Naturvetenskaplig utbildning för hållbar utveckling? : en longitudinell studie av hur studenter på grundskollärarprogrammet utvecklar för miljöundervisning relevanta kunskaper i naturkunskap

Sammanfattning: In this study the concept of sustainable development is discussed and what contribution a science teacher can make. Some scientific concepts relevant for environmental education are defined. To understand the concepts mean to be able to explain phenomena and to be able to use the conceptions as tools when discussing complex environmental issues. The ability to discuss complex issues is discussed. The aims of study were to study how student teachers in a programme oriented towards science for the first seven years in school develop scientific understanding and ability to discuss complex issues. Another aim was to relate the students’ experience of their own learning and the teaching to what they learn. Data were collected mainly by questionnaires and interviews. The whole student group answered questionnaires three times and about 15 students were interviewed three times. In the questionnaires the students answered questions about some ecological concepts. Their knowledge about causes and consequences of two global environmental issues were tested. They drew concept maps illustrating how complex they look upon an issue. In the interviews the students were asked about the teaching and their learning. They discussed a complex issue dealing with weather or not it is ethical to use surplus heat from a crematorium in the far heating system. The teachers were asked about the courses and about the students’ learning. Several learning projects could be identified. All the students had the intention to become teachers for young pupils. Parallel to this they wanted to pass the exams and to understand. Depending on the learning projects the students interpreted both the questions they were asked and the relevance of the contents in the science courses. This could explain why a majority of the students did not develop understanding of the investigated concepts. Most students did not use much science as a tool for decision-making when discussing the complex issue. There was a discrepancy between the students' learning projects and the teachers' learning projects for the students. When the students experienced this gap they went into rote learning to pass the exams. Those students whose learning project was to understand developed a better scientific understanding.

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