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  • 1.
    Hofverberg, Hanna
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of Creative Studies (Teacher Education).
    Entangled threads and crafted meanings: students' learning for sustainability in remake activities2019In: Environmental Education Research, ISSN 1350-4622, E-ISSN 1469-5871Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article explores the significance of students' encounters with materiality in general and with crafting materials in particular when learning for sustainability. The aim of the explorative study is to illustrate a research approach that can show what students and the material do in correspondence and what stories emerge from this activity. An explorative analysis is conducted via video recordings of a remake project in a Grade 8 handicrafts class in Sweden. The stories that the students recognise are the material's texture, shape and construction, which emerge from the materiality intrinsic to the crafting process and the intentions of the students, as these are visible in action. These stories provide possibilities, as well as set limits for, what is possible to remake. The stories are elaborated on by threading back to materiality concerns found in historical remake practice to recognise the educational possibilities for remaking pedagogy.

  • 2.
    Löf, Annette
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
    Exploring adaptability through learning layers and learning loops2010In: Environmental Education Research, ISSN 1350-4622, E-ISSN 1469-5871, Vol. 16, no 5, p. 529-543Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Adaptability in social-ecological systems results from individual and collective action, and multi-level interactions. It can be understood in a dual sense as a system's ability to adapt to disturbance and change, and to navigate system transformation. Inherent in this conception, as found in resilience thinking, are the concepts of learning and governance. Without learning, or unlearning, neither adaptation nor transformation is possible, and without governance we neither collectively act on nor institutionally embed learning experiences. This paper provides an attempt at synthesising and structuring this conceptual mapping and understanding of adaptability by adding insights from governance theory and using learning layers and learning loops as bridging concepts. As the overview demonstrates, the resilience-learning-governance interface provides some fruitful insights for the conceptual and theoretical understanding of adaptability, adaptation and transformation in resilience theory. Whereas resilience answers to why the adaptation-transformation distinction is important in the first place, learning provides the necessary link between the individual and system level, while governance brings further insights into the different potential mechanisms available for institutionally implementing adaptation and transformation. This exploration points to the need to develop a framework for understanding adaptability that: (1) identifies social-ecological systems in terms of structure, process and outcome, and particularly self-reinforcing feedbacks; (2) adds an institutional framework including formal and informal decision-making arenas; (3) explicitly addresses norms, values and ideas; (4) emphasises power, negotiation and facilitation; and (5) emphasises the importance of deliberate learning and transformation strategies.

  • 3.
    Lönngren, Johanna
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education.
    Wicked Problems in Engineering Education: Preparing Future Engineers to Work for Sustainability2019In: Environmental Education Research, ISSN 1350-4622, E-ISSN 1469-5871Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    An important aim of environmental and sustainability education (ESE) is to prepare students for addressing complex sustainability problems (here called “wicked problems”), such as climate change and resource management. This aim is particularly important in engineering education since technological development has profound impacts on social and environmental welfare. Unfortunately, most engineering education today does not adequately prepare students to contribute to addressing wicked problems. The thesis addressed this gap by asking: RQ1) What do engineering students need to learn to be able to address wicked problems? And RQ2) How can the ability to address wicked problems be taught and assessed in engineering education?

    To answer RQ1, the author interviewed undergraduate engineering students in Sweden analyzed the interviews through qualitative content analysis and phenomenography. To answer RQ2, the author collaborated with engineering educators in Sweden and the United States through pragmatic action research and design-based research to develop teaching and assessment approaches. Research results included descriptions of engineering students’ approaches to wicked problems as well as didactic tools for engineering education practice. The results suggested that emotions play an important (but under-research) role in learning to address wicked problems, which is consistent with a growing interest in emotions in ESE research and practice. Finally, the results supported previous suggestions that the term “wicked problems” is undertheorized and motivated the author’s current work with a systematic review of how the term is used in research on ESE.

    The thesis is interdisciplinary as it draws on, and contributes to, research and practice in both ESE and engineering education. The thesis has attracted genuine interest in the context of engineering education, for example in the form of requests for workshops on how to work with wicked problems in engineering education. This interest is consistent with a growing interest in engineering education research to explore how sustainability could be better integrated in engineering education. Unfortunately, in ESE research, there seems to be a relative lack of interest for engineering education, despite the importance of technological development for social and environmental welfare. The thesis thus makes an important contribution to broadening the scope of ESE research.

  • 4.
    Manni, Annika
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education.
    Sporre, Karin
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science.
    Ottander, Christina
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Science and Mathematics Education.
    Emotions and values: a case study of meaning-making in ESE2017In: Environmental Education Research, ISSN 1350-4622, E-ISSN 1469-5871, Vol. 23, no 4, p. 451-464Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    With an interest in the role of emotions and values in students' meaning-making in Environmental and Sustainability Education a case study was carried out in a Swedish school-class with students, 12 years of age. During a six-week thematic group-work focusing environmental and sustainability issues related to food, the students were observed and interviewed in their daily school practice. The results are presented here through narrative reporting, and analysed with the use of Dewey's theoretical perspectives on experience, distinguishing three phases in a process: a start, an activity phase and a closure. Martha Nussbaum's theory of emotions is used to assist in the understanding of emotions and values. The study reports on active and independent meaning-making processes in students' group work. The results provide examples of students' meaning-making experiences and the role of emotions and values in them, indicating that more of values are formed and expressed in the concluding phase.

  • 5.
    Räthzel, Nora
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
    Uzzell, David
    Transformative environmental education: a collective rehearsal for reality2009In: Environmental Education Research, ISSN 1350-4622, E-ISSN 1469-5871, Vol. 15, no 3, p. 263-277Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper puts forward an alternative view on sustainable development, arguing that the separation between the economy, the environment and the social in the Brundtland model obscures the societal character of the economy, the economic bases of the social, and the fact that the environment is a societal product. We differentiate between strong and weak sustainability, arguing that the threat of environmental degradation can only be addressed at the level of the relations of production, consumption and political relations. Building on this perspective, we advocate a form of transformative environmental education which engages learners and teachers in a process of self-reflective transformation. We illustrate this through two examples: action competence and Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed.

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