Integration of education for sustainability in the preschool curriculum: A comparative study between the two latest Swedish curricula
Keywords:Curriculum analysis, Education for sustainable development, Preschool, Sustainable development, Sustainability
The aim of this study is to provide a content analysis of the new Swedish preschool curriculum in comparison with the previous preceding curriculum to investigate how sustainability and education for sustainability (EfS) have been described, and whether there have been any changes in terms of the scope of their inclusion in the new curriculum. The study adopts a holistic view of sustainability, meaning that the environmental dimension, social dimension, and economic dimension, along with a pluralistic and transformative view of EfS, form the analytical framework. Using content analysis, the frequency of explicit and implicit descriptive words for sustainability and EfS in both curricula were investigated. A contextual analysis was also conducted that involved an interpretation of the meaning of the implicit words. Two main findings could be identified in the new curriculum in comparison to the previous curriculum. The first was that the term sustainability is now used from an explicit and holistic perspective that includes all three dimensions. The second was that the new curriculum provides guidance as to how to incorporate EfS where such words as investigating, participation, collaborate and develop are used. Together with the context in which these words appear, a picture forms of a pluralistic teaching tradition in preschool curricula. Overall, the analysis provides a picture of change in the Swedish preschool curriculum that is in line with the intentions of international policy and research relating to a need for increased focus on sustainability and EfS.
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