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Sustainability 2018, 10(12), 4479; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10124479

Conditions for Transformative Learning for Sustainable Development: A Theoretical Review and Approach

1
School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences, Örebro University, Örebro SE-701 82, Sweden
2
School of Law, Psychology, and Social Work, Örebro University; Örebro SE-701 82, Sweden
3
Swedish Biodiversity Centre, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, SE-750 07 Uppsala, Sweden
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 2 October 2018 / Revised: 25 November 2018 / Accepted: 26 November 2018 / Published: 28 November 2018
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Abstract

Continued unsustainability and surpassed planetary boundaries require not only scientific and technological advances, but deep and enduring social and cultural changes. The purpose of this article is to contribute a theoretical approach to understand conditions and constraints for societal change towards sustainable development. In order to break with unsustainable norms, habits, practices, and structures, there is a need for learning for transformation, not only adaption. Based on a critical literature review within the field of learning for sustainable development, our approach is a development of the concept of transformative learning, by integrating three additional dimensions—Institutional Structures, Social Practices, and Conflict Perspectives. This approach acknowledges conflicts on macro, meso, and micro levels, as well as structural and cultural constraints. It contends that transformative learning is processual, interactional, long-term, and cumbersome. It takes place within existing institutions and social practices, while also transcending them. The article adopts an interdisciplinary social science perspective that acknowledges the importance of transformative learning in order for communities, organizations, and individuals to be able to deal with global sustainability problems, acknowledging the societal and personal conflicts involved in such transformation. View Full-Text
Keywords: conflict; institutional; learning; social change; social practice; structure; transformative conflict; institutional; learning; social change; social practice; structure; transformative
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Boström, M.; Andersson, E.; Berg, M.; Gustafsson, K.; Gustavsson, E.; Hysing, E.; Lidskog, R.; Löfmarck, E.; Ojala, M.; Olsson, J.; Singleton, B.E.; Svenberg, S.; Uggla, Y.; Öhman, J. Conditions for Transformative Learning for Sustainable Development: A Theoretical Review and Approach. Sustainability 2018, 10, 4479.

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