Sustainability, Participation and Diversity

Creating a sustainable future for individuals and society is a social challenge on a local, national and global scale. The research programme Sustainability, Participation and Diversity will contribute to further knowledge in this field.

Sustainable development requires democratic processes to find solutions to ways of protecting nature and at the same time ensuring fair treatment of people in a global and multicultural society. Sustainable development, democracy and citizenship will be overarching themes in the new national school curriculum, and sustainable development is promoted as a fundamental value in the new framework plan for pre-schools.

bilde av Leif Tore Trædal

Leif Tore Trædal

Associate Professor

Research within the programme seeks to understand how pre-schools, schools and higher education are coping with current challenges and how they can work to promote knowledge of and attitudes towards these challenges. Furthermore, the conditions in place for such work among the participants and institutions will also be studied. The programme will also contribute to developing education for a sustainable future through cooperation with pre-schools, schools and other participants in society.

The following are key themes for the programme

Sustainable development

Research in this field has an interdisciplinary view of education for sustainable development by means of a holistic approach and pedagogic practices linked to ecological, economic, cultural, social and political factors, among other things. Relevant issues are what education for sustainability may be for children, youth and for students on teacher education courses.

Environment, nature and climate

This research looks at children and youth’s relationships to the environment, nature and climate and the values and views of nature reflected in literature aimed at children and young people. Research will also be carried out into teaching and learning related to the topic.

Democracy and participation

This includes research into children and youth’s relationships to democracy and their modes of expression, and the conditions for participation in pre-schools, schools and society. A number of studies are linked to the contribution of education in the development of agency, critical citizenship and equality and fairness.

Diversity and multiculturalism

A number of projects under this heading relate to multilingual and multicultural schools and pre-schools, looking at matters such as how language and culture play a part in critical thinking, different attitudes towards integration and how hate speech in schools can be counteracted. The topic also includes refugee challenges, international student mobility and studies of other cultures.