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Leif Östman, PhD, is professor of curriculum studies (“didactics” in Swedish) at Uppsala University. He is one of the founders of the research group SMED (Studies of Meaning-making in Educational Discourses) and the current director of SMED and the research school GRESD (Graduate School for Education and Sustainable Development). He is also a member of the Swedish National Commission for UNESCO and reviewer of the network Environmental and Sustainability Education Research at the ECER conference.
He has been very involved in the institutionalisation of didactics at Uppsala University, ¬ starting with work undertaken at the Centre for Curriculum Studies (1987-1997) and continuing within teacher education and the Faculty of Education. Since 2005 he has been the director of curriculum studies.
Since 1987 he has been actively involved in teacher training and student supervision, has developed courses at different levels and has developed and participated in different forms of cooperation with teachers, schools, NGOs and governmental departments in Sweden and internationally. He introduced curriculum theory to science education research in Sweden and is one of the founders of research on environmental and sustainability education and comparative didactics in Sweden.
He is the author and co-author of research papers, books, book chapters and textbooks (both in Swedish and in English) on science education, environmental and sustainability education, body pedagogics, moral and political dimensions of teaching and learning, history of teaching traditions and the interplay between intra-personal, interpersonal and institutional dimensions of learning.
In his research he has developed methodologies based on post-structuralism, pragmatic philosophy and the later works of Ludwig Wittgenstein. This has resulted in several internationally recognised theoretical models and analytical methods.
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