Teacher agency in using students’ questions in climate change education
Pilvi Sihvonen 1 2 * , Jaana Herranen 3 4 , Veera Uusi-Äijö 3 5 , Maija Aksela 3
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1 LUMA Science Helsinki & Institute for Atmospheric and Earth System Research INAR/Physics, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, FINLAND2 Heinola Upper Secondary School, Heinola, FINLAND3 LUMA Science Helsinki, Department of Chemistry, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, FINLAND4 Ressu Upper Secondary School, Helsinki, FINLAND5 Pakila Comprehensive School, Upper Stage, FINLAND* Corresponding Author


This study investigates teacher agency when teaching about climate change (CC) using a question-based approach. The study was implemented as part of an international project in which teachers’ CC teaching was supported by teacher educators. Teacher agency was studied using semi-structured interviews, which were coded using theory-based content analysis. The study demonstrates that all theory-based agency factors can be identified using this data. In addition, teacher agency was shown to be affected by (a) teachers’ background, especially their sustainability and environment-related background, (b) cultural interaction, (c) the learning environment, (d) discourses in society, and (e) teachers’ thoughts regarding useful principles of CC teaching. We suggest that teacher education should support teachers and schools in the collaborative planning of challenging topics, such as CC. In addition, as teachers possess valuable knowledge and ideas on CC teaching, they should be participating in curriculum planning.


This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Article Type: Research Article

INTERDISCIP J ENV SCI ED, 2023, Volume 19, Issue 4, Article No: e2317


Publication date: 25 Sep 2023

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