Miljökollaps eller hållbar framtid? Hur gymnasieungdomar uttrycker sig om miljöfrågor
Sammanfattning: This study investigates how young people in upper secondary school express them-selves about environmental issues. The aim of the study is to analyse how expres-sions about the environment can relate to policies of the concept of Education for Sustainable Development, ESD. The study put forward a view of environmental issues also being societal issues. Using a qualitative method of participatory model-ling, partakers creatively visualize their discussions in two workshop-assignments about either consumption or the future in the year 2050 in groups. Young peoples´ expressions about environmental issues can be described in accordance with two-parted ways of thinking about the environment and humanity, either as loosely or firmly connected. Not only do the two-parted ways of thinking apply to relation-ships between the environment and humanity, they are also used in describing a two-parted future trajectory towards either environmental collapse or sustainable futures. Moreover, ways of handling environmental issues are described as two-parted be-tween societal large-scale arrangements and individual efforts. Young people in the study express that they search for “right” things to do in order to reach a sustainable future. While not finding those prescribed solutions fulfilling or feasible either in education, or in society, feelings of powerlessness and hopelessness arise. Participants suggest there is one way to handle environmental issues and evade environmental collapse, which is to urgently turn negative trends into positive ones. Training young people in systemic and complicated ways of thinking open up for feelings of hope and may serve as empowerment in their comprehension of how they can live in the world today. The design, performance and discussions rendered by the study is first and foremost to be seen as a contribution to how young people in upper secondary school can be given time and space to participate in both cognitive and emotional meaning-making processes about environmental issues as societal issues.
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