Geography Education Promoting Sustainability—Series 2

A special issue of Education Sciences (ISSN 2227-7102). This special issue belongs to the section "STEM Education".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 December 2022) | Viewed by 32738

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
1. Faculty of Education, University of Oulu, Pentti Kaiteran katu 1, 90570 Oulu, Finland
2. Faculty of Educational Sciences, University of Helsinki, Yliopistonkatu 4, 00100 Helsinki, Finland
3. Faculty of Education, University of Lapland, Yliopistonkatu 8, 96300 Rovaniemi, Finland
Interests: teaching and learning in natural sciences; environmental and sustainability education and health education
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues, 

In the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, it has been stated that all learners should acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development. Consequently, with the great proliferation of knowledge and rapid changes in technology, it is important to develop students’ understanding of the principles of sustainability.

The Special Issue “Geography Education Promoting Sustainability” focuses on views and experiences in geography education at schools and in teacher education, which support curricular work and school practices sharing a vision of a society that lives in balance with Earth’s carrying capacity. It contributes to enhancing understanding of sustainability and fostering initiatives and activities at schools and in teacher education. In addition, “Geography Education Promoting Sustainability” focuses on ideas that offer learners a context for developing active, global citizenship and participation to understand the interdependencies of ecological, societal, and economic systems including a multi-sided view of sustainability and sustainable development, and useful teaching and learning ideas for promoting them in geography education at different educational levels. 

Geography has a distinct advantage in developing a more holistic understanding of global environmental challenges in that it encompasses not only the natural sciences but also social sciences and humanities and, therefore, geographical education can help to understand these challenges.

The purpose of the Special Issue “Geography Education Promoting Sustainability” is to increase and foster the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and practices that enable people to make more reasoned decisions for the planet.

Dr. Eila Jeronen
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • Geography education
  • Sustainable development
  • Sustainable Development Goals
  • Global, regional, and local environmental change
  • Primary education
  • Secondary education
  • Teacher education
  • Curriculums
  • Teaching and learning processes

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

12 pages, 482 KiB  
Article
Tourism in Geography Textbooks in Secondary Education and High School: The Case of the Balearic Islands
by Miquel Àngel Coll-Ramis, Víctor Picó and Antoni Ordinas
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(1), 44; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13010044 - 31 Dec 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1692
Abstract
Since the mid-20th century, tourism has become a strategic activity for the economy of the Balearic Islands, causing profound social, territorial, and environmental transformations. This fact challenges local society, which must be aware of its environment to better face the future challenges posed [...] Read more.
Since the mid-20th century, tourism has become a strategic activity for the economy of the Balearic Islands, causing profound social, territorial, and environmental transformations. This fact challenges local society, which must be aware of its environment to better face the future challenges posed by this economic activity. With this goal, the official curriculum has been analyzed, making it possible to ascertain the approach with which this subject is taught by the administration and what objectives are set. Furthermore, a review was carried out of the contents of geography textbooks in the third year of ESO and the second year of the Baccalaureate, which corresponds to the educational stages in which tourism aspects appear. The results obtained represent a fundamental strategic diagnosis to improve the teaching and learning of this key activity for the Balearic Islands, giving it more importance and adapting its approach to the current times. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geography Education Promoting Sustainability—Series 2)
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23 pages, 10637 KiB  
Article
Finnish University Students’ Views on Climate Change Education and Their Own Ability to Act as Climate Educators
by Eija Yli-Panula, Eila Jeronen, Salla Koskinen and Sanna Mäki
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(3), 169; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12030169 - 28 Feb 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 3481
Abstract
Climate change (CC) has widespread impacts on human and natural systems and thus threatens the future of contemporary youths. Only a few studies on climate change education (CCE) have been published in Finland, and no research has been conducted on upper secondary education. [...] Read more.
Climate change (CC) has widespread impacts on human and natural systems and thus threatens the future of contemporary youths. Only a few studies on climate change education (CCE) have been published in Finland, and no research has been conducted on upper secondary education. Thus, this study investigated Finnish university students’ views on CCE in upper secondary schools. According to them, the most common goals in CCE are increasing and structuring knowledge, developing thinking skills, and encouraging action both today and in the future. The respondents considered preconceived notions and opinions stemming from their inner circles, the media, and social debate to be the most difficult factor in teaching about CC. CCE was perceived to provide either a weak or relatively weak capacity to follow a climate-friendly lifestyle. By increasing and diversifying teaching and strengthening multidisciplinarity, climate-friendly lifestyles can be improved. The respondents’ views on current and future CCE differed most clearly concerning motivation and inclusion, which are not prevalent in contemporary teaching. The results indicate, however, that the university students were motivated to increase and develop CCE, and according their answers, their own capacity to address different aspects of CCE was relatively good. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geography Education Promoting Sustainability—Series 2)
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20 pages, 3308 KiB  
Article
Pre-Service Geography Teachers’ Professional Competencies in Education for Sustainable Development
by Rieke Ammoneit, Andreas Turek and Carina Peter
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(1), 42; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12010042 - 11 Jan 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 3004
Abstract
The professional competencies pre-service geography teachers acquire in university influence their contribution to education for sustainable development (ESD) in their future school careers. We assessed pre-service geography teachers’ (n = 100) competencies and attitudes towards the official, German ESD orientation framework to [...] Read more.
The professional competencies pre-service geography teachers acquire in university influence their contribution to education for sustainable development (ESD) in their future school careers. We assessed pre-service geography teachers’ (n = 100) competencies and attitudes towards the official, German ESD orientation framework to determine the specific need for higher education action. The results are a high competence assessment and even higher importance assigned to the ESD-related professional competencies. In the context of ESD, pre-service teachers are most confident in their content knowledge and social and personal competencies and least confident in their pedagogical knowledge. The cross-sectional analysis shows the perceived competence level rising with the semester number and a strong positive influence of the school practice module. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geography Education Promoting Sustainability—Series 2)
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15 pages, 3829 KiB  
Article
Environmental Threats and Geographical Education: Students’ Sustainability Awareness—Evaluation
by Magdalena Urbańska, Przemysław Charzyński, Helen Gadsby, Tibor József Novák, Salih Şahin and Monica Denise Yilmaz
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(1), 1; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12010001 - 21 Dec 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 3565
Abstract
Teaching geography creates an opportunity for the transfer of knowledge about environmental problems and ways of solving them. Teachers from the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Turkey, and the United Kingdom indicated strengths and weaknesses of physical geography as well as the selected [...] Read more.
Teaching geography creates an opportunity for the transfer of knowledge about environmental problems and ways of solving them. Teachers from the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Turkey, and the United Kingdom indicated strengths and weaknesses of physical geography as well as the selected geographical concepts of: Maps/Cartography, Astronomy/The Earth in the Universe, Atmosphere, Hydrosphere, Endogenic processes, Exogenic processes, and Soils and biosphere. There was a variety in how confident students were around these topic areas. The main types of difficulties identified by the study were: too little time for implementation, difficult terminology, and lack of tools for the proper transfer of knowledge. Moreover, the attractiveness of individual issues for students also varies. The research clearly shows that students lack an awareness of problems related to the environment. There are considerable differences between the level of students’ knowledge about climate change or air and water pollution (relatively high awareness of global warming) and issues related to soil and vegetation cover (low awareness of soil depletion, soil pollution, changing the boundaries of the occurrence of plant zones, etc.). To make people aware of the importance of environment, we should take care of education in relation to global challenge and sustainable development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geography Education Promoting Sustainability—Series 2)
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21 pages, 4511 KiB  
Article
The Dramatic Arc in the Development of Argumentation Skills of Upper Secondary School Students in Geography Education
by Kimmo Härmä, Sirpa Kärkkäinen and Eila Jeronen
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(11), 734; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11110734 - 15 Nov 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2757
Abstract
Geography education can facilitate learners’ critical thinking and argumentation skills to make well-reasoned decisions on social and environmental issues. This study reports on a geography course consisting of 18 lessons, each of them 75 min, designed to afford intensive practice in argumentation to [...] Read more.
Geography education can facilitate learners’ critical thinking and argumentation skills to make well-reasoned decisions on social and environmental issues. This study reports on a geography course consisting of 18 lessons, each of them 75 min, designed to afford intensive practice in argumentation to upper secondary school students (n = 21) and following the dramatic arc. The study produces examples of different developmental pathways of upper secondary school students’ argumentation during the geography course. In this qualitative case study, the data were collected from learning diaries and analyzed using content analysis following ARRA-analysis (Analysis of Reasoning, Rhetorics and Argumentation), which is based on Toulmin’s argumentation model. The results indicated that most of the students developed justified arguments and composed clear claims and relevant rhetorical modes such as qualifications, rhetorical questions and rebuttals. Justification categories that were mainly used were backings, grounds and warrants. However, some students had difficulties in recognizing the main claim and arguments. The students developed their argumentation skills following the dramatic arc. They possessed the prerequisites for argumentative reasoning and writing but needed further practice in analytical and critical writing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geography Education Promoting Sustainability—Series 2)
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16 pages, 591 KiB  
Article
High-School Students’ Topic-Specific Epistemic Beliefs about Climate Change: An Assessment-Related Study
by Eija Yli-Panula, Eero Laakkonen and Marja Vauras
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(8), 440; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11080440 - 18 Aug 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2173
Abstract
This study belongs to assessment-related research and aimed to investigate Finnish high-school students’ (n = 211) topic-specific epistemic beliefs about climate change and whether the Norwegian topic-specific epistemic beliefs questionnaire (TSEBQ) was also valid among Finnish respondents. Thus, research data were not [...] Read more.
This study belongs to assessment-related research and aimed to investigate Finnish high-school students’ (n = 211) topic-specific epistemic beliefs about climate change and whether the Norwegian topic-specific epistemic beliefs questionnaire (TSEBQ) was also valid among Finnish respondents. Thus, research data were not only derived from the TSEBQ but also from topic knowledge tests and students’ views on their favorite school subjects and interest in science subjects. Principal component analysis (PCA) showed that the statistical model, originally based on 49 questions, was congruent with the Norwegian four-factor model (Certification, Source, Justification and Simplicity). However, according to the reliability analysis and confirmatory factor analysis (CFA), the performance of the Simplicity factor was unclear. In CFA, the three-factor structure (without Simplicity) was supported. The effects of topic knowledge, topic interest and gender on the TSEBQ factors were examined by using hierarchical regression analysis (HRA). The TSEBQ was shown to be a reliable tool for measuring the topic-specific epistemic beliefs of Finnish students. More specifically, the results support the claim that topic-specific epistemic beliefs can be educationally and culturally bound. HRA showed that students’ topic knowledge in chemistry and biology was related to certainty of knowledge and justification for knowing. Moreover, female students performed significantly better in topic knowledge and more often planned to pursue a science career in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geography Education Promoting Sustainability—Series 2)
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14 pages, 2087 KiB  
Article
The Challenge of Teacher Training in the 2030 Agenda Framework Using Geotechnologies
by Miguel-Ángel Puertas-Aguilar, Javier Álvarez-Otero and María-Luisa de Lázaro-Torres
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(8), 381; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11080381 - 26 Jul 2021
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 4093
Abstract
Social evolution, globalization, and advances in technology are making it increasingly necessary to offer complete and comprehensive teacher training. This training should produce citizens who are concerned about the planet and its future. These values are embedded in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), [...] Read more.
Social evolution, globalization, and advances in technology are making it increasingly necessary to offer complete and comprehensive teacher training. This training should produce citizens who are concerned about the planet and its future. These values are embedded in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the breadth of which allows them to be integrated into the secondary school curriculum for most subjects. To construct a complete teacher training model, the following have been considered: previous studies based on qualitative and quantitative methodologies (the Delphi method and questionnaires for ‘expert’ teachers), the teaching experience of the authors, the action research methodology, and validation by other teachers who use technologies and are concerned about sustainability issues. The result is a teacher training model that is in line with UNESCO’s sustainability competencies and based not only on technology, the scientific content of the subject to be taught, and didactics (pedagogy), but also on education in sustainability and the SDGs that need to be integrated. This approach is expected to produce changes in citizens’ attitudes that contribute to the achievement of the SDGs and lead to the teachers feeling positive about their teaching experiences. However, a systematic application of this approach in classrooms and an assessment of its learning results are still pending. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geography Education Promoting Sustainability—Series 2)
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20 pages, 3221 KiB  
Article
Sustainability: A Regional Australian Experience of Educating Secondary Geography Teachers
by Michael Danaher, Jiaping Wu and Michael Hewson
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(3), 126; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11030126 - 17 Mar 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3666
Abstract
The United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) number four seeks an equitable and widespread education that enables an outcome of sustainable development by 2030. Intersecting the studies of society and earth processes, a geographical education is well placed to make cohesive sense of [...] Read more.
The United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) number four seeks an equitable and widespread education that enables an outcome of sustainable development by 2030. Intersecting the studies of society and earth processes, a geographical education is well placed to make cohesive sense of all the individual knowledge silos that contribute to achieving sustainability. Geography education is compulsory for the first three years of the secondary education curriculum in Australia; however, research has shown that many geography teachers are underprepared and report limitations in their teaching of sustainability. This article engages with this research problem to provide a critical reflection, using experiential knowledge as an analytical lens, on how tertiary level geography training at one Australian regional university can equip undergraduate teacher education students with the values, knowledge, and skills needed to develop their future students’ understanding and appreciation of the principles of sustainability. The authors unpacked a geography minor for a Bachelor of Secondary Education degree at Central Queensland University and, deploying content analysis, explain how three units in that minor can develop these students’ values, knowledge, and skills through fostering initiatives and activities. The analysis was framed by elements of pedagogy that offer learners a context for developing active, global citizenship and participation to understand the interdependencies of ecological, societal, and economic systems including a multisided view of sustainability and sustainable development. The study concluded that the three geography units engage student teachers in sustainable thinking in a variety of ways, which can have a wider application in the geography curricula in other teacher education courses. More importantly, however, the study found that there is a critical need for collaboration between university teachers of sustainability content and university teachers of school-based pedagogy in order to maximise the efficacy of sustainability education in schools. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geography Education Promoting Sustainability—Series 2)
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14 pages, 270 KiB  
Article
Students’ Knowledge of Climate Change, Mitigation and Adaptation in the Context of Constructive Hope
by Ilkka Ratinen
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(3), 103; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11030103 - 5 Mar 2021
Cited by 22 | Viewed by 6528
Abstract
Humanity is living in a climate emergency where climate change should be significantly mitigated; additionally, greater efforts should be made to adapt to it. To date, relatively little research has been carried out on young people’s skills in terms of them mitigating and, [...] Read more.
Humanity is living in a climate emergency where climate change should be significantly mitigated; additionally, greater efforts should be made to adapt to it. To date, relatively little research has been carried out on young people’s skills in terms of them mitigating and, in particular, adapting to the changes caused by climate change. The complex climate change issues of mitigation and adaptation are conceptually difficult for children because climate change is not directly evidenced in their daily lives. This study focuses on looking at mitigation and adaptation from the perspective of children. Meaning-making coping strategies enable the maintenance of constructive hope regarding climate change. In the present study, elementary and secondary students (n = 950) responded to an online questionnaire. Statistical methods were used to gather data on how students’ general knowledge of climate change and their mitigation and adaptation knowledge predicted their constructive hope regarding climate change. This study reveals that the students had a relatively high level of constructive hope and that general climate change knowledge predicted students’ constructive hope well. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geography Education Promoting Sustainability—Series 2)
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