Generating or restricting change for sustainability transitions – A didactic study of the effects of emotions in sustainability-related learning processes. (SUSTEMO)

01 January 2024 → 31 December 2027
Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)
Research disciplines
  • Social sciences
    • Higher education
    • Civic learning and community development
    • Informal learning
    • Microlevel instructional sciences
  • Engineering and technology
    • Sustainable development
sustainability transitions emotions sustainability education
Project description

This project aims to gain insight into the role of emotions in learning processes in the context of sustainability transitions (STs). While it is acknowledged that emotions play an important role in STs as well as in education and learning about sustainability issues, there is a lack of detailed, empirically grounded knowledge about how emotions become manifest in ST-related learning, how they are handled by educators, and how this influences people’s learning in terms of enabling or impeding change towards STs. We address this important knowledge gap from a didactic perspective by creating a novel analytical toolbox and applying it to 3 case studies of formal and informal ST-related learning processes: a Swedish university course on climate change, transdisciplinary master thesis ateliers on sustainable food in a Belgian university, and a non-formal learning process connected to the establishment of a new wind energy project. The case studies reveal how emotions become manifest in these practices, how teachers’/facilitators’ way of handling them affects the outcomes of learning processes, under which conditions these outcomes create generative or restrictive effects in terms of enabling STs, and what the impact of the design of the setting of activities and educators' interventions is. By gaining detailed empirical insight in these topics, we develop actionable knowledge. We also formulate objectives and promising pathways for follow-up research.