Browsing by Subject "Sustainability education"

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  • Lehtonen, Anna; Salonen, Arto; Cantell, Hannele; Riuttanen, Laura (2018)
    Climate change is a wicked problem of our time. It is a phenomenon that is difficult to combat with prevailing ways of thinking and behaving related to a modern understanding of humanity and education. In this article, the challenges of sustainability education are explored from the theoretical perspective of modern dichotomies. The article argues that to combat wicked problems of sustainability, awareness of interconnectedness is vital. In order to increase the understanding of what kind of dismantling of thinking in dichotomies and why the awareness of interconnectedness and pedagogical approaches are crucial in promoting sustainability, the literature of environmental philosophy, sociology and education are brought together with the literature of sustainability sciences and sustainability education. The principles of pedagogy of interconnectedness define the critical awareness of interconnectedness vital for sustainability education dealing with the wicked sustainability issues such as climate change. The pedagogy of interconnectedness underlines the essentiality of understanding of the world and humans as relational: recognizing the interdependence of society and nature, the local and global, and seeing the common reality as socially constructed and humanness and learning in a holistic way. A case of university pedagogy, the online course material is presented and analysed as an example of interconnecting climate change education, how to implement the principle of pedagogy of interconnectedness in practice.
  • Salovaara, Janne J.; Soini, Katriina (2021)
    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to expand the competence-led structuring and understanding of sustainability education by analysing the practices of professional individuals who have completed university education geared to the development of sustainability change-makers. Design/methodology/approach: The research scope was initially on examining professional practices following the boundary work theory. Social practice theory was used as a methodological approach in conducting and analysing thematic interviews with 19 sustainability-focused master’s programme alumni. The interviews were analysed against the theoretical framework while also noting findings that fell outside of this framework. Findings: A framework for understanding materials, competences and meanings of practices connected to the professional field of sustainability was introduced. The framework suggests that in the practices of sustainability-educated professionals, meanings emerge as a top priority and are conveyed using position based materials and various complexes of competency. Research implications: The authors suggest that boundary theory informs well the emergence of the professional field of sustainability, and the utilisation of a practice theory furthers the understanding of sustainability professionalism and its education. Practical implications: The authors’ suggest that practice theory could thus provide deeper insights on how sustainability science alumni use their education after graduation, how they practice their profession and in return offer applicable reflections to sustainability education. Originality/value: Research using practice theory in reflection on sustainability education and the professional practice of sustainability has not been widely conducted and in the authors’ opinion brings value to the education and practice of sustainability and to the research of sustainability education.
  • Autio, Minna; Kortesalmi, M Marilla; Ranta, Mette; Sekki, Sanna; Kylkilahti, Eliisa (University of British Columbia, 2021)
    Today, teachers around the world face the challenges of the ecological crisis. In Home Economics, ecological as well as economical viewpoints are intertwined in teaching. In Finland, sustainability education is integrated into different subjects as well as in transversal competencies in the curricula. Our study sheds light on how Finnish Home Economics teachers view themselves as sustainability and consumer educators and how they collaborate with teachers of other school subjects. Based on quantitative (N=153) and qualitative (N=256) survey data, we argue that teachers emphasize sustainable food education and that they teach consumer and sustainability skills broadly, varying themes from clothing to housing and spending. Teachers acknowledge their key role as consumer educators and consider young people well motivated regarding sustainability and consumer themes. Teachers prefer to cooperate with social studies, mathematics, and crafts on consumer education and with biology, social studies and crafts on sustainability education. The study indicates that the education of Home Economics teachers should be developed to provide more tools for teaching future sustainability and consumer themes.
  • Salovaara, Janne J.; Pietikäinen, Janna; Cantell, Hannele (2021)
    As sustainability becomes a focal point and important aspect of educational development in several disciplines and universities globally, it is important to critically reflect on the different utilisations of sustainability education. Research on educational aims and the potential transformative impact of sustainability courses is quite timely. Among several others, the theory of interconnected learning has been gaining traction as an approach to transformative sustainability education, as it employs a distinct approach to systemic sustainability awareness. This approach aims to further express the plurality of sustainability, with the aim to foster a deeper comprehension beyond the dichotomous thinking often typical in disciplined science. The aim of our research was to study the efficiency of employing the pedagogy of interconnected learning on the types of sustainability transition narratives produced by the students attending an online sustainability course. The sustainability transition narratives, as expressed through fifty-eight students’ course assignments, were studied pre- and post-course, and analysed against a collection of established narratives drawn from transition studies. The comparison from the pre-to post-course answers revealed that while some of the student narratives remained unchanged, the majority of the narratives were expanded during the course experience. Our analysis revealed that while most of the students’ answers referenced a single type of transition narrative, some students produced narratives that hybridised two or more types of narratives. Additionally, some of the students produced elements of a pathway for a transition narrative that are currently unarticulated in the transition narrative framework employed herein. The elements of this newly articulated narrative focused on changes in the societal mindset, achievable through sustainability education.
  • Korsunova-Tsaruk, Angelina; Horn, Susanna; Vainio, Annukka (2021)
    It is generally accepted that governments, municipalities, businesses and citizens alike have a role to play in transitioning towards a circular economy (CE). Yet most academic and policy discussions of CE revolve around technological solutions and business models. Although CE also means significant changes to ways of living, these aspects of CE are barely addressed. The citizen role is traditionally assumed to be that of a consumer or user of the newly developed solutions, while also following the guidelines for sorting and recycling. Little is known about how citizens envision being part of the CE, and what skills and competences are relevant for CE. Our study addresses this gap by exploring the perceptions of young adults in Finland on how CE reflects into their everyday lives. Our dataset consists of 249 responses from high school students in Finland to open-ended questions regarding CE. The results highlight that young adults in Finland strongly associate CE with recycling, waste sorting and re-selling/buying second-hand, which is in line with the conventional roles of efficient recyclers and consumers. Although CE harbors wider potential for more active citizen roles related to repair, maintenance and upcycling, these aspects are often overlooked in favor of more familiar lifestyles. Building on the 5R framework for CE and emerging themes from student responses, we bring forward the new roles of upcycler, thrifter, expert/learner, giver/benefactor and conservationist. Supporting these emerging roles is an opportunity for cooperation between young adults, other citizen groups, cities, policy makers and businesses, and a key for jointly advancing the transition to CE. (c) 2021 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. on behalf of Institution of Chemical Engineers. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (