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  • 1. Eames, Chris
    et al.
    Sund, Per
    Mälardalen University, School of Education, Culture and Communication, Educational Sciences and Mathematics.
    Gasparetto Higuchi, Maria Inês
    Torres de Oliveira, Haydée
    O’Donoghue, Rob
    Exploring the constitution of Environmental Education as situated, critical processes of learning and change: A collaborative synthesis across diverse regional contextsIn: Brazilian Journal of Environmental EducationArticle in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article offers a set of unique vignettes or stories that attempt to illustrate examples of critical approaches to environmental education (EE) in diverse contexts. It draws from the experiences of five environmental educators in four different regions of the world. We detail the history of the emergence of critical consciousness in education in Brazil, and its application in a Brazilian region, then move to examples of critical educational responses to oppression in New Zealand and Zimbabwe, before closing with a critical examination of innovative teaching and research in Europe. Through this breadth of endeavour, we identify commonalities across these contexts such as the importance of participatory action and research to examine people-environment relations, particularly as constituted by indigenous peoples, and to interpret realities in ways that empower through learning-led social-ecological change.  We argue that this critical approach can foster emancipation through individual and collective learning in EE processes within very different contexts.

  • 2.
    Sellgren, Germund
    et al.
    Världsnaturfonden.
    Sund, Per
    Mälardalen University, School of Education, Culture and Communication, Educational Sciences and Mathematics.
    Methodologies for the future: A guide to develop education for sustainable development2012Book (Other academic)
  • 3.
    Sund, Louise
    et al.
    Mälardalen University, School of Education, Culture and Communication, Educational Sciences and Mathematics. Institutionen för humaniora, utbildnings- och samhällsvetenskap, Örebro universitet.
    Neilson, Alison
    University of Coimbra, Portugal.
    Spannring, Reingard
    University of Innsbruck, Austria.
    Greve Lysgaard, Jonas
    Aarhus University, Denmark.
    Kronlid O., David
    Uppsala university, Sweden.
    Sund, Per
    Mälardalen University, School of Education, Culture and Communication, Educational Sciences and Mathematics.
    Can we unpack the global in ESE? An introduction.2015In: Neilson, A.L., Spannring, R., Lysgaard, J.G., Kronlid, D. O., Sund, L., Sund, P. (2015). "All Our Relations": Respecting People and Scholarship. Creative roundtable for European Conference on Educational Research. , 2015Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In seeking co-provocateurs for this roundtable, the initial outreach was fuelled by anger regarding the devaluing of social sciences compared to natural sciences and economics (Mendel, 2014) as well as the frustration of seeing poorly designed research by natural scientists studying human behaviour and education without being informed by protocols and best practices developed for such work by the social sciences (Pooley, Mendelsohn & Milner-Gulland, 2014), and ignorance of deep critical explorations of educational and other social processes by sociologists, anthropologists amongst others (Sund & Lysgaard, 2013). However, the initial response provoked an offer to discuss the role of love in environmental and sustainability education research, ESER. While this reply was clearly housed in the same concerns and critique initially expressed, the use of the word “love”, a powerful concept simultaneously simple and complex, drew us to seek a circle of renewal and remembering of life and lives that may have been forgotten at times within ESER.

    The phrase “all our/my relations” comes from indigenous worldviews and practices of honouring all the people who have come before you as well as the other living beings with whom we share this planet (Kulnieks, Longboat & Young, 2013). This round table discussion will honour all our relations by remembering the current and past practices which take on issues related to motivation rooted in social and cultural patterns, as well as politics of knowledge with complex histories and inequities (Glass, Scott & Price, 2012; Sund & Öhman, 2014). We will respect people and scholarship via three main currents of discussion:

    1. The role of love in ESER
    2. “Ignored concepts” - Research and extensive discourse that gets ignored when defining questions that assume people are selfish and have never cooperated to protect the commons, or are not politically active (Gaiser, Rijke & Spanning, 2010) uncritical acceptance of people/nature dichotomy, uncritical use of education as transferring information from expert to ignorant.
    3. Political dimensions of ESER (postcolonial lens, global inequities, poverty in the “south”)

    The discussions will flow at the level of and through individuals, but also at infrastructural and conceptual spaces and places. Creative methodologies provide powerful avenues to disrupt imbalances and injustices and take into account issues of representation, legitimation and politics in research as well as communications about research (McKenzie, 2005). Philip Payne (2005) challenges the limitations of textual discourse as a way of knowing; he focuses on “being, doing and becoming a relational, social and ecological ‘self’” (p. 415) and suggests that strong cultural production constrains these qualities. Framing, metaphors and narratives are important for meaning making (Lakoff, 2010) and are particularly important to deconstruct when challenging dominant views that may have been taken as common sense (Stone-Mediatore, 2003), as well as inviting critical reflection on the very story being told. We will use creative juxtapositioning of the currents of discussion in order to evoke deeper insights than may arise from sequential presentations of the three discussion themes (Neilson, 2009). Additionally, the format of the round table will include multiple forms of communications to involve all who attend, and, the participants along with the provocateurs will physically be seated within a circle.

    References

    Gaiser, W., Rijke, J.D., & Spanning, R. (2010). Youth and political participation – empirical results for Germany within a European context. Youth 18(4), 427-450. Glass, J. H., Scott, A., & Price, M. F. (2012). Getting active at the interface: How can sustainability researchers stimulate social learning? In A. Wals & P. Blaze Concoran (Eds.) Learning for sustainability in times of accelerating change. pp. 167-183. Wageningen University Press, NL. Kronlid, D.O., & Öhman, J. (2012). An environmental ethical conceptual framework for research on sustainability and environmental education. Environmental Education Research, ifirst article, 1-24. Kulnieks, A., Longboat, D. R. & Young, K. (2013). Contemporary Studies in Environmental and Indigenous Pedagogies. A Curricula of Stories and Place. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers. Lakoff, G. (2010). Praxis forum. Why it matters how we frame the environment. Environmental Communication, 4(1), 70-81. McKenzie, M. (2005). The ‘post-post period’ and environmental education research. Environmental Education Research, 11(4), 401-412. Mendel, J. (2014). Bad Research and High Impact: The Science: So What Campaign and Social Media Criticism. ACME: An International E-Journal for Critical Geographies, 13(1), 56-61. Neilson, A. L. (2009). The power of nature and the nature of power. Special Issue: Inquiries into practice. Canadian Journal of Environmental Education, 14, 136-148. Payne, P. (2005). Lifeworld and textualism: Reassembling the researcher/ed and ‘others’. Environmental Education Research, 11(4), 413-431. Pooley, S. P., Mendelsohn, J. A., & Milner‐Gulland, E. J. (2014). Hunting Down the Chimera of Multiple Disciplinarity in Conservation Science. Conservation Biology, 28(1), 22-32. Stone-Mediatore, S. (2003). Reading across border: Storytelling and knowledges of resistance. New York, NY: Palgrave. Sund, L., & Öhman, J. (2014). On the need to repoliticise environmental and sustainability education: Rethinking the postpolitical consensus. Environmental Education Research, 20(5), 639-659. Sund, P., & Lysgaard, J. (2013). Reclaim “Education” in Environmental and Sustainability Education Research. Sustainability, 5(4), 1598–1616.

  • 4.
    Sund, Per
    Mälardalen University, School of Education, Culture and Communication, Educational Sciences and Mathematics.
    4. Att välja undervisningsinnehåll2014In: Lärande i handling / [ed] Britt Jakobson, Iann Lundegård & Per-Olof Wickman, Studentlitteratur, 2014, p. 47-58Chapter in book (Other academic)
    Abstract [sv]

    Ämnesinnehåll, arbetssätt och arbetsformer samverkar på ett övergripande sätt och bildar tillsammans det som i detta kapitel benämns undervisningssinnehåll. Jag inleder kapitlet med att argumentera för behovet att uppmärksamma att lärare arbetar inom undervisningstraditioner, vilka gör att de kommunicerar olika undervisningsinnehåll till eleverna. Därefter följer en kort redovisning om de mest utmärkande dragen hos traditionerna samt hur forskningen synliggjort dem. Till sist presenteras ett reflektionsverktyg för lärare/lärarlag som kan användas som stöd för att urskilja undervisningstraditioner i den egna verksamheten och därigenom på ett mer reflekterat sätt kunna förändra undervisningsinnehållet.

  • 5.
    Sund, Per
    Mälardalen University, School of Education, Culture and Communication.
    A Study of Teachers’ Value-laden Socialization Content2011In: The European Conference on Educational Research, ECER, 13-16 September, Berlin, Germany, 2011Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Abstract

    To make an educational situation meaningful for students necessitates more content than just subject content (Östman, 1995). Subject matter is always taught within an educational context (Roberts, 1982). The context, which could be seen as an indispensable part of the content, is communicated to students by teachers through speech and action during the conduct of teaching (Sund & Wickman, 2008). The context in which subject content is taught is here called the socialisation content (Englund, 1998). Policy level discussions are often focusing mainly on subject matter integration (UNESCO, 2005). The differences in the view on educational content could be the main gap between people on policy level and practice.

     

    One important point of departure for this exploratory and empirical study is that the learning of subject content and socialisation content occurs simultaneously, and together they constitute the educational content. This study focuses on the socialisation content communicated by ten upper secondary teachers, which is studied through their messages to students. These might be different messages about the subject content or different messages in the teaching process.

     

    The starting points for teachers’ value-related and often hidden choices of socialisation content are of common political interest. These therefore need to be made visible, rather than implied or insinuated as a kind of tacit background.

     

     

    Methodology

    Data were gathered through 60-80 min. long interviews with teachers who regularly taught a mandatory course in general science. The teachers were asked to describe how they conduct their teaching by describing: the content -what, the methods -how and the purposes -why. Teaching purposes can be framed on many levels and can include purposes within the subject or the subject field at a micro-level, as well as far-reaching purposes of goals for students’ schooling on a macro-level, which aim towards consequences in the societal life of students.

     

    The analysis is founded on the pragmatist tradition associated with John Dewey. What we might call beliefs are actually patterns or habitual ways of making arguments or acting. According to Dewey (1922), an analysis of such habits does not mean comparing repeatedly simple behaviours as in the behaviouristic research tradition, but rather looking at the more complex approaches to life. In this sense a habit is not always something that can be explicitly expressed by the teacher, but can be discerned through reflection, either by an interviewer or by an interviewee, as patterns of one’s own action (Wickman, 2004).

     

    Conclusion

    The aim of this study is to contribute to a better developed knowledge of the socialisation content, an indispensable part of the content in environmental education and education for sustainable development. By using an analytical tool developed in earlier research (Sund, 2008) is possible to discern some important differences in the socialisation content within three selective traditions of environmental education (Öhman, 2004). 

  • 6.
    Sund, Per
    Mälardalen University, School of Education, Culture and Communication, Educational Sciences and Mathematics.
    Assessing environmental and sustainability education in times of accountability, measurement and evidence2016In: Leading Education: The Distinct Contributions of Educational Research and Researchers, 2016Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The tendency to assess students has increased worldwide (Broadfoot & Black, 2004; Lundahl, Roman, & Riis, 2010). The purpose is usually to assess their knowledge but large scale tests also aim to build foundations to make grading more equivalent on a national level (Lundqvist & Sund, In Press; Sund, In Press). The theoretical tests are suitable for subject matter knowledge but the challenge is to assess practical abilities. This is often done by theoretical tests asking questions on experiences and results from practical work (Cfr the outlines in Ofqual (2015)). Another approach is to develop test with parts containing a practical inquiry. In Sweden the national school agency have developed a national test which include a practical part where the task is related to acidification of lakes. Within this part teachers are expected to conduct a given systematic inquiry to assess student’s achievements supported by well-developed assessment guides.  It is well known in earlier research that it is complicated to conduct practical tests (Abrahams & Reiss, 2012; Harlen, 1999). This case study focus on the possible obstacles for teachers when they are assessing practical abilities during a test in a laboratory environment. This type of test and test environment is complicated. The purpose of this study is to investigate the prerequisites for teachers to make an individual assessment of students’ individual abilities during a practical work. Differences in three groups way of choosing equipment in the beginning of their practical test inspired to study the conditions for teachers’ equivalent assessments of student’s independent practical work. The research question is:

    What obstacles are present when teachers assess student’s individual achievements?

     

    The results make a number of practical and social obstacles visible. They are discussed in relation equivalent assessment, alternative ways of assessing students’ practical abilities to be able avoid some of the discerned challenges.

  • 7.
    Sund, Per
    Mälardalen University, School of Sustainable Development of Society and Technology.
    Att urskilja selektiva traditioner i miljöundervisningens socialisationsinnehåll - implikationer för undervisning för hållbar utveckling2008Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other scientific)
    Abstract [en]

    Discerning selective traditions in the socialization content of environmental education – implications for education for sustainable development

    This thesis offers an empirical contribution to research on content issues in environmental education. One way of approaching content issues is to study the socialization content. Socialization content forms an educational context in which subject matter content can develop into meaning. Through their different actions teachers communicate companion meanings to students, which together constitute the socialization content. These are messages about the subject and about education, such as the importance of students’ participation.

    One important starting point for this thesis is that the learning of subject matter and socialization content is simultaneous. Learning is often regarded as an inner individual process, while socialization is more often understood as an external fostering. By using the concept of meaning making, learning and socialization can be regarded as both simultaneous and mutual.

    The thesis has two main purposes, namely, methodological development and a more substantial study of socialization content. An interview method and analytical tool for researchers has been developed as a result of conducting a literature review and interviewing upper secondary school teachers involved in a general science course. This tool can be used to study the qualitative aspects of socialization content by examining shifts in five important educational aspects, and has been applied to the empirical data collected from teacher and student interviews.

    The analytical tool can also be transformed into a reflection tool for teachers to render their educational habits more visible. Teachers’ collective habits can develop into selective traditions in environmental education. Socialization content can be regarded as an important value-laden content that needs to be critically examined in an open democratic school system. These discussions could facilitate the development of a more pluralistic environmental education, which in turn could be further developed into an education for sustainable development.

  • 8.
    Sund, Per
    Mälardalen University, School of Education, Culture and Communication.
    Content issues in ESD: Teachers' Content Emphases and the Progress of Content2006In: The International Organization of Science and Tecchnology  Education, IOSTE XII Conference, 20060730-0804, Penang, Malaysia. CD-ROM, 2006Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 9.
    Sund, Per
    Mälardalen University, School of Education, Culture and Communication.
    Content Issues in ESD/ESDA in a More Overarching Way – Socialization Content and the Implications for Teacher Education in Practice: Key-note presentation2009In: The 12th UNESCO-APEID Conference, 24-26 March, Bangkok, Thailand, 2009Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 10.
    Sund, Per
    Mälardalen University, School of Education, Culture and Communication, Educational Sciences and Mathematics.
    Discerning selective traditions in science education – A qualitative study of teachers’ responses to what is important in science teaching2016In: Cultural Studies of Science Education, ISSN 1871-1502, E-ISSN 1871-1510, Vol. 11, no 2, p. 387-409Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Science teachers have differing views about what students should learn. Their teaching experience often leads them to develop habitual answers to students’ questions, such as – why should I learn this? Some teachers argue that students need to learn more ‘canonical’ science knowledge so that they can become scientists, while others tell students to apply scientific knowledge in order to make their everyday lives easier. If a group of teachers argue and act in similar ways in similar situations, they can be described as working in a similar collective habit. In this study these are called selective traditions in science teaching. In practical terms they work well in everyday, multifaceted, hectic teaching situations. However, the traditions can obstruct the inclusion of socio-scientific issues (SSI) in national science education tests. Some research has been conducted on selective traditions in written curriculum material, although little is known about how they can be discerned in teachers’ descriptions of their science teaching. This study draws on Dewey’s discussion of the interplay between individual and collective habits to discern teaching traditions by regarding them as institutionalized teaching habits. A firmly developed analytical tool is applied to the extensive data consisting of twenty-nine Swedish science teachers’ responses in semi-structured interviews. The methodology used in this study is inspired by earlier environmental and sustainability education (ESE) research. The results are discussed in relation to earlier research on ‘scientific literacy’ and how research can support teachers’ changes of practice to encourage students to perform better in large-scale tests.

  • 11.
    Sund, Per
    Mälardalen University, School of Sustainable Development of Society and Technology.
    Discerning the extras in ESD teaching - A democratic issue2008In: Values and democracy in education for sustainable development: contributions from Swedish research, Malmö: Liber , 2008, p. 56-74Chapter in book (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Introduction

    There is an ongoing debate in contemporary research of education for sustainable development as to how good environmental education ought to be conducted and which goals should be accomplished (Fien, 1993, 2004; Hart, 2003; Huckle & Sterling, 1996; Jensen, Schnack, & Simovska, 2000; Kyburz-Graber, Hofer, & Wolfensberger, 2006; Sund & Wickman, submitted; Tillbury & Turner, 1997). The educational content is rarely commented on, however, except to note that the often dominating ecological subject content should be extended to include content from areas such as economics and the social sciences. According to Sterling (2004) and Bonnett (2003a) this is not enough: education itself also needs to be changed. A transformed education is an important aspect of sustainable development and not just an instrumental tool by which society might reach sustainability. From a democratic perspective, it is essential to make the current tendency of change from environmental education (EE) to education for sustainable development (ESD) much more visible. In other words, the aim should be to turn the globally discussed change of a school subject into a lifelong learning perspective (Breiting, 2000). Doyle (1992) thinks that the dichotomy between subject content and the conduct of teaching is created. Schnack (2000) emphasises that the actual creation of teaching is to be regarded as a teaching content: ”The central curricular question is no longer simply concerning the process of education, but must itself form part of the content” (p.123). If it is as Schnack (2000) and Doyle (1992) describe, then educational researchers need to grasp the content issues in a much more holistic way and study subject content, teaching methods, and perhaps also teachers’ aims, simultaneously. Munby and Roberts (1998) point to the importance of studying the educational context that arises through teachers’ different messages to students and is communicated through speech and other actions during the actual practice of teaching. The conclusion of this introductory discussion is that there is a need for an analytical tool with which to put together and offer an overview of educational context. The context in which subject content is taught is here called the socialisation content (Östman, 1995).

     

    One important point of departure for this study is that the learning of subject content and socialisation content occurs simultaneously, and together they constitute the educational content. This study focuses on the socialisation content, which is studied through describing teachers’ different starting points for their messages to students. These might be different messages about the subject content, different messages in the teaching process, or whether the students are allowed to become more involved in the experience of education. 

     

    There are several arguments for studying the educational content of schools in a more overarching way. One important reason is to create conditions for more open and democratic discussions. In a democratic country the school’s educational content should be subject to a common critical investigation, where the nature of the content and its extent are as apparent as the motives. The extended subject content in ESD is often easy to present, while the socialisation content is hardly known or noticed. The subject matter and its pedagogy are especially important in ESD, given its value-related nature (Corney & Reid, 2007) (see Lundegård, this volume). The starting points for teachers’ value-related and often hidden choices of socialisation content are of common political interest. These therefore need to be made visible, rather than implied or insinuated as a kind of tacit background (Bonnett, 1999). This has its origins in teachers’ choices in a number of different fundamental educational aspects, which could be fruitful in terms of illustrating and understanding the relation between EE and ESD.

     

    The aim of this study is to contribute to a better developed knowledge of content in environmental education and education for sustainable development. This study analyses the socialisation content in EE and ESD and its points of departure in central aspects of education. The socialisation content is the educational context in which a subject matter is communicated. By studying earlier research concerned with the content and conduct of environmental education, the purpose is thus to develop an analytical tool for researchers that could help to make teachers’ communicated socialisation content much more visible. In other words, by formulating specific questions about different aspects of education, these questions could be regarded as an analytical tool that not only facilitates the identification of the different messages that teachers communicate to students through speech and other actions but also makes them more visible.

     

    In this way I would like to contribute to the development of opportunities for researchers and teachers to talk about content issues in ways other than the more usual subject-related approach. Moreover, the results allow all the educational stakeholders to challenge and critically examine the content and value-related starting points presented in EE and ESD.

  • 12.
    Sund, Per
    Mälardalen University, School of Education, Culture and Communication.
    Discerning the socialization content of environmental education – implications for education for sustainable development2009In: World conference on environmental education, WEEC 5, 20090510-14, Montreal, Canada, 2009Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Discerning the socialization content of environmental education –

    implications for education for sustainable development

     

    This research offers an empirical contribution to discussions on content issues in environmental education and education for sustainable development. One way of approaching content issues is to study the socialization content. Socialization content forms an educational context in which subject matter content can develop into meaning. Through their different actions teachers communicate companion meanings to students, which together constitute the socialization content. These are messages about the subject and about education, such as the importance of students’ participation. One important starting point for this research is that the learning of subject matter and socialization content is simultaneous. 

     

    This presentation show some results from substantial studies of socialization content. An interview method and analytical tool for researchers has been developed as a result of conducting a literature review and interviewing upper secondary school teachers involved in a general science course. This tool can be used to study the qualitative aspects of socialization content by examining shifts in five important educational aspects.

     

    Socialization content can be regarded as an important value-laden content that needs to be critically examined in an open democratic school system. These discussions could facilitate the development of a more pluralistic environmental education, which in turn could be further developed into an Education for Sustainable Development Approach, ESDA. A general teaching/learning approach on local level clearly separated from the policy levels way of discussing ESD. Researchers have so far been answering ESD issues in two separate ways, for or against, but from the similar ESDA perspective.

  • 13.
    Sund, Per
    Mälardalen University, School of Education, Culture and Communication.
    ESD-school teachers’ anchor points for their arguments regarding teaching purposes2012In: The European Education Research Conference,  ECER, Sep 18-21 Cádiz, Spain: Symposium: Health Education and Education for Sustainable Development - Key perspectives and challenges, 2012Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Abstract

     

    During the Decade of Education for Sustainable Development, DESD different implementation activities are common in countries worldwide where one interesting question is – what happens in a school when sustainability issues are implemented? This paper is a part of larger Swedish research project which aim to study norm-development in ESD-schools. This is an empirical study of data from interviews of eleven upper secondary teachers working in three ESD-schools. An analytical tool, developed in earlier research with starting point in the philosophy of Dewey and Wittgenstein, is applied on data to answer the research question: What do teachers really care about when they argue for their teaching approach related to sustainable development?

    In teachers long term purposes from two experienced ESD-school it is possible to discern some interesting commonalities. In general, these teachers are concerned about how their subject/discipline supports students’ abilities to handle and increase learning from the complexity of sustainable development. The role of the educational content in these complex subject integrated issues is crucial for teachers to discern and better understand. The implications of teachers’ purposes beyond the actual teaching are important for all stakeholders interested in the implementation of ESD issues in schools to be aware of.

  • 14.
    Sund, Per
    Mälardalen University, School of Education, Culture and Communication, Educational Sciences and Mathematics.
    Experienced ESD schoolteachers’ teaching – an issue of complexity2015In: Environmental Education Research, ISSN 1350-4622, E-ISSN 1469-5871, Vol. 21, no 1, p. 24-44Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In educational settings, sustainable development (SD) is often handled with the aim of reducing the contested aspects of the concept. Issues like trade, conservation, public health and international relations are often presented in a simplified way so that they are easier for students to grasp. However, in education, this tendency to simplify sustainability issues can be a disadvantage. This study explores how Swedish upper secondary schoolteachers’ education for sustainable development (ESD) in award-winning ‘ESD-schools’ supports students to become informed and autonomous democratic citizens by appreciating the complexity of the concept of SD. This empirical study is part of a larger research project studying progressive upper secondary schools and is a development of earlier research on teachers’ starting points for long-term purposes beyond the teaching – which we have termed objects of responsibility.

     

    In interviews of five teachers from two schools, experienced in ESD issues and working in teacher teams, an interesting commonality in their arguments for teaching sustainability emerged during the analytical process. The implications of the study’s results are important for EE/ESD research into teaching continuity as well as for teachers in practice.

     

  • 15.
    Sund, Per
    Mälardalen University, School of Education, Culture and Communication.
    Introducing ESDA and the importance of socialisation content: an empirical study which defuses the worry for ESD teachers at school level2007In: The 4th International Conference on Environmental Education. Environmental Education towards a Sustainable Future, 20071124-28, Ahmedabad, India, 2007Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 16.
    Sund, Per
    Mälardalen University, School of Education, Culture and Communication.
    Policy and practice in formal education - the quest for ESDA: Key-note presentation2009In: The 4th International Forum on Education for Sustainable Development,21 –24, October 2009, Beijing, China, 2009Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 17.
    Sund, Per
    Mälardalen University, School of Education, Culture and Communication, Educational Sciences and Mathematics.
    Political dimensions of environmental and sustaianbility education reserach - postcolonial lens, global inequities, poverty in the “south”2015In: Education and Transition – Contributions from Educational Research, 2015Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    For many years there has been calls from international organisations (UNESCO) and national governments for education to be oriented towards social change, sustainability and preparing students for life in a global society. This has been described as a curricular global turn in national school curricula and international policies (Mannion, Biesta, Priestley & Ross 2011; Martin 2011). As educators we are encouraged to ‘globalise’ education or ‘think globally’ through ‘bringing the world into the classroom’ and promoting global issues and perspectives in the curriculum.

    Within our field of research global development issues have been critically investigated and discussed. A number of debaters have described education for the environment as indoctrination and that such an approach to education has universalizing tendencies that seek to marginalise other approaches and turns education into a political tool (cf. Jickling 1992; Jickling and Spork 1998; Sauvé 1999; Jickling and Wals, 2008; Van Poeck and Vandenabeele, 2012; Sund and Lysgaard, 2013, etc.). Deploying feminist and postcolonial scholars, Noel Gough (2002) criticised the position that a culturally transcendent environmental science is possible and instead suggested ‘that “thinking globally” in science and environmental education might best be understood as a process of creating transnational “spaces” in which scholars from different localities collaborate in reframing and decentring their own knowledge traditions’ (cf. Sund and Öhman, 2014a)

    Despite this, ESE is quite often treated as politically neutral and/or intrinsically good. We would like to turn your attention to the fact that policies[1], curricular reform and activities with the objective of developing global solidarity and building a sustainable citizenship very often foreclose the complex historical, cultural and political nature of these issues. These universal global perspectives tend to overlook and respect locally identified needs.

    ESE educators cannot, therefore, hide behind ‘good intentions’. This is further exemplified when universal values and a universal ethics are connected to the Enlightenment and to Western culture. ESE then risks becoming problematic if it is to enlighten people in other parts of the world. We argue that the apparent rush to ‘globalise’ and/or ‘universalize’ would benefit from an unpacking of the assumption that global/universal is better and a reminder that the universal is always articulated in a particular context.[2]

    [1] Examples are the Earth Charter (2000) and the Johannesburg Declaration (World Summit on Sustainable Development [WSSD] 2002). The WSSD borrows language from the Charter on the theme ‘Making it happen’: ‘We commit ourselves to act together, united by a common determination to save our planet, promote human development and achieve universal prosperity and peace’ (Paragraph 35, WSSD 2002).

    [2] The contextuality of ESE-related issues and the importance of using non-western values and traditions to inform the development of ESE curricula is described by Wals (2009, 16), who underlines that: ‘Although both the challenge of sustainable development and the call for ESD is worldwide, there is a general understanding that the local realities and manifestations of ‘unsustainability’ are often quite different and deeply rooted in local histories and political and cultural traditions.

     

  • 18.
    Sund, Per
    Mälardalen University, School of Education, Culture and Communication, Educational Sciences and Mathematics.
    Science teacher group discussions – the forming of consensus and the exclusion of ESE related issues2015In: Education and Transition - Contributions from Educational Research, 2015Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In environmental and sustainability education, ESE there are different interpretations about which content should be taught in school. This leads to teachers having to make decisions about how to select, structure and contextualise the content (Wickman, 2012). However, teachers are not isolated individuals making their own interpretations, but are part of different institutionalised systems. Earlier research shows that teachers teach according to different selective traditions, which can be understood as well-developed teaching habits. Individual teachers seem to develop their personal habits on the basis of the contextual situations created by earlier generations of teachers.

     

    In order to find out which content teachers find representative for socio-scientific issues in science education which are ESE related, I asked nine teachers, representing three selective traditions, to take part in group interviews to talk about what they value as “good” content. The starting point for the discussion is national tests in science. One aim of these national tests is to include knowledge about socio-scientific issues (SSI).

     

    The aim of this study is to determine which content teachers find representative for science education in national tests. This content issue is approached from two perspectives. The first concerns the teachers’ selection of questions from the national tests and their discussions about what constitutes good science content. The second relates to the teachers’ more open discussions about the knowledge to be learned in science education and the relation between science and social science. This relation is important to study when science teachers teaching environmental issues also are supposed to include more ESE issues according to the new Swedish curriculum. These perspectives form the starting point for discussions about what counts as good science related content. This quest is formulated in two research questions:

     

    What is significant in the individual teacher’s selection of content?

    What are the significant differences in the group discussions representative scientific content?

     

    As such, the research intends to contribute to a discussion about teachers’ selective traditions in terms of content selection can that this can be understood as situated. It also contributes to the debate about policy intentions in relation to how teachers do policy.

     

    In this study, teaching traditions are theoretically approached as teachers’ habitual ways of arguing or acting. According to John Dewey (1922), an analysis of such habits does not mean comparing simple repetitive actions, but rather looking at more complex actions that are fruitful in everyday hectic teaching situations. These habits are acquired and continuously developed as a result of encounters between earlier and current experiences. Individuals develop their personal habits on the basis of the contextual situations created by earlier generations of teachers, in school and in teacher education as students, or by following one of the disciplinary traditions in their university studies. Dewey’s (1922) discussion of individual habits, and their interplay with a collective level (for example institutionalised disciplinary traditions), seems to be an accurate description of how selective traditions in teaching evolve and are consolidated in the school system.

     

    The theoretical framework is developed from earlier research (Sund, forthcoming; Sund & Wickman, 2011) and Östman’s study (1995) of dominating discourses in science education.

  • 19.
    Sund, Per
    Mälardalen University, School of Education, Culture and Communication, Educational Sciences and Mathematics.
    Science teachers’ mission impossible? – A Qualitative Study of Obstacles in Assessing Students’ Practical Abilities2016In: International Journal of Science Education, ISSN 0950-0693, E-ISSN 1464-5289, Vol. 38, no 14, p. 2220-2238Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Science teachers regard practical work as important and many claim that it helps students to learn science. Besides theoretical knowledge, such as concepts and formulas, practical work is considered to be an integral and basic part of science education. This implies that in addition to theoretical science tests, there is a need to find new ways of assessing students’ practical performances. As practical work is perceived and understood in different ways, comparing the results between classes and schools is difficult. One way of making the results comparable is to develop systematic inquiries to be assessed in national large scale tests. However, introducing similar testing conditions in a laboratory environment is not always possible. Although the instructions and assessments guides for such tests are detailed, many obstacles need to be overcome if equality in the overall test situation is to be achieved and an equivalent assessment of students’ practical abilities guaranteed. For example, in a test situation in the laboratory it is almost impossible for students not to communicate with each other. This empirical case study investigates two secondary school science teachers’ assessments of 15-16 years old students in three separate groups in the practical part of a Swedish national test in chemistry. Data is gathered using two video cameras and three pairs of spy camera glasses. The results show that individual and independent assessments are difficult due to the social interactions that take place and the physical sources of errors that occur in this type of setting.

  • 20.
    Sund, Per
    Mälardalen University, School of Education, Culture and Communication, Educational Sciences and Mathematics.
    Socio-scientific issues in national tests: Discerning selective traditions science teaching2014In: The Past, Present and Future of  Educational Research in Europe, 2014Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 21.
    Sund, Per
    Mälardalen University, School of Education, Culture and Communication.
    Teachers’ Value-laden Content and Teaching Traditions in Environmental Education2011In: 5th Beijing International Forum on Education for Sustainable Development, October 16 – 18, Beijing, P.R.China, 2011Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Abstract

    To make an educational situation meaningful for students necessitates more content than just subject content (Östman, 1995). Subject matter is always taught within an educational context (Roberts, 1982). The context, which could be seen as an indispensable part of the content, is communicated to students by teachers through speech and action during the conduct of teaching (Sund & Wickman, 2008). The context in which subject content is taught is here called the socialization content (Englund, 1998). Policy level discussions are often focusing mainly on subject matter integration (UNESCO, 2005).

     

    One important point of departure for this exploratory and empirical study is that the learning of subject content and socialisation content occurs simultaneously, and together they constitute the educational content. This study focuses on the socialization content communicated by upper secondary teachers, which is studied through their messages to students. These might be different messages about the subject content or different messages in the teaching process.

     

    The aim of this study is to contribute to a better developed knowledge of the socialization content, which is an indispensable part of the content in environmental education and education for sustainable development. By using an analytical tool developed in earlier research (Sund, 2008) is possible to discern some important differences in the socialisation content within three selective traditions of environmental education (Öhman, 2004). 

  • 22.
    Sund, Per
    Mälardalen University, School of Education, Culture and Communication, Educational Sciences and Mathematics.
    The constitution of critical environmental education processes2015In: What is critical about contemporary ‘critical’ environmental education research: theoretical challenges, tensions, applications, methodological implications?, 2015Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    I am very interested in the development of the ESE research area: its history, framing, role and how it is conducted and communicated. Questions like: What is a good research contribution; is it to confirm earlier research results by a new method or to fill a gap? Is it possible to be a new-thinker in a peer-reviewed research publication environment if we work with a ‘classic’ filtration model? How can we reach continuity in the development of the research area and at the same time support innovative change?

     

    In 2013 I wrote an article with Jonas Greve Lysgaard where we tried to start elaborating on these type of issues. As a reviewer I often get papers which are not contextualized enough. Many times research that would have contributed to the field with specific settings or new contexts, won’t get published because the authors are not aware of what is done earlier in similar studies.  

     

    Too often research is not research but an evaluation study of expected learning outcomes of specific teaching methods, or a study with an interesting content but with a methodology poorly connected to earlier research. Sometimes there are more theoretical aspirations but the problem can then be the limited connection to educational philosophy in general. I think that contemporary Environmental and Sustainability Research, ESER need to be more critical and self-critical, especially at conferences. Many journals are certainly of very good research quality but many conference proposals can be further developed.  This is my experiences after being the link-convenor for the ESER network (No 30) within the European Educational Research Association, EERA for two years. The network has an explicit aim to support the international development of high quality ESER. There are many good ambitious initiatives taken over the years (see ref. below) but ESE researchers seem to need continuous reminders regarding how to improve ‘research’ into research.

  • 23.
    Sund, Per
    Mälardalen University, School of Education, Culture and Communication.
    The extras: content communicated to students through teachers’ ESD-Approach2011In: 6th World Environmental Education Congress, WEEC 6,  19-23 July, Brisbane, Australia_Pen-drive, 2011Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 24.
    Sund, Per
    Mälardalen University, School of Education, Culture and Communication, Educational Sciences and Mathematics.
    The way from being a ‘green school’ to become an ‘ESD-school’: A comparison of teaching between Sweden and East Africa2013In: Creativity and Innovation in Educational Research, 2013Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Across the globe, NGOs from developed countries are conducting education programmes in developing countries together with local partners with the aim of supporting the implementation of education for sustainable development, ESD. Earlier Swedish development projects have supported schools to become ‘Green schools’ with a focus on ecology and to create utilities such as waste-management systems, school gardens and composting. During the UNESCO decade, DESD, schools have been encouraged to become ‘ESD-schools’. In this paper, the focus is on teachers’ ESD implementation outcomes. The analysis is oriented towards East African teachers’ responses concerning their ESD teaching. Information about the overall outcomes of the World Wide Fund for Nature’s (WWF Sweden) educational programme was acquired by the author in interviews with principals, teachers and pupils from six primary schools and one teacher training college in the three African countries of Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. It is difficult for a scholar from a ‘western’ culture to conduct research in a very different context. However, an important unifying factor is that the schools have been supported by an NGO that has made use of the services of experienced Swedish educators for more than three years. This has facilitated the use of a methodology developed in earlier studies of EE/ESD teaching in Sweden. The results confirm that ESD is context sensitive and is of interest for researchers and educators studying the outcomes of aid-financed development programmes. A complimentary approach of ESD is manifested in the East African context, which emphasises predetermined and often locally negotiated social and educational outcomes. The results are critically examined in relation to the diverse international meanings of ESD and to earlier research into different ESD approaches.

     

  • 25.
    Sund, Per
    Mälardalen University, School of Education, Culture and Communication.
    What and how: extras in ESD communicated by teachers2007In: The ESERA Conference 2007, 2007Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 26.
    Sund, Per
    et al.
    Mälardalen University, School of Education, Culture and Communication.
    Lidar, Malena
    Uppsala universitet, Institutionen för didaktik, pedagogik och utbildningsstudier.
    Lundqvist, Eva
    Uppsala universitet, Institutinen för didaktik, pedagogik och utbildningsstudier.
    Almqvist, Jonas
    Uppsala universitet, Institutionen för didaktik, pedagogik och utbildningsstudier .
    National tests in biology, physics and chemistry: potential influence on teachers’ teaching practices2013In: NARST 2013 Annual International Conference: The S in STEM Education: Policy, Research and Practice, 2013Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper reports results from a project that aims at investigating if and in which way the introduction of national tests in science education influence teachers’ opinions of what is ”good” education in science and how this effects teachers’ instruction and assessment of students. National tests in biology, physics and chemistry were introduced in 2009 in year 9 in Swedish comprehensive school. Some of the governing arguments for national tests are that they will work exemplary for teachers and create a more equal and fair assessment and grading of students. A survey among Swedish science teachers were performed regarding various aspects of their practice. Teachers teaching in line with the different teaching traditions were then interviewed about their teaching. Analyses of the actual national tests were also carried out. The results showed that different teachers do put emphasis on different goals, contents, and assessment in their classroom practices and that these aspects can be systematically grouped as teaching traditions. Nevertheless, there were no significant differences in how teachers in different teaching traditions responded to national tests. Therefore it is discussed whether the use of national tests is a feasible way to generate a more equal and fair education.

  • 27.
    Sund, Per
    et al.
    Mälardalen University, School of Education, Culture and Communication, Educational Sciences and Mathematics.
    Lundqvist, Eva
    Uppsala Universitet.
    Selective traditions in group discussions – teachers’ views about good science and the possible obstacles when encountering a new topic2016In: Cultural Studies of Science Education, ISSN 1871-1502, E-ISSN 1871-1510, p. 1-18Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    There is an ongoing discussion about what content that should be taught in science education and there are different views among teachers about what represent good science content. However, teachers are not isolated individuals making their own interpretations, but are part of institutionalised systems building on patterns in the selection of teaching goals and content. Earlier research shows that teachers teach in alignment with different selective traditions, which can be understood as well-developed teaching habits. Individual teachers seem to develop their personal habits on the basis of the contextual situations created by earlier generations of teachers.

    In order to find out which content teachers find representative for science education, we asked nine teachers to take part in group interviews to talk about what they value as “good” science content. The participants were grouped according to their selective traditions expressed in earlier studies. The method was used to dynamically explore, challenge and probe teachers views.

    The starting point for the group discussions is national tests in science. In Sweden, national tests in biology, physics and chemistry were introduced in secondary school science (Year 9) in 2009. One overarching aim of these tests is to support the implementation of the science curricula and to include for example knowledge about socio-scientific issues (SSI). The content of the tests can consequently be seen as important for teachers to consider.

    The findings show on the one hand that the individual science teachers choose science content in alignment with an earlier categorisation illustrated in a selective tradition study. On the other hand, teachers seem to return to a scientific rational discourse when they discuss questions in the tests relating to socio-scientific issues. The results are discussed in relation to the issue that teachers seem to be more comfortable when working with traditional science content but also in relation to the finding about how teachers’ selective traditions appear to become less visible in group discussions.

  • 28.
    Sund, Per
    et al.
    Mälardalen University, School of Education, Culture and Communication, Educational Sciences and Mathematics.
    Lysgaard, Jonas
    Aarhus University, Copenhagen, Denmark.
    Reclaim “Education” in Environmental and Sustainability Education Research2015In: Planet and Planet- How can they develop together?, 2015Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Introduction: this short presentation looks into the nascent research area of Environmental and Sustainability Education (ESE) and argues that it needs a firm grounding in educational philosophy in order to focus more on education. The discussion is based on experiences at two recent conferences focusing on research in this field. Issues related to content, attitudes

    and long-term aims dominated at these conferences, while learning processes were often taken for granted.

     

    Objectives: This presentation highlights the risk that, without a connection to educational philosophy, Environmental and Sustainability Education (ESE) research can result in normative statements that may essentially be regarded as miseducative. All education is normative in the sense that it has a purpose. The normativity that is problematized here is the tendency to use ESE as a platform for prescribing how the knowledge that is acquired in school should be applied beyond the learning context. Change for the better, whatever this might mean, can be a noble cause, but it should not tempt researchers and educators to force distinct solutions and behavior change strategies onto students and members of the public. The purpose of this presentation is thus to signal the need for more democratic and student participative ESE research by providing examples of connections between ESE research and educational philosophy.

     

    Methods: In the presentation the role of education is briefly discussed as a prelude to reflection on some of the authors’ personal experiences at two quite recent Educational research conferences. This is followed by examples of how tendencies toward normativity and behavior modification occur and influence educational activities. Previous research initiatives incorporating insights from educational philosophy are discussed.

     

    Results: By looking at trends within current ESE research, especially as found at conferences such as WEEC, the presentation exihibits examples of tendencies towards Normativity and Behavior Modification and looks into how educational philosophy can remind us about the lure of Normativity. The presentation also looks into earlier examples within the field of drawing on educational philosophy in order to strengthen the quality of the research within the field, and how this could be of relevance to contemporary research.

     

    Conclusion: The argument of this presentation relates to the importance of how the field of ESE continues to push important and necessary agendas, as demonstrated in Ardoin, Clark and Kelsey’s survey of future trends. Although central future topics might include community and the link between the social and ecological, urbanity and the digital age, these need to be linked to a more substantial interest in the educational process and the many philosophical strands associated with it. If this is not done, EE and ESD research could become a 'large fish in a small pond'.

  • 29.
    Sund, Per
    et al.
    Mälardalen University, School of Education, Culture and Communication.
    Lysgaard, Jonas Greve
    Danske Pedagogiske Universitet, Århus.
    Reclaim “Education” in Environmental and Sustainability Education Research2013In: Sustainability, ISSN 2071-1050, E-ISSN 2071-1050, Vol. 5, no 4, p. 1598-1616Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The nascent research area of Environmental and Sustainability Education (ESE) needs a firm grounding in educational philosophy in order to focus more on education. This conclusion is based on experiences at two recent conferences focusing on research in this field. Issues related to content, attitudes and long-term aims dominated at these conferences, while learning processes were often taken for granted.

  • 30.
    Sund, Per
    et al.
    Mälardalen University, School of Education, Culture and Communication.
    Nyberg, Eva
    Göteborgs universitet.
    Executive summary2007In: Drivers and Barriers for Implementing Learning for Sustainable Development in Pre-school through Upper Secondary and Teacher Education / [ed] Björneloo, Inger; Nyberg, Eva, Paris: UNESCO , 2007, p. 13-17Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 31.
    Sund, Per
    et al.
    Mälardalen University, School of Education, Culture and Communication, Educational Sciences and Mathematics.
    Sund, Louise
    Mälardalen University, School of Education, Culture and Communication, Educational Sciences and Mathematics.
    ”Alla gör fel?!” – Hinder för lärares bedömning av elevers praktiska förmågor under ett nationellt prov2017In: NorDiNa: Nordic Studies in Science Education, ISSN 1504-4556, E-ISSN 1894-1257, Vol. 13, no 1, p. 3-16Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [sv]

    Storskaliga och kostsamma nationella tester genomförs i hela västvärlden och tar stora lärarresurser i anspråk. Med stora satsningar som dessa är det viktigt att ställa frågan om betygsunderlaget som genereras är likvärdigt? Studiens titel, ”alla gör fel” anspelar på just detta och kommer från en elevs uttalande då eleven inser det sannolika i att samtliga elever i elevgruppen gör på samma sätt av sociala skäl istället för att använda sig av sina individuella naturvetenskapliga kunskaper. Denna fallstudie undersöker svenska lärares möjligheter att bedöma elevers individuella förmågor i tre undervisningsgrupper under genomförandet av ett praktiskt delmoment i det nationella provet i kemi i åk 9. Datainsamling genomfördes med två fasta videokameror och tre par spionglasögon. Trots att provinstruktioner till elever och lärare är väl utvecklade och bedömningsanvisningar till läraren är detaljerade visar resultaten i denna studie att det är svårt att bedöma elevers individuella praktiska förmågor. Det finns många olika slags faktorer som påverkar provresultatet. En sådan faktor är provet genomförs i en laborationssal där situationen skiljer sig väsentligt från miljön för ett teoretiskt prov i ett klassrum. En annan faktor är att det under den praktiska provdelen i en laborationssal närmast är omöjligt för eleverna att undvika att kommunicera. Studiens resultat visar att det finns påverkansfaktorer som sociala interaktioner och systematiska fysiska felkällor. I resultatet diskuteras hur lärares möjligheter att bedöma elevers individuella praktiska förmågor under nationella prov bättre kan säkerställas.

  • 32.
    Sund, Per
    et al.
    Mälardalen University, School of Education, Culture and Communication, Educational Sciences and Mathematics.
    Svanberg, Staffan
    Världsnaturfonden.
    Handbook: A successful implementation of ESD - How to design a seminar2014Book (Other academic)
  • 33.
    Sund, Per
    et al.
    Mälardalen University, School of Education, Culture and Communication.
    Wickman, Per-Olof
    Stockholms Universitet.
    Socialization Content in Schools and Education for Sustainable Development – I.: A study of teachers' selective traditions2011In: Environmental Education Research, ISSN 1350-4622, E-ISSN 1469-5871, Vol. 17, no 5, p. 599-624Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article studies content issues by examining teachers’ communicated socialization content. The value-laden socialization content constitutes the educational context for the teaching of integrated subject matter and has not yet been thoroughly studied empirically in environmental education research. The implications of the results can be fruitful in discussions about how educational traditions evolve, as well as discussions about the relationships between environmental education and education for sustainable development. In this study, ten upper secondary teachers are interviewed and their expressed socialization content is examined. Various qualitative positions regarding five important educational aspects can be described in terms of three selective traditions. To strengthen the validity of the socialization content found in this study, the students of the same teachers were interviewed regarding their experiences of the socialization content of these teachers’ teaching. This is reported in a supplementary article (Sund & Wickman, this issue). Together these three studies (this article, Sund & Wickman, this issue and Sund, 2008) work to establish and test a method of discerning qualitative aspects in socialization content. Although the amount of data is limited, the ambition has been to triangulate socialization content qualitatively from three different sources:  a literature study, teacher interviews and student interviews.

  • 34.
    Sund, Per
    et al.
    Mälardalen University, School of Education, Culture and Communication.
    Wickman, Per-Olof
    Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden.
    Socialization Content in Schools and Education for Sustainable Development – II.: A study of students' apprehension of teachers' companion meanings in ESD2011In: Environmental Education Research, ISSN 1350-4622, E-ISSN 1469-5871, Vol. 17, no 5, p. 625-649Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Subject content is always studied within an educational context. This context is constituted by the socialization content, which can be regarded as an educational content beyond the subject content. This is the third article of three studies (this article, Sund & Wickman, this issue and Sund, 2008) that together form a triangulation of possible socialization content of environmental education. A common purpose for these three combined studies is to embrace and visualize the important value-laden content, which is often forgotten in discussions about the development of education for sustainable development. It is not sufficient to merely integrate more subject content matter – it may also be necessary to adapt to a changed teaching approach, which also develops content in the teaching process. Teachers’ changed approaches convey qualitatively different clusters of ‘meta-messages’ to students. The first study from authors in 2008 developed an analytical tool consisting of five important educational aspects and the second, also published in this issue, used the aspects to study teachers socialization content expressed in the interviews. The present study examines whether the qualitative differences in upper secondary teachers’ communicated socialization content in three selective traditions are apprehended by their students.

  • 35.
    Sund, Per
    et al.
    Mälardalen University, School of Sustainable Development of Society and Technology.
    Wickman, Per-Olof
    Stockholms Universitet,Institutionen för utbildningsvetenskap med inriktning mot matematik och naturvetenskap.
    Teachers' objects of responsibility: something to care about in education for sustainable development?2008In: Environmental Education Research, ISSN 1350-4622, E-ISSN 1469-5871, Vol. 14, no 2, p. 145-163Article in journal (Refereed)
    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.

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