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In school we have not time for the future
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Educational Sciences, Department of Education.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9328-8100
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Educational Sciences, Department of Education.
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The present article is based on results obtained from a survey focusing on attitudes to solidarity among upper secondary school students. A clear relation between positive attitudes to solidarity and future-orientation was observed. To reinforce the survey results, a new study was conducted, interviewing upper secondary school students about their considerations about solidarity and the future, and how they perceived the teaching about these matters. Twenty-two third-year students attending theoretical and vocational programs at five upper secondary schools were interviewed. After coding and transcribing, a thematic analysis was performed, categorizing the interview responses into sub-themes, representing different aspects of solidarity and future-orientation. The analysis revealed that the students are not used to the word solidarity. If at all recollecting solidarity from the teaching, they are primarily linking it to a historical context. Many are however expressing a definite ambition and readiness to act in a solidary manner in order to contribute to increased social and ecological justice, also in relation to future generations. The interviews also disclosed that the future-dimension had been rare in teaching; the students contemplate the future as an individual rather than a shared challenge. In terms of resolving future challenges, such as e.g. the climate threat, their confidence in natural scientists and technologists is high, while few students convey trust in politicians, or believe that school, teachers, and students might play an active role. Conclusively, this study shows that activating the future-dimension in the Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) might augment the preconditions for youths’ environmental moral learning.

Keyword [en]
solidarity education, students’ future orientation, environmental citizenship, education for sustainable development.
National Category
Didactics
Research subject
Curriculum Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-228158OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-228158DiVA: diva2:732721
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2010-5687
Available from: 2014-07-05 Created: 2014-07-05 Last updated: 2014-08-29Bibliographically 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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