Competency over complaceny - A content analysis of sustainable competencies and abilities within the Swedish school-age educare
This content analysis combines the fields Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) and Swedish School-age Educare (SAEC) by looking at Key Sustainable Competencies and abilities within documents related to the SAEC and/or ESD. The documents are authored by the Swedish National Agency of Education (SNAE) and are chosen due to their relation to the SAEC teachers, most prominent being the Swedish National Curriculum and an ESD-module. The aim of the study is to explore the connections between Key Competencies and abilities within these documents. To do such, Redman and Wieks’ (2021) framework for advancing sustainability, including their definition of Key Sustainable Competencies, were used as a theoretical framework, combined with content analysis through the SALSA method (Search, AppraisaL, Synthesis and Analysis) as explained by Booth et al (2012). The results were achieved by coding and thematizing the data in relation to the Key Competencies and the abilities mentioned in the documents. These result show that the abilities mentioned in the data are generic and content independent, which sets them apart from the specific and content dependent Key Competencies (due to their relation to sustainable development (SD). There are no direct mentions of Key Competencies in the documents but connections were found between the descriptors and definitions of the Key Competencies and the abilities. These connections resulted in eight themes; Change Perspective, Others, Self, Action Competence, Creativity, Problemsolving, Critical Thinking, and Evaluation. These themes are generic and content independent, they are influenced by the Key Competencies and what the SNAE defines as important for ESD and they relate to each other and overlap. The fact that these themes are generic can prove difficult when trying to teach students to act towards sustainability. Other conclusions are that the SAEC teachers are not provided with much material and information on ESD, and that the curriculum holds no explanation to what SD is. What is needed for the SAEC teachers are more information and knowledge on ESD as well as resources to teach SD. Aim: The aim is to identify prevalent Key Competencies and explore their connection to abilities within the ESD and SAEC related data. Theory: The theoretical framework is based on Redman and Wieks’ (2021) framework to advance sustainability through Key Sustainable Competencies. Method: Content analysis by way of the SALSA method (Search, AppraisaL, Synthesis and Analysis) as explained by Booth et al (2021). Results: There are no direct mentions of Key Competencies in the data. The explored connection between Key Competencies and abilities resulted in eight themes. These themes are generic and subject independent (as opposed to the specific and content dependent Key Competencies). Results also show a lack of information on ESD/SD available to SAEC teachers.
School-age educare, Education for sustainable development, Sustainable competencies, Content analysis, Fritidshem