TEACHING PHOTOSYNTHESIS: IMPLICATIONS ON SUSTAINABILITY

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Abstract: Aim: Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) is about empowering and motivatinglearners to become active sustainability citizens who are capable of critical thinking and able to participate in shaping a sustainable future, (UNESCO, 2017). This study centres on how the teaching of photosynthesis in Science can help students understand sustainability issues. It looks at the relationship between sustainable development and Science education in the compulsory school (grades 1-9), in Sweden. It analyses how teaching of important ecological processes like photosynthesis can be connected to environmental sustainability.The aim of this study is to explore if, and in what ways, teaching photosynthesis at different grade levels is linked to sustainability issues.Theory: Constructivism is used to frame this study as it emphasizes on the learning experience and the active process of learning.Method: Semi-structured interview method involving five teachers from a compulsory school in Stockholm, Sweden, was incorporated. The compulsory school in Sweden consists of the primary section (grades 1-3 and 4-6) and the secondary section (grades 7-9).Questions regarding teaching methods, what the teachers perceive their students understand about photosynthesis and what they, as teachers, think could help them make the link to sustainability issues in their teaching, were asked.Results: The results showed that although the teachers are committed to making the link tosustainability issues in their teaching, constraints like time, lack of resources and apacked curriculum have an impact on their teaching. The teachers are also aware thatphotosynthesis is a difficult concept to grasp and their students hold misconceptions.However, they do not seem aware of how they could be contributing to some of thosemisconceptions.

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