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Content and courses

Below you find a short presentation of the course content in the programme Education for Sustainable Development. You can also find responsible department and in some cases course leader and course syllabus.

Courses first year

1. Education for sustainable development, an introduction, ESD101, 15 credits

This is an introductory course in which you will critically and actively explore central concepts and perspectives in the field of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD).

Topics covered include: Understanding Sustainable Development; Education and learning for, within and from Sustainable Development; Critical perspectives of ESD; and how to design learning environments and processes conducive to sustainability.

The course aspires to connect to your own interests and prior experiences in sustainability and looks at how we/you can initiate and foster change in sustainability issues as we/you have come to understand them.

Responsible department: Department of pedagogical, curricular and professional studies, University of Gothenburg
Course leader: Beniamin Knutsson, beniamin.knutsson@ped.gu.se and Sally Windsor, sally.windsor@gu.se

Course syllabus ESD101

2. Environment, Nature and Sustainable Development in an Educational Perspective, ESD200, 15 credits

ESD200 is focused on the environmental part of sustainable development, especially natural science and technological aspects. The course will bring the student a broad understanding of human interaction with ecosystems, including a historical perspective, and how this interaction relates to the possibilities to achieve sustainable development.

The treatment of the topics of the course in learning situations is a key element. The course will provide the students with tools in terms of concepts, information and data sources and recent findings from didactic research related to the understanding of the importance of plant life and ecosystem processes. Examination will mostly be made through assignment tasks.

Responsible department: Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Gothenburg
Course leader: Håkan Pleijel, hakan.pleijel@bioenv.gu.se

Course syllabus ESD200

3. Citizenship, social values and ethics in sustainability education, ESD300, 15 credits

The course is focused on values aspects of social sustainability that are understood to generate challenges and possibilities that require ethical analysis. There is pedagogical and philosophical investigation of social sustainability issues that are relevant to theories on teaching and learning.

Fundamental concepts such as “powerful knowledge” and “democratic subjectification” will be discussed, as well as issues concerning citizenship, power and social cohesion, social justice and (in)equality. These concepts will inform a focus on various ethical and pedagogical strategies for democratic, inclusive teaching and learning, not least with reference to virtue ethics in relation to the work by Nussbaum and Macintyre. Such strategies will be carefully examined and the participants in the course are offered opportunities to reflect upon and critically analyze their various forms and content.

Responsible department: Department of pedagogical, curricular and professional studies, University of Gothenburg
Course leader: Olof Franck, olof.franck@gu.se

Course syllabus ESD300

4. Economy, Global Inequality and Pathways to Sustainability, ESD400, 15 credits

This course gives a survey over the inherent conflicts and paradoxes within the concept Sustainable development. Overview is also given of ongoing transition processes and neccessary preconditions for the pathways towards sustainable societies. The role of education in such processes is put forward.

Responsible department: School of Global Studies, University of Gothenburg
Course leader: Rikard Warlenius, rikard.warlenius@gu.se

Course syllabus ESD400

Courses second year

Researching Education for Sustainable Development, ESD500, 15 credits

The course aims to provide students with an in-depth understanding of different scientific theoretical positions and an overview of sustainable development research. Epistemological questions will be highlighted, as well as how to formulate, develop and evaluate ESD-related knowledge with regard to different ontological starting points and the aims and roles of education in relation to existential challenges.

The course also contains a review of research orientations – both conventional and emergent - that relate to education for sustainable development. Also tensions between different research orientations will be touched upon.

Responsible department: Department of pedagogical, curricular and professional studies, University of Gothenburg
Course leaders: Helena Pedersen, helena.pedersen@gu.se and Dawn Sanders, dawn.sanders@gu.se

Course syllabus ESD500

Theory and Method of Research in Education for Sustainable Development, ESD600, 15 credits

In ESD600 you will encounter and critically engage with a variety of research designs for Education for Sustainable Development projects. You will learn to make suitable methodological choices that focus on agendas for change, and that are based on valid practical and scientific argumentations.

In the course you will also focus on methods themselves too being sustainable, in the sense of avoiding harm, and being responsive to all ‘voices’ or ’stakeholders' involved in triggering change. Research ethics is of course an important component. You will also reflect on the consequences of methodological choices you make, and learn to anticipate and evaluate any unintended, adverse consequences of your research designs.

Responsible department: Department of Education and Special Education, University of Gothenburg
Course leaders: Adrianna Nizinska adrianna.nizinska@gu.se, Ilse Hakvoort, ilse.hakvoort@ped.gu.se and Ernst Thoutenhoofd, ernst.thoutenhoofd@gu.se

Course syllabus ESD600

Degree Project for Master in Education and Sustainability, ESD700, 30 credits

The final course aims to give the students an opportunity to further specialise in the main field of study "Education for Sustainable Development" as well as carry out independent research studies on a scientific basis.

Responsible department: Department of pedagogical, curricular and professional studies, University of Gothenburg

Course syllabus ESD700


Programme Coordinator
Helena Pedersen

Email: helena.pedersen@gu.se

Study Administrator
Elisabeth Bergius

Email: elisabeth.bergius@gu.se

Page Manager: Johanna Gunnarsson|Last update: 12/20/2019

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