Teachers' agency in using students' questions in climate change education

Anna Pilvi Elisa Sihvonen, Jaana Herranen, Veera Uusi-Äijö, Maija Aksela

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


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.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInterdisciplinary journal of environmental and science education
Publication statusPublished - 25 Sep 2023
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 116 Chemical sciences
  • science education
  • climate change education
  • STEM
  • LUMA

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