Education for sustainable development (ESD): Exploring anthropocentric–ecocentric values in children through vignettes

Helen Kopnina
  • Studies In Educational Evaluation, June 2014, Elsevier
  • DOI: 10.1016/j.stueduc.2013.12.004

Children's ideas about sustainable development and environmental ethics

What is it about?

This article explores children's ideas about sustainable development and environmental ethics through story-telling and in-class discussions. Highlights • Uses vignettes to exploring children's moral reasoning about sustainable development. • Explores the tension between need to address environmental problems and to promote democratic learning. • Reflects on the relationship between the value of environment as an economic asset and deep ecology perspective. • This case suggests the need to bring environmental moral discourse into ESD. • Results indicate that studying children's moral reasoning provides a unique means to critically address ESD.

Why is it important?

The study of moral reasoning in relation to sustainable development is an emerging field within environmental education (EE) and education for sustainable development (ESD). The vignette method was used to evaluate the perception of the relationship between environmental and social issues in the Dutch upper elementary school children. This case study is placed within two broad areas of tension, namely between the need to address urgent environmental problems and to promote pluralistic democratic learning; and between the value of environment as an economic asset and deep ecology perspective. Results of this study indicate that the children are able to critically think about the moral dilemmas inherent in sustainable development and distinguish between different values in relation to environment. In sum, article explores children's ideas about sustainable development and environmental ethics through story-telling and in-class discussions

Perspectives

Dr Helen Kopnina
The Hague University of Applied Sciences

Education for sustainable development

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.stueduc.2013.12.004

The following have contributed to this page: Dr Helen Kopnina