Education for sustainable development and narratives of Nordic exceptionalism
The contributions of decolonialism
Nyckelord:SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT, SOCIAL STUDIES, DECOLONIAL, NARRATIVE, NORDIC EXCEPTIONALISM
This paper argues that approaches embedded in technology optimism hold a hegemonic stance in Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) in Norway. A monolithic focus on technology also leads to a lack of emphasis on the possible contributions of Social Studies. Although sustainable development is commonly understood as having the global goal of “saving the planet,” ESD remains situated within a colonial epistemological regime. In spite of its good intentions, ESD may in fact contribute to the construction and reproduction of differences between “Us” and “Them,” denoting the Global North and South. The aim of this paper is to explore the contributions of decolonial perspectives in providing possible interruptions of the hegemonic narratives, and fostering transformation. The paper exemplifies how current practices of ESD can serve to sustain rather than change the global economic and political systems. It is argued that decolonial perspectives can be tools for disrupting mainstream ESD.