A case study of a Green Flag-certified preschool in Sweden

Borg, F.
Hungarian Educational Research Journal, 9(4):607-627.


The purpose of the study is to provide knowledge about how sustainable development education is carried out in early childhood. The study is based on the following research questions: (1) Does kindergarten integrate the environmental, social and economic dimensions of sustainable development into its teaching practices? If so, how? (2) How do kindergarten teachers ensure active participation from all stakeholders, such as children, parents and local communities?


The findings of the study indicate that the kindergarten staff show the interconnected systems between humans and nature through the use of two topics: (1) The health of humans and the planet, and (2) human and animal societies. The kindergarten staff used varied teaching methods to teach about sustainable development.

The results show that the economic dimension of sustainable development was difficult for employees to include in their teaching. The employees mainly linked the financial aspects to reducing, recycling and reuse.

This study showed that integrating sustainable development teaching in kindergartens may depend on individual teachers’ passion for sustainability. The findings also indicate that the environmental, social, and to some extent economic aspects of sustainable development were interconnected and dependent on each other in the kindergarten teaching activities.


The kindergarten in question had met Green Flag certification requirements for several years and was part of a kindergarten development project. Through the larger development project, the kindergarten consented to participate in the study. The kindergarten had two units with a total of 36 children aged 1-6 years old and 8 kindergarten employees. The author observed the activities as they occurred naturally and had informal conversations with the employees. The empirical data was collected through observation of the teachers’ work involving sustainable development education with the children, group discussions with employees and the coordinator, meetings with the employees and participation in activities.


Borg, F. (2019). “A case study of a Green Flag-certified preschool in Sweden”. Hungarian Educational Research Journal, 9(4):607-627. 

Financed by

School Development Fund at the Pedagogical Development Centre Dalarna - PDO, Sweden