used the same arguments. These arguments recurrently dealt with what teachers cared particularly about, and five objects of responsibility were identified in the interviews. These objects of responsibility constitute starting points of teachers’ actions can be seen as personal anchor points within a selective tradition. These points of departure remind the teachers of their teaching aims and objectives, and at the same time keep them within a tradition. While they help the teachers in their everyday practice, they could just as easily be seen as tacit obstacles to efforts to change environmental education into education for sustainable development. These results are also relevant for science education in general. The study points out important issues as: how the same scientific knowledge could be used for different purposes in education, starting points for content selection in science traditions or in the needs of students and society, and finally different personal anchor points for long-term purposes of teaching based on teachers own ideas of good teaching. These results can be important in developing a reflection tool for teachers, which in turn can help them to reflect more deeply about how they might change their teaching practices.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 14, no 2, p. 145-163
Keywords [en]
Pragmatism, objects of responsibility, argumentation, environmental education, education for sustainable development, science education, selective traditions
National Category
Educational Sciences
Research subject
naturvetenskapernas och teknikens didaktik
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-1187DOI: 10.1080/13504620801951681ISI: 000207470100004Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-80052416955OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-1186DiVA, id: diva2:37531
Available from: 2008-10-07 Created: 2008-10-07 Last updated: 2019-06-18Bibliographically approved

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Sund, Per

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