Research Project: Eco-anxiety in the global classroom - teaching and learning strategies about biodiversity in a sustainable perspective

Project leader
Project Members
Susanne Antell
Jörgen Dimenäs
Annie-Maj Johansson
Johanne Maad
Lena Skoglund
Project Period
Project Status
Under planning
From all over the world it has been reported that children are increasingly suffering anxiety and grief about climate change, what has been termed “eco-anxiety”. The anxiety is partly built up by concerns for species survival. One million animal species are threatened by extinction, and fundamental system changes are needed to save the foundation of our economies and quality of life worldwide, according to the IPBES (2019) report. Swedish preschools and elementary schools have a long tradition of education for sustainable development, primarily by visiting nature and recycling materials. However, young people´s concerns about climate change force schools to reorient education towards a more global world where ethical values include all forms of life. The aim of this study is to investigate what can affect the way students, teachers and whole schools do or do not engage with the challenging issues in a global learning agenda with a special focus on biodiversity loss. The study will be conducted in three steps. Firstly, a questionnaire will be sent to preschool teachers and teachers to investigate to what extent and in what areas are they teaching about biodiversity. Secondly, preschool teachers and teachers, will participate in focus groups to discuss how we can reach beyond traditional teaching. Thirdly, will we together with preschool teachers and teachers carry out an action learning project to develop holistic educational models where discussions about ethical values are given a significant role in science education. An expected result is to achieve models for education, together with teachers, where ethical discussions embracing different life forms in both local and global contexts will contribute to meaning making and a holistic approach in the classroom.
Research Profile
Education and Learning
Educational Work