Education for sustainable development (ESD) is promoted as one important component in the endeavor toward sustainable development. Goal 4 in the Sustainable Development Goals (UN in Sustainable development goals—17 goals to transform our world, 2017) in particular targets the role of ESD in this respect. The importance of cultural specificity in ESD is emphasized in numerous international policy documents, but there are few cross-cultural studies that focus on the broad context of sustainable development and ESD. The current study investigates the sustainability consciousness of grade 12 students (age 18–19) in Taiwan (N = 617) and Sweden (N = 583) and discusses the implications for ESD policy and practice. The findings indicate that significant differences exist between the two samples, both with respect to their sustainability consciousness and within the three sub-constructs of knowingness, attitudes and self-reported behaviors. The differences are considered in light of the cultural value orientations of the East Asian and Western European regions. Implications for ESD are discussed from the perspective of cultural specificity.
ASJC Scopus subject areas