University of Oulu

Yli-Panula, E.; Jeronen, E.; Vesterkvist, S.; Mulari, L. Subject Student Teachers’ Perceptions of Key Environmental Problems and Their Own Role as Environmental Problem Solvers. Education Sciences. 2023; 13(8):779.

Subject student teachers’ perceptions of key environmental problems and their own role as environmental problem solvers

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Author: Yli-Panula, Eija1; Jeronen, Eila2; Vesterkvist, Sofia1;
Organizations: 1Department of Teacher Education, University of Turku, 20014 Turku, Finland
2Faculty of Education and Psychology, University of Oulu, 90570 Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.3 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute, 2023
Publish Date: 2023-08-04


Teachers play a crucial role in supporting the development of students’ environmental knowledge and skills for responding to environmental change, but previous research has not sufficiently explored teachers’ perceptions of this matter. The article reports on a survey aimed at studying subject student teachers’ (SSTs, n = 113) perceptions of environmental problems, their interest in sustainable development (SD) and their own role as environmental problem solvers. The material was gathered using a questionnaire and analysis by quantitative methods. Urban environment and infrastructure problems were the most frequently mentioned. Problems of ecosystems and indifference and a lack of information were also mentioned often, while the least noted were problems of human wellbeing. The majority of SSTs were interested in SD, but interest in SD was dependent on the discipline studied and gender. Two-thirds of women and one-third of men were very interested, and more than half of biology and geography SSTs were very interested. Over half of SSTs reported that environmental problems had to be solved by someone else; only about one-seventh perceived themselves to be solvers. The SSTs felt that they could influence the solutions to environmental problems more often on a local than on a regional or global level.

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Series: Education sciences
ISSN: 2227-7102
ISSN-E: 2227-7102
ISSN-L: 2227-7102
Volume: 13
Issue: 8
Article number: 779
DOI: 10.3390/educsci13080779
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 516 Educational sciences
Funding: This research received no external funding.
Dataset Reference: The data presented in this study are available on request from the corresponding author. The data are not publicly available due to privacy.
Copyright information: © 2023 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (