Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

What prompts young people to take positive action to promote sustainable development?

02.07.2009
A major change in education is the shift towards sustainable development. The United Nations has declared 2005-2014 as the decade for integrating sustainable development into all aspects of education and learning.

Ellen Almers, at the School of Education and Communication, Jönköping, Sweden, based her thesis on her investigation into what prompts young people to take positive action to promote sustainable development.

Investigating why a small group of Swedes in their mid-twenties devoted much of their time and energy into making the world a better place for themselves and for others, including future generations, Ellen Almers identified a series of motivating factors - social as well as emotional.

She also discovered that their knowledge of action strategies generally stemmed from experience acquired outside the classroom, in informal and semi-formal settings. Ellen Almers believes schools have a potentially significant role to play in encouraging more young people to take action for sustainable development.

"Education could be a useful facilitator, enabling more young people to dare and want to take the first step towards engagement in groups and organisations," says Ellen Almers.

Abstract
Action Skills for Sustainable Development: Three Narratives about the Pathway There. The aim of the study on hand is to promote knowledge relevant to the process of cultivating action skills for sustainable development. The overall research questions explored are: From where do young people get their deep sense of moral commitment to act? When and how did it begin? What are the driving forces spurring them on? How are they affected by the fact that they have developed aspects of action skills for sustainable development?

For the purpose of this study, action skills for sustainable development are defined as the wil¬lingness and capability to act to bring about changes in individual lifestyles, as well as structu¬ral changes in society, in a way that includes responsibility for present and future generations, globally.

Life-world phenomenology provides the theoretical foundation for the study. Through purposive sampling, individuals have been found who, through different action strategies, engage in sustai¬nability issues such as, for example, climate change, bio-diversity and social justice. From a larger sampling, three young adults were selected for several life story interviews. Data has been analyzed and interpreted using narrative methodology.

The results are presented as three narratives, compiled in detailed descriptions, through which the winding pathways towards aspects of action skills appear, as experienced by the subjects. This is followed by an integrative analysis presenting six themes that have emerged from the study as being relevant to the process of developing action skills for sustainable development: emotional reactions; perceived skills; contrasts and normative foundation; action permeation; trust and faith extended by adults and in adults; and social belonging in contrast to social isolation. Primary motives and driving forces for sustainability actions that emerge in the narratives are: emotional reactions initiating a desire for change and a desire to act; a sense of longing or meaningfulness; a desire to feel comfortable with what one can contribute; and the longing for a sense of belonging. The findings are discussed in relation to earlier research and a model of a possible way to develop aspects of action skills for sustainable development is introduced.

This dissertation is part of a project supported by Formas, The Swedish Research Council for Environment, Agricultural Sciences and Spatial Planning.

Ellen Almers has a background in education, having taught science (biology and chemistry) in lower and upper secondary school since 1986. Since 1995 she has been educating student teachers in science and global environmental and survival issues at the School of Education and Communication, Jönköping, Sweden.

For further information, please contact Ellen Almers, phone +46 (0)36 12 74 05, e-mail ellen.almers@hlk.hj.se

Pressofficer Marie Olofsson; +46-36101075; marie.olofsson@hs.hj.se

Marie Olofsson | idw
Further information:
http://www.hlk.hj.se/doc/6876
http://www.vr.se

More articles from Science Education:

nachricht New Master’s programme: University of Kaiserslautern educates experts in quantum technology
15.03.2017 | Technische Universität Kaiserslautern

nachricht Decision-making research in children: Rules of thumb are learned with time
19.10.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

All articles from Science Education >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

When Air is in Short Supply - Shedding light on plant stress reactions when oxygen runs short

23.03.2017 | Life Sciences

Researchers use light to remotely control curvature of plastics

23.03.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Sea ice extent sinks to record lows at both poles

23.03.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>