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Education for sustainable development and the relation to learning for entrepreneurship in the national technology program in the Swedish upper secondary school – is it a “happy couple”?

  • Engström, Susanne
  • Gustafsson, Peter
  • Svenson, Anders
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2012
DiVA - Academic Archive On-line
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The last decades have seen a grooving insight in the need of development towards a sustainable society. This manifests in several political statements but also reveals the problem with realization. In this study we investigate how the concept of education in sustainable development is presented in steering documents for the Swedish upper secondary school and especially the national technology programme. This choice of programme is made because its content easily can be connected to the three categories in sustainable development: environment, social and economic issues. Another perspective that has became current in the educational system in Sweden and also manifested in political documents is Entrepreneurship. Inspired by both discourse analysis and by Bourdieu’s theories about social practices in society we have studied the Swedish national steering documents for the technology programme out from writings of sustainable development and entrepreneurship. The result is remarkable in that even if writings about sustainable development exist, they get more diminished and less committing the closer you get to the actual teaching situation. In documents, that steer and signals especial values for teaching in the programme, we find interesting diverges in statements. Sustainable development seems to be valued lower compared with for example entrepreneurship and product development for economic growth. Both sustainable development and entrepreneurship are highlighted in the steering documents and a political aim is to connect them, but it is interesting to see how different they are emphasized in the different documents especially in the more concrete course syllabi. One conclusion can be that Sweden on an international level has ambitions to be seen as a nation taking responsibility for the future but has not been able to transmit this into action in the educational system.

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