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Climate change and costs: investigating students' reasoning on nature and economic development
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Teaching and Learning in the Social Sciences (CeSam). Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education. Stockholm University, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
2012 (English)In: Environmental Education Research, ISSN 1350-4622, E-ISSN 1469-5871, Vol. 18, no 3, 417-436 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The tensions between environmental protection and economic growth are critical to future well-being, and it is therefore important to understand how young people conceptualize these tensions. The aim of the present study is to explore students’ solutions to the dilemma of economic development and mitigating climate change, with regard to societal responses to the challenge of climate change. The study was conducted in China’s Green Schools. Green School is an international long-term programme with the aim of increasing students’ knowledge of environmental issues, and transferring this knowledge into positive actions to affect the wider community. The data were obtained through semi-structured pre- and post-interviews with 15–16-year-old students in three groups (12 students) from Green Schools in the Beijing area. The results show that students’ discussions focused exclusively on economic growth and social welfare. Students seem to believe that environmental problems are inevitable, nature is a ‘box’ of resources, and economic development is necessary in order to sustain and even improve nature. Therefore, there is no dilemma between economic development and environmental protection. The paper ends with a discussion on research and implications for teaching climate change.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 18, no 3, 417-436 p.
Keyword [en]
climate change, economy, environment, decision-making, culture
National Category
Educational Sciences Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-67651DOI: 10.1080/13504622.2011.630532ISI: 000304169800007OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-67651DiVA: diva2:470782
Available from: 2011-12-29 Created: 2011-12-29 Last updated: 2017-12-08Bibliographically 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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Sternäng, LiLundholm, Cecilia
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