Ellen Almers

Department of Subject Didactics and Global Studies , School of Education and Communication
Doctor of Philosophy


My dissertation was written within the research program Action Competence for Sustainable Development - stories of active youths, sponsored by Swedish Research Council for Environment, Agricultural Sciences and Spatial Planning, Formas, 2006-2008. In my PhD project I studied how young people experience their acquisition and development of different aspects of action competence for sustainable development (i.e. in distance moral issues).

In the study, action competence for sustainable development includes both actions within the individual life style and actions on a more structural level with the aim to change life conditions. It also includes intergenerational and global responsibility. I found respondents through Internet and through active participation in different kind of activities for sustainable development organized by young people.

The theoretical perspective of my project is based on life-world phenomenology and the methodology is inspired by ethnography and narrative tradition.

After the dissertation I have initiated three research projects: Sustainability actions, Forest gardens in education and Multi-functional urban outdoor preschool settings and the promotion of health and ecosystem services: An investigation of collaborative processes. Tha latter project funded by The research council Formas. 


I have a background as science teacher (biology and chemistry) in lower and upper secondary school since 1986. Since 1995 I have been educating student teachers in science education and global environmental and survival issues at the School of Education and Communication. In 2010 I became the coordinator of the research platform Sustainable Development at HLK, School of Education and Communication and in 2017 the research leader for the group Sustainability Education Research (SER). I am associate professor in education, with specialization in natural sciences and sustainability.


Almers, E., Askerlund, P., Samuelsson, T., Waite, S. (2020). Children’s preferences for schoolyard features and understanding of ecosystem service innovations – a study in five Swedish preschools Journal of Adventure Education and Outdoor Learning.
Hammarsten, M., Askerlund, P., Almers, E., Avery, H., Samuelsson, T. (2019). Developing ecological literacy in a forest garden: children’s perspectives Journal of Adventure Education and Outdoor Learning, 19(3), 227-241.
Askerlund, P., Almers, E. (2019). Det är den digitala kompetensen som måste utvecklas Jönköping: Hall Media .
Golino, H., Hamer, R., Almers, E., Kjellström, S. (2019). The structure of the epistemological development in teaching learning questionnaire Cogent Education, 6(1).
Almers, E., Askerlund, P., Kjellström, S. (2018). Why forest gardening for children? Swedish forest gardeneducators' ideas, purposes, and experiences The Journal of Environmental Education, 49(3), 242-259.
Kjellström, S., Sjölander, P., Almers, E., McCall, M. (2017). Value systems among adolescents: Novel method for assessing level of ego-development Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, 58(2), 150-157.
Askerlund, P., Almers, E. (2016). Forest gardens – new opportunities for urban children to understand and develop relationships with other organisms Urban Forestry & Urban Greening, 20, 187-197.
Kjellström, S., Golino, H., Hamer, R., Van Rossum, E., Almers, E. (2016). Psychometric properties of the Epistemological Development in Teaching Learning Questionnaire (EDTLQ): An inventory to measure higher order epistemological development Frontline Learning Research, 4(5), 22-54.
Almers, E., Askerlund, P. (2015). Gratis läromedel i biologi grumlar begreppen Lärarnas tidning.
Stagell, U., Almers, E., Askerlund, P., Apelqvist, M. (2014). What Kind of Actions are Appropriate? Eco-School Teachers' and Instructors' Ranking of Sustainability-Promoting Actions as Content in Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) International Electronic Journal of Environmental Education, 4(2), 97-113.
Almers, E. (2013). Pathways to Action Competence for Sustainability - Six Themes The Journal of Environmental Education, 44(2), 116-127.

Book chapter

Almers, E., Wickenberg, P. (2008). Breaking and making norms - Young people’s stories of consumption actions for sustainable development. In: Johan Öhman (Ed.), Values and democracy in education for sustainable development: contributions from Swedish research (pp. 165 -186). Malmö: Liber

Conference paper

Gustafsson, M., Almers, E., Askerlund, P. (2019). Samverkan och urvalsprocess angående åtgärder med syfte att utveckla ekosystemtjänster på förskolegården. Forskningsbaserad undervisning – Teori och praktik i samverkan, 12 November 2019, Jönköping University, Högskolan för Lärande och Kommunikation i samarbete med Utbildningsförvaltningen i Jönköpings Kommun.
Golino, H., Hamer, R., Almers, E., Kjellström, S. (2018). Measuring epistemological development – a uni- or multidimensional structure?. European Society for Research on Adult Development (ESRAD), ​25th to 27th May 2018, University of Greenwich, London, UK.
Hammarsten, M., Almers, E., Askerlund, P., Avery, H., Samuelsson, T. (2018). The Forest Garden from Children's Perspectives. Childhood and Materiality. VIII conference on childhood studies, 7-9 may Jyväskylä Finland.
Hammarsten, M., Askerlund, P., Almers, E., Avery, H., Samuelsson, T. (2018). Barns perspektiv på att vistas i en skogsträdgård. Nordisk forskningskonferens om miljö- och hållbarhetsutbildning, 25–26 oktober 2018, Örebro universitet.
Askerlund, P., Almers, E. (2018). Hur fungerar ekosystemtjänster som verktyg för hållbarhetsarbete på förskolor?. Nordisk forskningskonferens om miljö- och hållbarhetsutbildning, 25–26 oktober 2018, Örebro universitet.
Hammarsten, M., Almers, E., Askerlund, P., Avery, H. (2016). School children's special places in a forest garden in Sweden. NERA 2016, 9-11 March, Helsinki Finland, NERA 44th Congress, Social Justice, Equality and Solidarity in Education.
Ramirez-Pasillas, M., Almers, E., Wagman, P., Stagell, U. (2016). Education for sustainability: Transformative processes, actions and systemic change in a Swedish university. EURAM 2016, "Manageable Cooperation", June 1-2-3 and 4, 2016, Paris, France.
Almers, E., Askerlund, P. (2015). Forest gardens - places for children to connect with nature in times of urbanization. 8th WEEC, Planet and People - how can the develop together, Gothenburg Jun 29 - Jul 2, 2015.
Ramírez-Pasillas, M., Almers, E., Kjellström, S., Wagman, P., Stagell, U. (2015). Towards Multiple Approaches on Education for Sustainability: A case study of a Swedish University. 8th World Environmental Education Congress – WEEC 2015, Gothenburg, 29th of June - 2nd of July, 2015.
Stagell, U., Almers, E., Askerlund, P. (2014). Action Competence - a private matter?. Presented at ECER 2014, The Past, the Present and the Future of Educational Research, University of Porto, Portugal, September 1-5, 2014..
Stagell, U., Almers, E., Askerlund, P. (2014). ESD and citizenship in the private and public sphere: Eco-School teachers' and instructors' views on actions as teaching content in ESD. Paper presented at the NERA 42nd Congress, Education for Sustainable Development in Lillehammer, Norway, March 5-7, 2014..
Askerlund, P., Almers, E., Hyltse-Eckert, Y., Avery, H., Kjellström, S. (2014). The Nordic forest garden: An educational opportunity for learning about ecological and emotional relationships between organisms. NERA 42nd congress: education for sustainable development, Lillehammer, March 5.-7. 2014.
Kjellström, S., Stålne, K., Hamer, R., van Rossum, E., Almers, E. (2014). A developmental questionnaire on knowing and learning. European Society for Research in Adult Development (ESRAD) IV Symposium, Helsinki, May 21-23, 2014.

Doctoral thesis

Almers, E. (2009). Handlingskompetens för hållbar utveckling: Tre berättelser om vägen dit (Doctoral thesis, Jönköping: Högskolan för lärande och kommunikation).

Other publications

Hammarsten, M., Askerlund, P., Almers, E., Avery, H., Samuelsson, T. (2018). Developing ecological literacy in a forest garden: children’s perspectives.


Kjellström, S., Almers, E., Ramirez-Pasillas, M., Wagman, P., Stagell, U., Andersson, A. (2014). Högskoleutbildning för hållbar utveckling: En kartläggning vid Jönköpings högskola. Jönköping: Jönköping University, School of Health Sciences