Climate change and morality: Students' perspectives on the individual and society
2011 (English)In: International Journal of Science Education, ISSN 0950-0693, E-ISSN 1464-5289, Vol. 33, no 8, 1131-1148 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
There is a growing interest in addressing moral aspects in the research and education of socioscientificissues. This paper investigates students’ interpretations of climate change from a moralperspective. The students were 14 years old, studying at Green Schools in the Beijing area, China.The study was based on semi-structured group interviews and the data were analysed from anintentional perspective, which means that both cognitive and situational aspects were taken intoconsideration in the analysis. Previous research has revealed a close relation between morality andsocio-scientific issues and also advocated the need for addressing ethical aspects in science education.However, empirical studies exploring the question of what students’ moral reasoning mightlook like at the individual level have not yet generated enough attention. In this study this is thecore focus of interest. The findings show that the students conceptualise the solutions to mitigatingclimate change in relation to two different stances. That is, they contextualise the problemsand solutions by addressing the individual, where the individual is either ‘myself’ or ‘someoneelse’. The different notions of the individual become crucial as the students’ views and considerationsfor the environment, as well as society, change according to the different contexts. From amoral point of view, the students seem quite unaware of their varying consideration for others, theenvironment and society. The paper ends with a discussion of implications for practice andresearch.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 33, no 8, 1131-1148 p.
environmental education, scientific literacy, moral reasoning, socio-scientific issues, climate change
Research subject Education
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-49561DOI: 10.1080/09500693.2010.503765ISI: 000300218600005OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-49561DiVA: diva2:378436