1st Edition

Sustainable Development Teaching Ethical and Political Challenges

Edited By Katrien Van Poeck, Leif Östman, Johan Öhman Copyright 2019
    264 Pages
    by Routledge

    264 Pages 17 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The aim of this book is to support and inspire teachers to contribute to much-needed processes of sustainable development and to develop teaching practices and professional identities that allow them to cope with the specificity of sustainability issues and, in particular, with the teaching challenges related to the ethical and political dimension of environmental and sustainability education.

    Bringing together recent scholarship on the topic, this book translates state-of-the-art academic research into teaching models, methods and tools. Starting with an outline of the challenge of sustainability, it offers insights and models for understanding the interesting yet ambiguous concept of ‘sustainable development’ and the complex process of transforming society in a more sustainable direction (Part I). It then goes on to provide a guide to preparing courses and lessons as well as tools for reflection about teaching practices and the multiplicity of approaches to addressing ethical and political challenges in sustainable development teaching (Part II). Finally, the book offers useful conceptual frameworks, models and typologies about the concrete design and implementation of sustainable development teaching (Part III).

    This book will be essential reading for students of education, as well as teachers in compulsory and higher education and sustainability education researchers.

    Introduction: Sustainable development teaching – ethical and political challenges  PART I: Education and the challenge of building a more sustainable world  1. Four misunderstandings about sustainability and transitions 2. Tackling wicked problems in teaching and learning. Sustainability issues as knowledge, ethical and political challenges  3. Principles for sustainable development teaching  PART II: Choosing teaching content and approaches  4. Sustainable development teaching in view of qualification, socialisation and person-formation   5. Different teaching traditions in environmental and sustainability education  6. The ethical tendency typology: Ethical and moral situations in environmental and sustainability education  7. A pragmatist perspective on value education  8. The political tendency typology: Different ways in which the political dimension of sustainability issues appears in educational practice  9. Deliberation and agonism: Two different approaches to the political dimension of environmental and sustainability education  PART III: Designing and implementing teaching and learning practices  10. A transactional theory on sustainability learning  11. A transactional theory on sustainability teaching: Teacher moves  12. Ethical moves: How teachers can open-up a space for articulating moral reactions and deliberating on ethical opinions regarding sustainability issues  13. Political moves: How teachers can open-up for and handle poignant experiences of the conflictual aspects of sustainability issues  14. Classroom discussions: Students’ learning in argumentation about ethical and political aspects of sustainability issues  15. Power and governance in environmental and sustainability education practice  16. Teaching as a matter of staging encounters with literary texts in environmental and sustainability education  17. Taking-up ethical global issues in the classroom  18. Students as political subjects in discourses on sustainable development – a glimpse from Sarah’s classroom  19. Embodied experiences of ‘decision-making’ in face of uncertain and complex sustainability issues  20. Political emotions in environmental and sustainability education


    Katrien Van Poeck is a senior researcher on environmental and sustainability education at Ghent University’s Centre for Sustainable Development, Belgium.

    Leif Östman is Professor of Curriculum Studies at Uppsala University’s Department of Education, Sweden.

    Johan Öhman is Professor of Education at Örebro University’s School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences, Sweden.

    "This timely book provides depth, understanding and practical approaches for teachers and researchers to approach the complex topic of sustainability in education. Sustainability issues are complex in their nature and require teachers and students to develop ethical and political professional learning capabilities. To date there is little scholarly work to guide this process. This book offers innovative, and carefully theorised approaches for teachers and researchers alike."Heila Lotz-Sisitka, Distinguished Professor, Environmental Learning Research Centre, Rhodes University, South Africa

    "Now that sustainability challenges are moving from the margins to the mainstream of society, there is a need for a practical rethinking of schooling, teaching and learning to help learners critically engage with these challenges. Some of the most inspiring and provoking ideas come from contemporary ‘Nordic’ reflective practitioners and pragmatic educational thinkers. This book brings together many of them in a rich collage of transformative essays that provide some welcome imagery of what Sustainable Development Goal 4 (Quality education) might look like when taken seriously."Arjen EJ Wals, Professor of Transformative Learning for Socio-Ecological Sustainability/UNESCO Chair, Wageningen University, The Netherlands

    "This book brings together contemporary research on the ethical and political challenges of sustainable developing teaching, and makes it available for a broader audience of researchers, teacher educators, engaged teachers and students. The book is a must-read for anyone concerned about sustainable development teaching in this critical time of climate crisis, post-normal science and political uncertainty."Astrid T. Sinnes, Professor, science education, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Norway

    "In an unsustainable world with increasing social and environmental injustices and dem