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Learning for the Future? Effects of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) on Teacher Education Students
Department of Political Science, University of Gothenburg, Sprängkullsgatan 19, P.O. Box 711, Gothenburg SE-405 30, Sweden
Political Science Unit, Luleå University of Technology, Luleå SE-971 87, Sweden
Department of Pedagogical, Curricular, Professional Studies, University of Gothenburg, P.O. Box 100, Gothenburg SE-405 30, Sweden
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 18 October 2013; in revised form: 13 November 2013 / Accepted: 20 November 2013 / Published: 2 December 2013
Abstract: Currently, politicians, university representatives, scholars and leading NGOs share a strong belief in the ability of educational systems to generate positive attitudes to sustainable development (SD) among citizens, with the idea of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) as perhaps the most apparent expression of this conviction. The aim of this paper is to investigate whether ESD might have the intended effects on teacher education students. More specifically, we account for the results from a panel study on the effects of a course on SD held in autumn 2010 at the University of Gothenburg (n = 323) on teacher education students. The surveys consisted of questions about the students’ concerns about various issues, including issues related to SD, and their attitudes towards SD and views of moral obligations to contributing to SD. The study included a control group (n = 97) consisting of students from the teacher-training programme at University West, which had not and did not include ESD. We find positive effects of ESD on almost all attitudes and perceptions, including e.g., personal responsibility in relation to SD and willingness to contribute to SD, while there is no noticeable effect in the control group. We conclude the paper by discussing the implications of our results for the idea of ESD in teacher training programmes at Swedish higher education institutions.
Keywords: sustainable development; education; environment; teacher training
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Andersson, K.; Jagers, S.C.; Lindskog, A.; Martinsson, J. Learning for the Future? Effects of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) on Teacher Education Students. Sustainability 2013, 5, 5135-5152.
Andersson K, Jagers SC, Lindskog A, Martinsson J. Learning for the Future? Effects of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) on Teacher Education Students. Sustainability. 2013; 5(12):5135-5152.
Andersson, Klas; Jagers, Sverker C.; Lindskog, Annika; Martinsson, Johan. 2013. "Learning for the Future? Effects of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) on Teacher Education Students." Sustainability 5, no. 12: 5135-5152.