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Discussing sustainable development among teachers: an analysis from a conflict perspective
Malmö högskola, Faculty of Education and Society (LS), Department of Nature, Environment and Society (NMS).ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1730-4655
Malmö högskola, Faculty of Education and Society (LS), Department of Nature, Environment and Society (NMS).
Malmö högskola, Faculty of Education and Society (LS), Department of Nature, Environment and Society (NMS).
2014 (English)In: International Journal of Environmental and Science Education, ISSN 1306-3065, Vol. 9, no 1, p. 41-57Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Education for Sustainable Development has been discussed as problematic, as a top down directive promoting an ―indoctrinating‖ education. The concept of the intertwined dimensions (economic, social-cultural, and environmental) of sustainable development is seen both as an opportunity and as a limitation for pluralistic views of sustainability. In this paper we study possibilities that allow different perspectives of sustainability to emerge and develop in discussions. We focus on the conflicting perspectives of the intertwined dimensions in some main theoretical models in combination with the use of Wertsch’s function of speech framework to construct a conflict reflection tool. As an illustrative case, we apply this conflict reflection tool to an analysis of a discussion among seven secondary school teachers on climate change. The results in this particular example show the dynamics of speech genre and content in developing different perspectives. We conclude our paper with a discussion of the conflicting view of the integrated dimensions of sustainability in relation to an agonistic pluralistic approach, and we consider its relevance in an educational context.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
International Society of Educational Research , 2014. Vol. 9, no 1, p. 41-57
Keywords [en]
Education for sustainable development, Environmental education, Agonistic pluralism, Dialogic function
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mau:diva-3378Local ID: 17646OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mau-3378DiVA, id: diva2:1400179
Available from: 2020-02-28 Created: 2020-02-28 Last updated: 2024-01-16Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. The educational challenge in "education for sustainable development": qualification, social change and the political
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The educational challenge in "education for sustainable development": qualification, social change and the political
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis explores how Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) as an overarching perspective makes meaningof educational aims and purposes. Sustainable development, as a concept, is by necessity complex, and deals withintegrated dimensions of environmental, social-cultural and economic sustainability. It involves a diverse range ofembedded values and ideologies and calls for engagement in value-related and political issues relating to environment,equality and lifestyle. In my thesis, I have turned to the actors in social practice who are set to realise the educationalperspectives of ESD – the teachers. Accordingly, the analyses departure from secondary and upper secondary schoolteachers’ reciprocal meaning-making when discussing the desirable aims of teaching and ESD. Building upon previouseducational research, the thesis has three purposes, and the results are presented in four articles. The results of thestudies bring new empirical knowledge and perspectives to educational research and practice, by adding furtherunderstanding of the political and democratic dimensions of ESD.The first purpose is to investigate and describe the complexity of the concept of sustainable development from a conflictperspective and to analyse meaning-making discussions of sustainability in an educational context. This is elaborated inthe first study (Article I). To achieve this, a Conflict Reflection Tool (CRT) has been developed, by combining theconflicting dynamics of sustainable development with dialogic and univocal functions of speech. In the included casestudy, the CRT analysis of teachers’ discussions shows how fact-based, univocal science utterances closed thediscussion for conflicting perspectives to emerge. However, conflicting views did emerge and were re-valued in adialogic genre through the interplay of different dimensions of sustainability and different societal levels of conflicts.The second purpose is to investigate how the desired aims of ESD are (re)articulated in areas of educational tension inorder to make particular meaning by teachers with experience in ESD practice. Three complex ESD areas are in focus,namely, the development of students as political subjects (Article II), qualification in relation to ESD (Article III), andeducation for social change in relation to ‘sustainable’ living (Article IV). In each of these areas, the functions ofqualification, socialisation and subjectification (c.f. Biesta) are relationally analysed to further problematise educationalpurposes. Through analyses with inpiration from discourse theory, the results show in Article II the emerging discourse ofcritical thinking as room for subjectification where students were invited to be adressed as political subjects. This discoursewas articulated in struggle with the aims of qualification and socialisation, i.e. challenged by elements articulating a morescientific and rational worldview. Article III shows three discourses of qualification. Of these three, scientific reasoningand awareness of complexity are articulated as contrasting epistemological discourses of qualification. However, in thethird discourse, qualification as critical thinking, these different epistemological views are articulated as intertwined asdifferent ways to view sustainability. Article IV shows how the teachers struggle between three positions: the rationalsubject, as a neutral conductor; the responsible subject, as a role model, or the reconstructing subject, as a reconstructor.The overlapping positions depend upon how socialisation towards sustainable lifestyles, political and ethical perspectivesare identified in relation to the educational aims and the emerging myths of social change.The third purpose is to develop analytical methods where conflicting articulations of environmental issues andsustainability are taken into account based on language and discourse theory for conducting empirical investigations ofmeaning-making.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Malmö University, Faculty of Education and Society, 2015. p. 110
Series
Malmö Studies in Educational Sciences: Doctoral Dissertation Series, ISSN 1651-4513 ; 76Studies in Science and Technology Education, ISSN 1652-5051 ; 85
Keywords
environmental education (EE), education for sustainable development (ESD), discourse theory, subjectification, teachers' meaning making, functions of education
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mau:diva-7562 (URN)18097 (Local ID)978-91-7104-627-7 (ISBN)978-91-7104-628-4 (ISBN)18097 (Archive number)18097 (OAI)
Note

Note: The papers are not included in the fulltext online.

Paper III in dissertation as manuscript.

Available from: 2020-02-28 Created: 2020-02-28 Last updated: 2024-03-15Bibliographically approved

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Hasslöf, HelenEkborg, MargaretaMalmberg, Claes

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