Pluralism in practice: experiences from Swedish evaluation, school development and research
2010 (English)In: Environmental Education Research, ISSN 1350-4622, E-ISSN 1469-5871, Vol. 16, no 1, 95-111 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
In the international policy debate, environmental education and education for sustainable development seem to be moving away from a focus on behavioural modifications to more pluralistic approaches. This article illuminates a Swedish example of a strategic interplay between evaluation, development and research that relates to this shift, involving actors from schools, governmental agencies and researchers. The specific purpose of the research was to analyse and describe teachers' attempts to stimulate a pluralistic meaning-making process among their students in the context of education for sustainable development. The empirical material consisted of video-recorded lessons in secondary and upper secondary schools. In the analysis we used a methodological approach based on John Dewey's pragmatic philosophy and Ludwig Wittgenstein's first-person perspective on language. A concept called 'epistemological moves' has been used to clarify the actions that teachers perform in order to guide students in procedures of meaning-making. The analysis shows that the teachers perform a number of actions that make pluralistic meaning-making possible: encouraging the students to compare, specify, generalise and test their arguments under different circumstances. The teachers also encouraged the students to examine and evaluate different alternatives and be critical of their own statements. Finally, the findings are related to a perspective of democracy as a form of life.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 16, no 1, 95-111 p.
education for sustainable development, pluralism, democracy, pragmatism, meaning-making
Social Sciences Natural Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-137081DOI: 10.1080/13504620903504073ISI: 000276343900006OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-137081DiVA: diva2:378140