Local and global aspects: Teaching social sustainability in Swedish preschools.

Borg, F., Gericke, N.


The study investigates kindergarten teachers' teaching practices related to Education for Sustainability (EfS), with a special focus on social sustainability. The research questions are: 1) What views do kindergarten teachers have on sustainable development? 2) In what ways and how does kindergarten teachers' teaching on social sustainability relate to: a) A holistic understanding of sustainability, and b) varied teaching practices from a transformation-oriented perspective? 3) What challenges do kindergarten teachers report that they encounter in teaching about social sustainability?


The results show that kindergarten teachers initially viewed sustainability from an environmental perspective. However, after participation in the school development project, they began to integrate social sustainability aspects into their teaching, such as caring for oneself, other people and the world. Kindergarten teachers linked local sustainability challenges to international sustainability challenges. The children's agency was strengthened to some extent in educational activities that supported the children's active participation and involvement. The training opened the kindergarten teachers' eyes and helped them understand how the three dimensions of sustainability; the social, economic and environmental, are interconnected and interdependent.


The researchers conducted individual interviews with 12 kindergarten teachers from eight Swedish kindergartens who participated in a school development project. The project included workshops for kindergarten teachers on Education for Sustainability (EfS) and local implementation work. The data material was analysed using thematic content analysis.


Borg, F. & Gericke, N. (2021). "Local and global aspects: Teaching social sustainability in Swedish preschools". Sustainability, 13(7):3838.


Swedish Institute for Educational Research, Sweden. Swedish Government, Uppdrag om försöksverksamhet med praktiknära forskning, Sweden.