Global responsibility or eco-certified nationalism? About impossibilities of non-colonial ESD.

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Global responsibility or eco-certified nationalism? About impossibilities of non-colonial ESD.

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Publication Other
Title Global responsibility or eco-certified nationalism? About impossibilities of non-colonial ESD.
Author(s) Ideland, Malin
Date 2014
English abstract
Swedish curriculum describes a strong intention to foster globally responsible citizens; it is expressed in general curriculum as well as in subject syllabi. Swedish education has the duty to not only qualify Swedish children for PISA tests and work life, but also to help them “form a personal position with respect to overarching and global environmental issues”. Knowledge about and a personal approach to other peoples’ living conditions all over the world are also emphasized – not at least in relation to Educations for Sustainable Development (ESD). My question here is, however, if this global responsibility is possible to teach beyond a colonial gaze? ESD is a practice that has grown from international efforts. In the UN decade for sustainable development, education is pointed out as an arena for change into a more sustainable society. This is of course an important project, with the best of intentions. Still, it is necessary to raise questions in what ways this is a “common” project for a “common world”, and in what ways it is a colonialization through western norms. From a study of Swedish teaching material for ESD, I will address how the global project of sustainable development transforms through a discourse of “Swedish exceptionalism”. Through this discourse, “Swedishness” is fabricated as knowing, altruistic, conscious and good. In a double gesture of inclusion and exclusion, the rest of the world appears in need of help, development, or – in some cases – higher moral standards. The including ESD project could thus be understood as a colonial, differentiating and excluding practice. One must ask if and how it is possible at all to escape this nationalistic perspective in a time of globalisation.
Language eng (iso)
Subject(s) education for sustainable development
discourse analysis
post-colonial theory
swedish exceptionalism
teaching material
Humanities/Social Sciences
Research Subject Categories::SOCIAL SCIENCES
Note IOSTE XVI, Kuching Sarawak, Malaysia, 21-27 September 2014
Handle http://hdl.handle.net/2043/18303 (link to this page)
Link http://iosteborneo.com/ (external link to related web page)

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