Next Article in Journal
University Student Satisfaction and Skill Acquisition: Evidence from the Undergraduate Dissertation
Previous Article in Journal
The Mission of Early Childhood Education in the Anthropocene
Previous Article in Special Issue
‘Nature Is Something We Can’t Replace’: Mexican Students’ Views of the Landscape They Want to Conserve
Open AccessPerspective

An Issue of Scale: The Challenge of Time, Space and Multitude in Sustainability and Geography Education

1
Department of Education and Sports Science, University of Stavanger, 4036 Stavanger, Norway
2
Faculty of Educational Sciences, University of Helsinki, PB 9, 00014, Helsinki, Finland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(2), 28; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10020028
Received: 7 December 2019 / Revised: 20 January 2020 / Accepted: 21 January 2020 / Published: 23 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geography Education Promoting Sustainability)
The field of geography is important for any sustainability education. The aim of geography education is to enable students to understand the environment, its influence on human activity, and how humans influence the environment. In this article we present a study on how the interplay between the three pillars of sustainability thinking (environment, society and economy) play out on smaller and larger scales of time, space and multitude in geography education. In this paper, we argue that central issues in high quality sustainability education in geography relates to students’ deeper grasp of how to shift between magnitudes of time, space and multitude patterns. We show how an appreciation of many core issues in sustainability education require students to understand and traverse different magnitudes of the scalable concepts of time, space and multitude. Furthermore, we argue and exemplify how common sustainability misconceptions arise due to an inability to make the cognitive shift between relevant magnitudes on these scalable concepts. Finally, we briefly discuss useful educational approaches to mediating this problem, including the use of digital tools in order to allow geography teachers to facilitate the students’ better understanding of different magnitudes of slow, fast, small and large scale entities and processes.
Keywords: geography education; sustainability education; education for sustainable development (ESD), misconceptions; preconceptions; alternative conceptions; magnitude; issues of scale; mental models; digital tools; dialogic teaching geography education; sustainability education; education for sustainable development (ESD), misconceptions; preconceptions; alternative conceptions; magnitude; issues of scale; mental models; digital tools; dialogic teaching
MDPI and ACS Style

Skarstein, F.; Wolff, L.-A. An Issue of Scale: The Challenge of Time, Space and Multitude in Sustainability and Geography Education. Educ. Sci. 2020, 10, 28.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Back to TopTop