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How student teachers form their educational practice in relation to sustainable development

Journal article
Authors Ingela Bursjöö
Published in Utbildning & Demokrati
Volume 20
Issue 1
Pages 59-78
ISSN 1102-6472
Publication year 2011
Published at Department of Physics (GU)
Pages 59-78
Language en
Keywords education for sustainable development, educational change,transformative learning,external factors, internal factors, student teachers, disorienting dilemmas
Subject categories Pedagogical Work, Technology and social change


This study investigates experienced student teachers’ perceptions of their professional training to encompass education for sustainable development, ESD. Data were collected by using questionnaires. The findings indicate that teachers’ implementation of ESD depends on both external and internal factors. Three major external factors have been found: colleagues, time and the curriculum. The internal factors were identified as transformative phases; especially a disorienting dilemma, self-examination, exploration of options for new actions, acquisition of knowledge and skills, and integration of new action in the teaching of ESD. Tensions between the individual teacher as a professional versus the teacher as a private person are explicitly mentioned as well as tensions with other teachers, principals and the community. These results may be important to teacher education as well as teachers’ professional development as they provide insights for implementation of changes in the educational system.

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