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Research group

Transformative Learning for Sustainable Development

About this group

Group information


Maria Ojala

Research subject

Transformative Learning for Sustainable Development is a research group that acknowledges the importance of learning in order to be able to deal with global sustainability problems, such as climate change and global injustice. Breaking with unsustainable norms, habits, practices and structures is not simply a matter of knowing more and adapting. What is required is to know differently and to learn for societal change and transformation. Across multiple research projects we aim to develop in-depth and broad understanding of societal transformation – how it can be initiated, fostered and governed towards sustainability.

Transformative Learning for Sustainable Development is a multidisciplinary group consisting of researchers in education, human geography, political science, psychology and sociology. The group conducts empirical studies with different actors such as experts/scientists, civil servants, teachers and young people, using different methods, both qualitative and quantitative. The group’s purpose is to contribute to an improved theoretical understanding of the conditions for transformative learning in a sustainability context. A key question is: how can individual (experts, citizens, politicians and others) and collective actors develop reflexive capabilities to promote sustainable societal development and counteract structural and cultural obstacles to change?