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Conflicts of interest: an indispensable element of education for sustainable development
Stockholm University, The Stockholm Institute of Education, Department of Curriculum Studies and Communication .
Stockholm University, The Stockholm Institute of Education, Department of Curriculum Studies and Communication .
2007 (English)In: Environmental Education Research, ISSN 1350-4622, E-ISSN 1469-5871, Vol. 13, no 1, 1-15 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A central concept introduced in the Nordic debate on sustainable development is 'action competence'. The concept has been defined as a competence of learners, i.e. the ability to take into consideration the social factors and human conflicts of interest that lies behind environmental questions and sustainable development. The concern of this article is the role of such conflicts for making meaning in relation to sustainable development. With this aim, we analyze a series of interviews with seven high school students. Our analysis takes its point of departure in the works of Dewey and Wittgenstein. It shows that the dialogue partners in this study continuously put one another in the position of having to make communicative choices in the dialogue. Moreover, the choices facing these dialogue partners can be translated into human conflicts of interest of a broader kind. A conclusion we draw from our work is that value judgments dealing with human conflicts of interest are a foundation upon which the dialogue on sustainable development is constructed, and that they seem to be a prerequisite if the dialogue is not to come to a standstill. We discuss the consequences of this finding for education for sustainable development.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. Vol. 13, no 1, 1-15 p.
National Category
Didactics
Research subject
Didactics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-24483DOI: 10.1080/13504620601122566OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-24483DiVA: diva2:197637
Note
Part of urn:nbn:se:su:diva-7103Available from: 2007-10-04 Created: 2007-10-04 Last updated: 2010-10-22Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. På väg mot pluralism: Elever i situerade samtal kring hållbar utveckling
Open this publication in new window or tab >>På väg mot pluralism: Elever i situerade samtal kring hållbar utveckling
2007 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[en]
Towards Pluralism : Students in Situated Deliberations on Sustainable Development
Abstract [en]

This dissertation highlights and discusses some essential aspects of young people’s meaning-making deliberations on future issues and sustainable development. In the first two of four articles, recurring components of the discussion that appear to be important for its progression are both identifi ed and illustrated. In the two latter articles these components are then used to study how the identities of the conversers are constituted through the deliberations and to describe how the individual participants assume their place in them as free political subjects.

The dissertation’s theoretical starting point has been the pragmatist arguments and positions mainly found in Dewey’s concept of experience, Rorty’s anti-representationalistic perspective of meaning-making and Wittgenstein’s discussions relating to language games. A methodological attempt developed from these arguments is transaction analysis – originally formulated by Wickman and Östman and later called practical epistemology. The study begins with this analysis and develops it further. The empirical data included in the dissertation’s studies is based on recorded interviews and students discussions. The students who participated either attended upper secondary school or a folk high school.

The results of the dissertation’s four articles show that human confl icts of interest and value relations should be regarded as central stages in students’ discussion processes on sustainable development. The dissertation also shows how these components can be used to study pluralism and how students’ collective identity is constituted.

In the dissertation’s conclusion, a number of tools are developed that are suitable for research where one intends to further analyse how students create meaning about future issues and sustainable development through discussion. The conclusion also describes eight educational points that need to be taken into account when creating constructive discussion situations that support students’ learning in the field of sustainable development.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: HLS Förlag, 2007. 216 p.
Series
Studies in educational sciences, ISSN 1400-478X ; 101
Keyword
Education for sustainable development, conflicts of interest, action, competence, values, identity, pluralism, democracy, pragmatism, Dewey, Rorty, Wittgenstein, contingency, transaction, practical epistemology
National Category
Pedagogy
Research subject
Didactics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-7103 (URN)978-91-7656-642-8 (ISBN)
Public defence
2007-10-25, Dahlströmsalen, Lärarhögskolan, hus D, Rålambsvägen 26 D, Stockholm, 10:00
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2007-10-04 Created: 2007-10-04 Last updated: 2011-02-25Bibliographically approved

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