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Governing ‘eco-certified children’ through pastoral power: critical perspectives on education for sustainable development
Malmö högskola, Faculty of Education and Society (LS), Department of Nature, Environment and Society (NMS).ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6389-0686
Malmö högskola, Faculty of Education and Society (LS), Department of Nature, Environment and Society (NMS).
2015 (English)In: Environmental Education Research, ISSN 1350-4622, E-ISSN 1469-5871, Vol. 21, no 2, p. 173-182Article in journal (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This article analyses how ‘eco-certified children’ are constructed as desirable subjects in teaching materials addressing education for sustainable development. We are interested in how discourses structure this cherished practice and how this practice has become ‘natural’ and obvious for us. A discourse analysis is carried out by looking at the material through the lens of Foucault’s notion of pastoral power. The analysis departs from teaching material addressing issues on sustainable development: (1) textbooks for primary and secondary school; (2) games targeted at preschool and school children; and (3) children’s books about sustainable development. The results show that the discourse of education for sustainable development is characterized by scientific and mathematical objectiv- ity and faith in technological development. It emphasizes the right of the individ- ual and the obligation to make free, however ‘correct’, choices. In the teaching materials, the eco-certified child therefore emerges as knowing, conscious, rational, sacrificing and active. This child is constructed through knitting together personal guilt with global threats, detailed individual activities with rescuing the flock and the planet. In a concluding discussion, we discuss how ESD is framed in a neoliberal ideology. With the help of ESD, an economic discourse becomes dressed in an almost poetic language.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2015. Vol. 21, no 2, p. 173-182
Keywords [en]
discourse, education for sustainable development, teaching material, power, governmentality, environmental education
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mau:diva-14507DOI: 10.1080/13504622.2013.879696ISI: 000348307100002Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84921434909Local ID: 17513OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mau-14507DiVA, id: diva2:1418028
Available from: 2020-03-30 Created: 2020-03-30 Last updated: 2024-02-05Bibliographically approved

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Ideland, MalinMalmberg, Claes

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