Perceptions of the concept of sustainable development among Russian and Swedish students

by Rootzén, Johan

Abstract (Summary)
The ambition for Education for Sustainabl Development (ESD),to integrat the principles, values,and practices of sustainable development into all aspects of education and learning is a huge undertaking. The aim of this study is to compare how this concept is being implemented and interpreted in Russian and Swedish schools.The study has been carried out using a combination of questionnaires,interviews and literature analysis. The results show that relatively few of the Russian students (29%)had heard about the concept of sustainable development while a majority of the Swedish students (75%)claimed to have heard about the concept. The general understanding of the concept seem to be rather low both in Russia and Sweden. Just a few of the students expressed that they had a feeling of the meaning of the concept sustainabl development. The results also show that the Russian and Swedish students share many values and priorities. However there are som areas where priorities differ. Russian students rank economical goals like high economical growth and emphasis on fighting economical inequalities higher than their Swedish counterparts. Both the Russian and Swedish students images of the future and their own capability of influencing the future development tend to be optimistic. The Russian students tend to be more optimistic about the future than the Swedish students. The Swedish students, however, seem to be more confident that they personally can influenc what happens with the environment. The conclusion is that if the ambition really is to integrat ESD as a natural part of the educational system clearer mandates and more recourses will be needed. More efforts have also to be put into the inclusion of more actors in the process, both on local and national level.
Bibliographical Information:


School:Umeå universitet

School Location:Sweden

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:environmental education for sustainable development russia sweden


Date of Publication:04/25/2007

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