Visiting professors with a focus on education

Keri Facer and Leif Östman are new visiting professors at the Department of Pedagogical, Curricular and Professional Studies. They will spend two years working at the department as part of the Faculty of Education’s strategic programme for investing in research.

“The underlying theme of my work is how we can support students and citizens to become active, critical participants in the creation of more equal and sustainable futures in the context of radically transformative environmental and technological change,” says new visiting professor Keri Facer, who is also a professor at the University of Bristol.

Keri Facer, new visiting professor
Keri Facer

Keri has spent twenty years researching the role of education in responding to long-term future challenges. She led the UK government 30-year foresight programme on education, was responsible for the UK Research Council’s Connected Communities Programme – bringing together over 300 research projects focused on university-community interaction to address social change. She is Editor in Chief of the Futures journal and is active in developing the interdisciplinary field of Anticipation Studies. Between 2018 and 2020, Keri was the Zennström Professor of Climate Change Leadership at Uppsala University.

Extensive experience of education

Keri hopes that her many years of experience in interdisciplinary cooperation can help the department to promote education and pedagogy within the discussion on sustainability, both at the University of Gothenburg and in the city as a whole.

“I hope that my work on futures, education and civic engagement will lead to a dialogue across departmental borders on how we can create sustainable futures.”

Leif Östman, new visiting professor
Leif Östman

Leif Östman is Professor of Curriculum Studies at Uppsala University, and has worked with teacher education since the 1980s. He has been involved in developing research on education for sustainable development in Sweden and Europe, and leads an international network-based research environment for curriculum studies.

He is currently involved in several projects, such as writing an international book about teaching theory and conducting a national survey of different ways to teach controversial sustainability issues. He is also studying co-production between researchers and teachers and how to scale up teaching innovations, and is involved in a project that aims to investigate the role of learning in sustainability transitions.

“I want to be a creative partner in research and developing models and tools for cooperation between researchers, teachers and other actors with an interest in promoting sustainability education,” he says.

Developing sustainability teaching

Eva Reimers, Assistant Head of Department with responsibility for research, describes how recruiting two visiting professors within the field of teaching for sustainability is part of the department’s programme to strengthen its research environments. The aim is to develop teaching about sustainability, both as a department-wide subject area and as content in teaching and research. 

“In concrete terms, this means that the visiting professors will work with the department as a whole and also with those researchers who are active in teaching for sustainability,” she explains. “This will involve series of seminars, reading groups, workshops, individual discussions and activities within the framework of the department’s three research environments.”

Text: Johanna Gunnarsson