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Education for sustainable development in early childhood education: a review of the research literature
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Educational Sciences, Department of Education. (SMED)
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Educational Sciences, Department of Education. (SMED)
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Educational Sciences, Department of Education. (SMED)
2015 (English)In: Environmental Education Research, ISSN 1350-4622, E-ISSN 1469-5871, Vol. 21, no 7, 975-990 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The aim of the study is to describe and analyse research articles relating to the subject of education for sustainable development (ESD) for early childhood education (ECE), published during the years 1996–2013. This is done by answering three specific questions: (1) How is ESD defined by researchers in ECE? (2) What are the major research inquiries and results? (3) What does the research say about young children acting for change in relation to sustainability? Our analysis identified two different definitions of ESD: first, as a threefold approach to education based on questions concerning education about, in and for the environment; and, second, as an approach to education that includes three interrelated dimensions: economic, social and environmental. Two major research areas are identified in this study. The first area relates to how teachers understand ESD, while the second area focuses on how ESD can be implemented in educational practice. During the period studied, the research has evolved from teaching children facts about the environment and sustainability issues to educating children to act for change. This new approach reveals a more competent child who can think for him- or herself and make well-considered decisions. The decisions are made by investigating and participating in critical discussions about alternative ways of acting for change.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 21, no 7, 975-990 p.
Keyword [en]
ESD, child, education, sustainability, ECE
National Category
Didactics
Research subject
Curriculum Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-215077DOI: 10.1080/13504622.2014.971716ISI: 000360824600002OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-215077DiVA: diva2:685979
Available from: 2014-01-10 Created: 2014-01-10 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Förskola för hållbar utveckling: Förutsättningar för barns utveckling av handlingskompetens för hållbar utveckling
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Förskola för hållbar utveckling: Förutsättningar för barns utveckling av handlingskompetens för hållbar utveckling
2014 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The overall aim of the thesis is to contribute with knowledge about the conditions for preschool children’s meaning making with regard to sustainable development. With a focus on critical actions, the thesis explores how education is executed and how a critical action may be conducted in a preschool practice.

Different teaching situations in preschool have been analysed in order to determine how and which actions are privileged in the various situations, what the consequences of these actions are, and what kind of conditions that enable children to develop critical action competence.

The results show that teachers affect children’s meaning making by directing actions toward a specific learning content. The conditions in which children learn action competences for sustainable development may be affected by which actions are privileged or excluded in the situation. The analyses of conditions for children to act critically in this thesis are when:

  • the teacher aims the attention towards a pluralistic teaching content, where the content consists of value judgments.
  • variations of views are highlighted – by the help of other children or from example different viewpoints in a book.
  • children have the courage or/and feel safe expressing contradicting views.

Although the situations in which children act critically are few and far between in the empirical material, they do exist and are important to highlight, especially as few other studies explore what meaning making processes look like when critical actions are privileged. The thesis therefore contributes to the research by providing analyses of situations in which children act critically in preschool.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2014. 108 p.
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Educational Sciences, 3
Keyword
teaching, preschool, sustainable development, children, action competence
National Category
Didactics
Research subject
Curriculum Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-215087 (URN)978-91-554-8840-6 (ISBN)
Public defence
2014-02-26, Gunnar Johansson 14:K120, Blåsenhus, Uppsala, 10:15 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2014-02-03 Created: 2014-01-10 Last updated: 2014-02-10

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Publisher's full texthttp://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/13504622.2014.971716

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Hedefalk, MariaAlmqvist, JonasÖstman, Leif

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