IDEOLOGY, EPISTEMOLOGY AND PEDAGOGY: BARRIERS AND DRIVERS TO EDUCATION FOR SUSTAINABILITY IN SCIENCE EDUCATION

TitleIDEOLOGY, EPISTEMOLOGY AND PEDAGOGY: BARRIERS AND DRIVERS TO EDUCATION FOR SUSTAINABILITY IN SCIENCE EDUCATION
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsLittledyke, M, Manolas, E
JournalJournal of Baltic Science Education
Volume9
Issue4
Start Page285-301
Date PublishedDecember/2010
Type of ArticleOriginal article
ISSN1648-3898
Other NumbersICID: 925828
Keywordsepistemology, ideology, science education
Abstract

The Brundtland Report (Brundtland Report, cited in United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, 1999) definition of education for sustainability (EfS) allows us to conceptualise sustainability in a number of ways in education, such as ecological sustainability, sociocultural sustainability and, political sustainability. Whilst EfS issues have multi-dimensional meanings, including effects, root causes, change strategies and preferred futures each curriculum area can contribute. This paper focusses on how approaches to science education can contribute to or inhibit EfS, according to what degree it informs understanding of sustainability issues, how it may support values and beliefs underpinning sustainability and how priorities in constructing curricula can influence pedagogy. Epistemology, as conceptions of knowledge associated with science, and ideology, as political influences that shape curricula, can direct approaches to pedagogy, which may or may not support EfS. Examples of approaches to science education that may support EfS are discussed with implications for appropriate pedagogy to support EfS summarised.
This paper has discussed how ideological, epistemological and pedagogical assumptions of curriculum planners and those who implement curricula affect EfS. Table 2 summarises the discussion and illustrates how modern, positivist or postpositivist approaches to science education can provide barriers or drivers to EfS. As unsustainability is not tenable option for society, postpositivist pedagogical approaches that support sustainability must be seen as an imperative rather than an option. Some of these pedagogical approaches are being put into practice; for example the development of resources to support teaching for sustainability, the establishing of eco-schools as models for sustainability practice and some very good guidance for development of EfS at national, regional and local level (see introduction). However, understanding of the barriers and drivers to EfS is also needed to counter the barriers and to foster a more systematic integration of EfS within the curriculum to achieve effective action for sustainability.

URLhttp://journals.indexcopernicus.com/abstracted.php?level=5&icid=925828
Refereed DesignationRefereed