Missing concordance between knowledge and efficacy among Danish science teacher students regarding education for sustainable development

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We conducted a nation-wide survey of Danish science teacher students specializing in science subjects,
in order to investigate their knowledge, attitude and self-efficacy on central aspects of education for
sustainable development. Our study finds, in accordance with previous publications, a high degree of
positive attitude towards the importance of teaching sustainability, and a significant positive correlation
between self-efficacy and self-assessed knowledge about the topics in the survey. However, in our study
both self-efficacy and self-assessed knowledge correlate negatively with actual knowledge, indicating
that some of our participants are subject to an overinflated self-assessment while others may underestimate
their proficiency within the topics. In cognitive psychology, this phenomenon is known as the
Dunning-Kruger effect, and we discuss its implications for how best to ensure quality in education for
sustainable development in our schools.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNorDiNa: Nordic Studies in Science Education
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)211-223
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • teacher education
  • natural science

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