FLKM4110 Introduksjon til internasjonal utvikling, utdanning og bærekraft Emneplan

Engelsk emnenavn
Introduction to International Development, Education, and Sustainabilities
Masterstudium i internasjonal utvikling, utdanning og bærekraft
15 stp.


This first course of the MIED program introduces different approaches that interpret and suggest action to meet the present challenges and crises in the following three fields: economic and social development, environment and climate change, and international education. During the course, students learn to critically examine mainstream approaches to mass education, international development, and climate change, as well as a range of critical alternatives to global development trends. All the topics covered in the course are of great importance both for students who have chosen the specialisation of International Education and for those who have chosen International Development Studies.


No prerequisite knowledge required.


After completing the course, the student is expected to have achieved the following learning outcomes defined in terms of knowledge, skills and general competence:


Students have knowledge of and insight into:

  • theories about economic and social development strategies historically and today; 
  • theories about periods of economic growth and crises;
  • theories about the historical phenomenon of international mass education, its content and official purposes, and its current status;  
  • the United Nations ‘Sustainable Development Goals’ (SDG) Agenda and its implications for international education and sustainable development. 
  • perspectives on the Anthropocene, the Capitalocene, and sustainable development;
  • green change choices with their goals and relations to larger development approaches;
  • the global climate crisis and examination of climate justice of various climate mitigation options;
  • multiple goals for sustainable development, such as economic growth, human rights, environmental and climate justice, and the right to quality education; and
  • the intended, actual, and potential roles and contributions of education to sustainable development goals, especially in the Global South.


Students demonstrate their capacity to:

  • competently understand and explain relevant topics in the field;
  • critically consider and compare research-based knowledge of the course topics;
  • competently examine how various development strategies and change options are aimed at different goals; and
  • and produce written responses to course topics and assignment tasks in accordance with the required academic standards.

General competence

Students demonstrate their capacity to:

  • explain and problematise relevant theories and approaches about: international education, development, green change choices, the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and climate mitigation options;
  • independently evaluate and apply new knowledge to prescribed problems; and
  • communicate academic issues relating to the major themes of the course.


The course introduces different approaches and theories about economic and social development, including present mainstream directions based on neoliberalism, economic growth, technological changes, and market-solutions in combination with governmental regulations. There is also a focus on the history of ideas of development as well as demonstrated practices, and the students are introduced to the history of economic growth and crises.

In the topic of environmental and climate change we focus on explanations of the gradually evolving environmental and climate crises, with discussion of concepts such as ‘the anthropocene’ and ‘the capitalocene’, as well as examination of the broad spectre of different approaches to sustainable development. Green change choices are introduced, such as green growth/green economy and various versions of Green New Deal, ecomodernisation, and degrowth. The agenda of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is discussed in terms of the emphasised goals and strategies. The course introduces the students to the academic debate on whether or not decoupling between economic growth and global warming is possible. The students learn how to critically examine consequences of different climate mitigation options for climate justice for future generation and with special and social variations of consequences for people today.

This course highlights and critically examines characteristics of the mainstream approach to mass education, seeking to produce ‘good workers’ and ‘good citizens’, underpinned by human capital theory and promises of poverty reduction through education. The Global-Local dialectic at play is explored in the ‘education and development’ nexus, and its social, political, economic, and historical context. This includes understandings of how models of education and their curricular and pedagogical systems have historically and continue to be transferred between and within countries, and their relationship to global and local conceptualisations of development. The course includes an examination of how education is approached as one of the SDGs (no. 4), and the ways that the SDGs are presented in the global initiative Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) Project as well as in other academic approaches to education on sustainable development. The review of ESD critically examines the program in terms of its alignment with and/or break from the conditions that generated the problems that the SDGs seek to solve: the global climate crisis, the crises of the anthropocene, cyclical and cumulative crises of the global economy, poverty, and significant crises and failures of international education.

Throughout the course, opportunities are created to consider the focused issues at multiple levels of scale (local, regional, national, global) and across time. Student assignments in the course may include consideration of: Mainstream and alternative theories and approaches of development, green change, climate mitigation options, and alternative approaches to mass education and its purposes.

Arbeids- og undervisningsformer

This course module consists of lectures and seminars. Academic discussion is encouraged throughout the course module, and a range of activities are included to facilitate students’ engagement with the curriculum materials and central ideas of the course. These include small writing assignments and presentations by student groups. Training in academic writing is an integrated part of the course. Please see the general programme description for further details. 

Arbeidskrav og obligatoriske aktiviteter

No coursework requirements.

Vurdering og eksamen

The assessment consists of an individual home exam/academic paper over five days, of 3000 words (+/- 10 %). 



Resit/rescheduled exam The resit/rescheduled exam is organised in the same way as the ordinary exam.

Hjelpemidler ved eksamen

Examination support material is permitted.


The grades pass/fail are used.


All submitted papers will be assessed by two internal examiners. In accordance with the Guidelines for Appointment and Use of Examiners at OsloMet, the mode of assessment will periodically be reviewed by an external programme supervisor.