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Browsing by Author "Offermann, Mari"

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  • Offermann, Mari (2016)
    Objectives. Teachers' perceptions of sustainable development has been studied in the past and showed mediocre results. But primary school students' perceptions and experiences of sustainable development has been studied only marginally. The aim of this study was to identify the primary school students' perceptions and experiences of sustainable development. And additionally to provide insight to dimensions, differences and similarities of sustainable development in school and home activities. Methods. The study questionnaire was developed for this study. The research method used in this study was the mixed methods testing procedures. The quantitative research survey data was analyzed by statistical methods and the open questions questionnaire data was analyzed using content analysis method. The study is a comparative case study and was conducted in spring 2016 at two Espoo-based primary schools. A total of 53 students in fourth grade participated in this survey. An additional method that was used in this study was a questionnaire, completed by two research schools teachers in autumn 2016. Results and conclusions. The outcome revealed individual as well as school specific differences in the definition of sustainable development. Although that the students' definitions of sustainable development at school varied, the definition of sustainable development at home did not show any significant differences. The differences between both research schools can be explained by differences in school culture that impacts to adopted values and attitudes of students. From the students' responses it can be concluded that sustainable development is perceived to be normative, anthropocentric, ecocentric as well as influencing human activities and changing ways of thinking. In addition some of the students connected sustainable development with intangible values. A third of the students pointed out the global aspects of sustainable development and its impact throughout the world. The majority of the students had a perception of sustainable development and recognized sustainable development as necessity.