Subproject 2 – transformation of concepts; the case of Sustainable Development
Some topics in school relates to several school subjects due to their interdisciplinary character. These topics are often addressed in the general parts of the national curriculum and are thus the responsibility of all teachers to address in their teaching within different school subjects. Sustainable Development is such a topic, which is given great attention in the Swedish curriculum. However, research has shown that teachers find it difficult to implement and teach about sustainable development because they have difficulties in transforming sustainable development into their own disciplinary teaching tradition. In this project we address this challenge.
The concept of sustainable development has a complex history as it was developed in the interaction of policy writing and research. The concept is generally defined as “a development that satisfies present needs without compromising the possibility of future generations to satisfy their needs”. To assure this type of development all three dimensions; economic, ecological and social, need to be addressed and handled simultaneously. This interdisciplinary character of sustainable development often becomes an obstacle in teaching for subject specialist teachers.
In the ROSE-project we are investigating how teachers of different content areas such as science, social science and language transforms sustainable development into classroom practices. What are they teaching, how are they teaching and in why are they teaching are issues that we investigate. We are doing comparative studies between teachers of different subjects relating to these questions. In that way our aim is to identify how teachers of different subjects can collaborate and complement each other when teaching interdisciplinary issues. These studies are conducted in relation to the concept of powerful knowledge, were we are trying to identify if there are any core ideas related to a topic such as sustainable development, and if this varies in between subjects.
In another part of this project we are working with subject specialist teachers of four schools. We are investigating longitudinally how a teacher professional development program can assist teachers in implementing education for sustainable development as a cross-disciplinary topic in which all teachers of a school from different disciplines can collaborate. This implementation processes is researched by a mixed-method approach to investigate and follow transformations of teachers and students’ perceptions of sustainable development as well as the teaching practiced by the teachers.
Niklas Gericke, firstname.lastname@example.org
Gabriel Bladh, email@example.com
Per Sund, firstname.lastname@example.org
Jelle Boeve-de Pauw, Jelle.Boeve-dePauw@uantwerpen.be
Daniel Olsson, email@example.com
Teresa Berglund, firstname.lastname@example.org