Understandings of climate change articulated by Swedish secondary school students

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Understandings of climate change articulated by Swedish secondary school students

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Publication Article, peer reviewed scientific
Title Understandings of climate change articulated by Swedish secondary school students
Author Holmqvist Olander, Mona ; Olander, Clas
Date 2016
English abstract
This study investigated beliefs about climate change among Swedish secondary school students at the end of their K-12 education. An embedded mixed method approach was used to analyse 51 secondary school students’ written responses to two questions: (1) What implies climate change? (2) What affects climate? A quantitative analysis of the responses revealed that ‘Earth’, ‘human’ and ‘greenhouse effect’ were frequent topics regarding the first question, and ‘pollution’, ‘atmosphere’ and ‘Earth’ were frequent regarding the second. A qualitative analysis, based on a ‘conceptual elements’ framework, focused on three elements within responses: atmosphere (causes and/or consequences), Earth (causes and consequences) and living beings (humans and/or animals and their impacts on climate change). It revealed a predominantly general or societal, rather than individual, perspective underlying students’ responses to the second question. The ability to connect general/societal issues with individual issues relating to climate change could prompt students to reflect on the contributions of individuals towards climate change mitigation, thereby constituting a basis for decision-making to promote a sustainable environment. Although the students did not discuss climate changes from an individual perspective, their statements revealed their understanding of climate change as a system comprising various components affecting the overall situation. They also revealed an understanding of the difference between weather and climate.
DOI https://doi.org/10.1080/00219266.2016.1233130 (link to publisher's fulltext.)
Publisher Taylor & Francis
Host/Issue Journal of Biological Education;
ISSN 2157-6009
Language eng (iso)
Subject climate change
secondary school
climate literacy
science education
students’ beliefs
Humanities/Social Sciences
Research Subject Categories::SOCIAL SCIENCES
Handle http://hdl.handle.net/2043/21853 Permalink to this page
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