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Climate Change and Morality: Students’ Conceptions of Individual and Society.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
2008 (English)In: 6th international conference on Conceptual Change.: European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction, Turku, Finland., 2008Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The aim of this paper is to present results from a project investigating students’ interpretations of social aspects related to environmental issues, here being climate change. The students were 14 years old, studying at different green schools in the Beijing area, China. The study was based on semi-structured interviews and the data was looked upon from an intentional perspective, which means both cognitive and situational factors were taken into consideration when analyzing the utterances. The findings show that moral reasoning and development, as well as societal understanding, are at the core when students discuss a socioscientific problem such as climate change. In particular the results show that the students conceptualized the problem of who, what, and how in relation to two different stances. That is, they contextualise the problems and solutions for change to the aspect of individual where the individual is ‘myself’ or ‘someone else’. The different notions of ‘myself’ and ‘someone else’ become crucial as the students’ relations and considerations for nature and society change according to the different contexts. When the individual is ‘me’ nature and society are considered, whereas when the individual is ‘someone else’, society and nature are taking into account The study indicates that besides the ‘cold’ aspect, such as content knowledge and pure cognition, the ‘warm’ aspect, as in emotions, values, ethics, is an important part of learning about environmental issue such as climate change. The paper finalises with a discussion on implications for practice and research.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-15831OAI: diva2:182351
Available from: 2008-12-16 Created: 2008-12-16Bibliographically approved

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Wang, LiLundholm, Cecilia
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