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Climate change and morality: Students' perspectives on the individual and society
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education. (Research for Conceptual Development)
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education. (Research on Conceptual Development)
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
Abstract [en]

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.
Keyword [en]
environmental education, scientific literacy, moral reasoning, socio-scientific issues, climate change
National Category
Pedagogy
Research subject
Education
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-49561DOI: 10.1080/09500693.2010.503765ISI: 000300218600005OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-49561DiVA: diva2:378436
Available from: 2011-01-19 Created: 2010-12-15 Last updated: 2017-12-11Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Ethical and normative reasoning on climate change: Conceptions and solutions among students in a Chinese context
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Ethical and normative reasoning on climate change: Conceptions and solutions among students in a Chinese context
2011 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Previous research in environmental education and learning has mainly concerned students’ understanding of natural scientific knowledge, whereas research on the influence of other knowledge in learning environmental issues is marginal. Also, the interest in most studies investigating students’ natural scientific knowledge has been to capture constraints in students’ understanding, hence investigations of students’ meaning making are rare.

The main objective of this thesis was to explore individual students’ reasoning regarding climate change, and the influence of knowledge on their reasoning.

In Study I, students’ conceptions of the enhanced greenhouse effect (EGHE) were investigated. The results showed that students incorporated different pieces of information from different problem areas into the conceptualization of the EGHE. Setting up causal links between diversely different pieces of information seems to be a way to make meaning, and thus a necessary step in the learning process. Study II is an investigation of students’ solutions to climate change. The results indicated that students contextualized problems and solutions by addressing the individual(s), where the individual(s) was either “myself” or “someone else”. The different notions of the individual(s) became crucial as the students’ views of the environment, as well as society, changed according to the different contexts.  To further study students’ conceptions of “me” and “others”, Study III examined students’ conceptualized solutions to the dilemma between economic development and mitigating climate change. The findings suggested that students’ conceptualized nature as a “box” of resources, and that economic development would sustain and improve nature. Therefore, the dilemma between economic development and mitigating climate change or dealing with environmental problems did not exist. Results from all three studies were discussed with respect to theoretical implications.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Education, Stockholm University, 2011. 45 p.
Series
Doktorsavhandlingar från Institutionen för pedagogik och didaktik, 4
Keyword
alternative framework, climate change, conception, contextualization, decision making, economic development, environmental education, intentional analysis, learning, meaning making, moral reasoning
National Category
Pedagogy
Research subject
Education
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-56033 (URN)978-91-7447-260-8 (ISBN)
Public defence
2011-05-20, De Geersalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 14, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note
At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 1: Manuscript. Paper 3: Manuscript.Available from: 2011-04-28 Created: 2011-04-05 Last updated: 2012-04-12Bibliographically approved

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