Deepening Approaches to Teaching, Learning and Curriculum in Environmental and Sustainability Education: Transdisciplinary Teaching for Global Learning of Sustainable Development in a Whole School Project.

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Deepening Approaches to Teaching, Learning and Curriculum in Environmental and Sustainability Education: Transdisciplinary Teaching for Global Learning of Sustainable Development in a Whole School Project.

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Title Deepening Approaches to Teaching, Learning and Curriculum in Environmental and Sustainability Education: Transdisciplinary Teaching for Global Learning of Sustainable Development in a Whole School Project.
Author Nordén, Birgitta
Date 2016
English abstract
Deepening Approaches To Teaching, Learning and Curriculum In Environmental And Sustainability Education Chair: Alan Reid (Monash University) Symposium: 3 Papers in Symposium - 3 National Perspectives. National perspective: Sweden 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). Bibliography: Åkerlind, G. (2005). Variation and Commonality in Phenomenographic Research Methods. Higher Education Research and Development, 24: 321-334. Anderberg, E., B. Nordén, & B. Hansson. (2009). Global Learning for Sustainable Development in Higher Education: Recent Trends and Critique. International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, 10(4): 368-378. Biesta, G. (2009). Good Education in an Age of Measurement: On the Need to Reconnect with the Question of Purpose in Education. Educational Assessment, Evaluation and Accountability 21(1): 33-46. Gough. N. (2012). Thinking Globally in Environmental Education. In (Eds) R. Stevenson et al. International Handbook of Research on Environmental Education. Routledge. pp. 33-44. Howie, P. & R. Bagnall. (2012). A Critique of the Deep and Surface Approaches to Learning Model. Teaching in Higher Education, 18(4): 389-400. Öhman. M. & J. Öhman. (2012). Harmony or Conflict? A Case Study of Meaning Content in ESD. NORDINA 8(1): 59-71. Scheunpflug, A. & B. Asbrand. (2006). Global Education and ESD. Environmental Education Research, 12(1): 33-46. Sund. P. (2015). Experienced ESD-School Teachers’ Teaching – An Issue of Complexity. Environmental Education Research, 21(1): 24-44. Sund, P. & P-O. Wickman. (2008). Teachers’ Objects of Responsibility: Something to Care about in ESD? Environmental Education Research, 14(2): 145-163.
Conference
European Education Research Association (EERA) at ECER 2016: "Leading Education: The Distinct Contributions of Educational Research and Researchers" (22-26 augusti 2016 : Dublin, Ireland.)
Language eng (iso)
Subject curriculum
materiality
environmental education
phenomenography
sustainability
Humanities/Social Sciences
Research Subject Categories::SOCIAL SCIENCES
Handle http://hdl.handle.net/2043/21742 Permalink to this page
Link http://www.eera-ecer.de/ecer-2016-dublin/... (external link to related web page)
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