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Who is solidary?: A study of Swedish students’ attitudes towards solidarity as an aspect of sustainable development
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Educational Sciences, Department of Education.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Educational Sciences, Department of Education.
2014 (English)In: International Research in Geographical and Environmental Education, ISSN 1038-2046, E-ISSN 1747-7611, Vol. 23, no 3, 259-277 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In this article we explore students’ attitudes towards solidarity, as an aspect of sustainable development (SD), and analyse how students can be described as solidary. Our motive is to obtain better knowledge regarding important preconditions for education for SD. We conducted a quantitative study with 782 responding upper secondary students from 22 Swedish schools. A new scale was designed to measure shared responsibility and pro-environmental behaviour as aspects of solidarity. Background variables were sex, parents’ level of engagement, geographical knowledge, future orientation, biospheric values and environmental educational tradition. The descriptive results confirm previously found gender differences including women showing considerably higher scores on the three subscales measuring solidarity. The correlation analysis shows significant and moderate correlations between solidarity and biospheric values which is also consistent with previous research. More pioneering is that future orientation correlates significantly and relatively strongly with solidarity. The regression analysis furthermore shows that future orientation is a significant predictor for solidarity. More research is needed before we can draw unequivocal conclusions regarding this relation but meanwhile we interpret the findings as an insistent reminder to highlight the future dimension in education for SD.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis Group, 2014. Vol. 23, no 3, 259-277 p.
Keyword [en]
solidarity, future orientation, education for sustainable development, pro-environmental attitudes, shared responsibility
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Curriculum Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-218922DOI: 10.1080/10382046.2014.886153OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-218922DiVA: diva2:697996
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2010-5687
Available from: 2014-02-19 Created: 2014-02-19 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Solidaritet och utbildning för hållbar utveckling: En studie av förväntningar på och förutsättningar för miljömoraliskt lärande i den svenska gymnasieskolan
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Solidaritet och utbildning för hållbar utveckling: En studie av förväntningar på och förutsättningar för miljömoraliskt lärande i den svenska gymnasieskolan
2014 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The comprehensive ambition of the present thesis was to acquire knowledge about expectations on and preconditions for environmental moral learning within the education for sustainable development (ESD) in the Swedish upper secondary school. The expectations on ESD were explored by examining the description of “sustainable development” in the curriculum, and the prerequisites were examined by analysing environmental attitudes, commitments, and actions of 18-year-old students. The thesis focuses in particular on attitudes to solidarity as a value that unites the social, economic, and ecological dimensions of sustainable development. The theoretical foundation is based on curriculum theory and learning theory, incorporating influences from pragmatic philosophy, while theories of environmental psychology were applied to explain commonalities in attitudes to altruistic and biospheric values. The thesis comprises four studies, and mixed methods were employed as methodological approach. The first study involved a discourse analysis, and aimed at clarifying the description of sustainable development in the curriculum, and to reveal what subject position(s) the discourse implies. The second study was a questionnaire, where statistical methods were used to analyse attitudes to solidarity, equality, and respect for nature. The third study was also a questionnaire, focusing more specifically on attitudes to different aspects of solidarity. The fourth study was an interview study, utilizing a thematic analysis in order to elucidate how students think about solidarity and the future, and how they have encountered the concepts of solidarity and future in teaching. The results disclosed that the expectations on ESD is characterized by an ecological modernization discourse, in which two subject positions are articulated, one scientific and one technical, the latter with expectations on students to be ethical agents. The quantitative studies in the present thesis corroborated previously found correlations between attitudes to altruistic and attitudes to biospheric values. The significant correlation between future orientation and solidarity unveiled by the present thesis constitutes however a pioneering result. The interview analyses imparted that students have experienced little moral reasoning in school with regard to sustainable development, and furthermore conveyed that the future dimension had basically been missing in the teaching they had encountered. The present thesis furthermore contributes methodologically and theoretically by the development of a new scale for appraising solidarity.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2014. 119 p.
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Educational Sciences, 6
Keyword
Education for sustainable development, solidarity, future dimension, values, environmental attitudes., Solidaritet, hållbar utveckling, gymnasieskolan, attityder, värden, framtidsorientering
National Category
Didactics
Research subject
Curriculum Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-228160 (URN)978-91-554-8987-8 (ISBN)
Public defence
2014-09-26, Eva Netzelius-salen 10:K102, Blåsenhus, von Kraemers Allé 1, Uppsala, 13:15 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2010-5687
Available from: 2014-08-29 Created: 2014-07-05 Last updated: 2015-02-09Bibliographically approved

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Torbjörnsson, TomasMolin, Lena

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