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Contemporary Sustainability Literacy Counting on Critical Knowledge Capability
Malmö högskola, Faculty of Education and Society (LS), Department of Nature, Environment and Society (NMS).ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9613-8132
2016 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

"This paper reports on a study of transdisciplinary teaching of education for sustainable development (ESD) with a global dimension at an upper secondary school in Sweden. The paper examines the argument that in these contexts, content and teaching forms are not established in advance, making it possible for students to develop critical knowledge capability. Knowledge capability goes beyond simply holding a competence for acting in a defined and foreseeable situation that can be practiced in advance. Instead, knowledge capabilities allow students to take adequate decisions in the future, as new situations occur and demand action-taking. A total of 27 semi-structured interviews were conducted with 9 teachers and analysed using phenomenographic and contextual analysis (Åkerlind, 2005). Two main approaches to transdisciplinary teaching were identified: one where they contributed but struggled with transdisciplinarity, and the other where teachers displayed ownership and were able to reconceptualise the project as a whole. Overall, teachers worked in the project with deep-level processing for learning ESD in an integrated manner in a transdisciplinary framework. However, they experienced tensions between their resources and capabilities, and the challenges they faced in the project. Working with ESD is shown to be a highly challenging and complex task for teachers, in devising learning activities and support structures for students that involve these various dimensions. Despite their aspirations to achieve ESD learning goals expressed in the national curriculum, teacher teams frequently experience that they do not have full capability to cover a complex knowledge field (Öhman & Öhman, 2012). Teachers are challenged to work with their own professional development, exchanging experiences and knowledge simultaneously. This also involves coping with deep questions of their inner (re)orientation, and developing extended external teaching forms corresponding to transdisciplinary learning processes (Sund & Wickman, 2008). The paper concludes by arguing that by enhancing the ability to deal with global processes, involving critical thinking, skills and values, ESD inevitably attempts to foster students becoming responsible citizens (Scheunpflug & Asbrant, 2006; Anderberg, Nordén, & Hansson 2009). This is facilitated by approaches that, from the outset, integrate global and transdisciplinary dimensions, and thereby address the challenge of teaching about complexities (Sund 2015), with considerations of local situations, and diverse values or cultures. Importantly, working with the global dimension allows students to better understand conflicts of interest underlying different suggestions for dealing with sustainability issues and making decisions in the future (Biesta 2009; Howie & Bagnall, 2012; Gough 2012).”

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016.
Keywords [en]
sustainability literacy, AAEE 2016, Australian Association for Environmental Education, contemporary sustainability approaches, critical knowledge capability, knowledge capability, critical knowledge, Education as Active Citizenship, ESD, EE, global learning, global contexts, KNOWLEDGE CAPABILITY THEORY, transnational learning communities, democratic collaborative action, Deep approaches to learning, student-focused perspectives on teaching
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mau:diva-11441Local ID: 21743OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mau-11441DiVA, id: diva2:1408485
Conference
Australian Association for Environmental Education (AAEE 2016), 19th Biennial Conference on environmental education: "Tomorrowmaking our present to the future”, Adelaide, Australia. (5-7 October 2016)
Available from: 2020-02-29 Created: 2020-02-29 Last updated: 2022-06-27Bibliographically approved

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http://www.aaee.org.au/about/conference-2016/

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Nordén, Birgitta

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Citation style
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