Educating the educators to be a driving force in higher education towards sustainable development

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Abstract

Directives from educational authorities in Sweden have stated that sustainable development must be considered within the educations given at higher education institutions, where concepts concerning sustainable development should be included in various courses. Students will be exposed to, and trained in such concepts, to prepare them to act in align with sustainable development. With that background, however, this requires that the educators themselves have a sufficiently solid foundation to stand on to act with efficiency and trustworthiness. This can with advantage be achieved via higher education pedagogical courses for the educators themselves, where they are trained in sustainable development concepts, and get opportunities to propose appropriate changes at course levels, as well as at organizational levels. This contribution addresses such a course and presents how the educators’ relationship to sustainable development as well as their teaching practice developed. To study the impact of the course on educators teaching practice, a method is used with different forms of feedback from the educators (that is, the course participants). Written feedback from all the educators were provided at the end of the course. Furthermore, qualitative in-depth interviews were conducted with four of them 18-20 months after the end of the course. The outcome from the interviews were analyzed inspired from a theoretical framework that distinguishes between educating ‘for’ and ‘about’ SD. The results of the study reveal significant changes in understanding of concepts, and especially how those are integrated in teaching and learning elements. Conclusions drawn from the results of the study therefore clearly motivates the current structure and intents of the course. Still, when it comes to the purposes of developing literacy for sustainable development among higher education students, implications from the study furthermore addresses needs for further course clarifications on both structure and intent.


KEYWORDS: SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT, SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS, HIGHER EDUCATION, PEDAGOGICAL COURSES, EDUCATE THE EDUCATORS, LITERACY FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

Original languageEnglish
JournalNordidacticaJournal of Humanities and Social Science Education
Publication statusSubmitted - 2022-Jun-29

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