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The creative use of companion values in environmental education and education for sustainable development: exploring the educative moment
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.
2015 (English)In: Environmental Education Research, ISSN 1350-4622, E-ISSN 1469-5871, Vol. 21, no 2, 183-204 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Our paper addresses the emergence and evolution of values in educational settings. It builds upon and extends earlier work on companion meanings to develop a theory of the creative use of companion values and meanings in education. The recognition of companion values in educational practices highlight epistemological, ethical, and aesthetic transactions that occur in ways we characterize as 'other than modern.' Introducing the idea of educative moments allows us to identify situations where value spheres interpenetrate and interrogate each other in the meaning-making of students and teachers. These moments occur when students suddenly experience companion meanings and values such that teacher and student must deliberate together rather than the teacher dictating some dominating epistemological, ethical, or aesthetic value. This way, it is possible to accommodate critical and creative reflection in education where new values can emerge or evolve. We illustrate the theory by empirical examples from classroom conversations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 21, no 2, 183-204 p.
Keyword [en]
environmental education, companion values, creative, education for sustainable development, educative moment
National Category
Educational Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-245340DOI: 10.1080/13504622.2014.936157ISI: 000348307100003OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-245340DiVA: diva2:792215
Available from: 2015-03-03 Created: 2015-02-26 Last updated: 2016-06-30Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Politisk tendens, politiskt ögonblick och kreativitet: Studier av miljö- och hållbarhetsundervisning
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Politisk tendens, politiskt ögonblick och kreativitet: Studier av miljö- och hållbarhetsundervisning
2016 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis takes its point of departure in the political dimension in Environmental and Sustainability Education (ESE). In the research field different views exist – containing both similarities and differences – regarding what is meant by ‘the political’ in the context of educational practice. What do different authors, policymakers, practitioners etc. mean when they refer to ´the political´ within the context of ESE? The ambiguity that characterises the discussions on the political dimension of (environmental and sustainability) education can impede and blur both research and professional reflection. This can create confusion, particularly amongst teachers, and a clarification of ‘the political’ through an investigation of how it appears in educational practice is vital.

The thesis contributes with an educational typology and an analytical model of political moments to identify how the political dimension may emerge in different ways in educational practices. As part of these models the thesis also contributes with two theoretical-analytical concepts – educative moment and creativity – to be used to further discuss how education can use the political to explore new values and new behaviours regarding environmental and sustainable concerns.

The theoretical frames of the thesis are poststructural and pragmatic theories, foremost by Chantal Mouffe and John Dewey. The thesis is especially built on a pragmatist and anti-essentialist approach, which argues that we socially construct the meaning of right and wrong, and of what works better in our lives in problematic situations. The thesis has four purposes and the results are presented in four studies. The first purpose examines how Environmental Sustainability Education (ESE) research literature conceptualize the political dimension, and how these findings impact the political dimension as educational content in teaching and learning activities in ESE practice. The second purpose examines different situations in which the political can be handled and experienced in environmental and sustainability education practice. This purpose is dealt with in the second study and the result is a didactical typology called the political tendency. The third purpose is to examine the political and politics in teaching and learning activities, both cognitive and emotional, about antagonism, conflicts, inclusion and exclusion. This purpose is dealt with in the third study and the results are illustrated by empirical examples. The fourth purpose examines the idea of creativity in relation to the political dimension, i. e. where new values can emerge or evolve. These purpose is dealt with in study 2, 3 and 4 and the results are presented as two theoretical-analytical concepts: educative moments and creativity concerning the political dimension in ESE.

My ambition is that this thesis will contribute to the discussion about how teaching and learning activities that include a political dimension in ESE can use the presented models to identify educational content of the political dimension, and to further understand how individuals create their relation to their social and physical surroundings. Another ambition is to contribute to philosophical and methodological discussions about the relation between the political dimension, meaning making and embodiment within environmental and sustainability education.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2016. 86 p.
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Educational Sciences, 11
environmental and sustainability education, political, politics, experience, meaning making, poststructural theory, pragmatism
National Category
Educational Sciences
Research subject
Curriculum Studies
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-293442 (URN)978-91-554-9606-7 (ISBN)
Public defence
2016-09-09, Eva Netzelius, Blåsenhus, von Kraemers Allé 1, Uppsala, 13:15 (Swedish)
Available from: 2016-06-30 Created: 2016-05-13 Last updated: 2016-07-19Bibliographically approved

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Östman, LeifHåkansson, Michael
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