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Solidarity as a geographical aspect of sustaianble development
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Educational Sciences, Department of Education. (Miljömoraliskt lärande)
2013 (English)Conference paper, Abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In April 2013, national tests in geography were carried out for the first time in Swedish compulsory schools. One of four tested geographical skills was the students’ ability to “evaluate solutions to various environmental and development issues, based on considerations grounded in ethics and sustainable development”. Here it is emphasized that values, apart from subject knowledge, are an important part of the school subject of geography. One of the key values, stressed in UN Millenium goals as prerequisites for sustainable development, is solidarity.     The purpose of this presentation is to discuss conclusions from a study where Swedish students’ understanding of solidarity, as an aspect of the social dimension of sustainable development, was explored. Geographical aspects such as time, space and scale were also related to solidarity. A methodological combination of a questionnaire (N=900) and interviews (N=20) provided both width and depth to the results. Preliminary findings from the interviews show that most students are inexperienced or simply unable to define the word ‘solidarity’. Those who define solidarity often place its meaning close to charity. Students in science programs, in particular, have also found it difficult to connect solidarity with something that has anything to do with learning or teaching, or important knowledge. Quantitative findings show significant differences in prosolidaric attitudes with regard to sex and educational programmes. The results provide important guidance on how teaching geography can, and needs to be, developed to enhance students’ opportunities to take a more active part in shaping a sustainable future.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
Education for Sustainable Development, solidarity, future education, values, geography
Keyword [sv]
Utbildning för hållbar utveckling, solidaritet, framtidsundervisning, framtidsorientering, värden, geografi
National Category
Research subject
Curriculum Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-208149OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-208149DiVA: diva2:651114
International Geography Union 2013 Kyoto Regional Conference 4-9 august
Ungdomars miljömoraliska lärande
Swedish Research Council, 2010-5687
Available from: 2013-09-24 Created: 2013-09-24 Last updated: 2014-05-07

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Torbjörnsson, Tomas
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