Due to corona restrictions the planned event in Åbo was resceduled and became a split event starting in Stockholm the 18th of October followed by work at home by the participants and then followed by an online event in December 2021. The whole event was broadcasted online so everyone in the project and other interested could take part. Most of the program have been filmed and will be shared below.
Event in Erasmus + Education for sustainability and resilience
Learning, teaching, and training event by Åbo Akademi University
The target group for the event was: All educational professionals and all who are interested in the learning and teaching area (researchers, university students, teachers, head teachers).
The event will include a combination of lectures and workshops that focus on our different perceptions about core elements of sustainability and resilience. Researchers, and invited lecturer and the project group members will provide the content for the sessions, content that will be both practical and theoretical.
Tangible outcomes from the Event includes collected knowledge about challenges of sustainability and the development of a resilient society, educational shift regarding issues of sustainability, entrepreneurship and how to see the student as an active partner in the learning processes.
Stockholm 18th of October
Part one of the event was broadcast online 18 October but participants from Finland, Norway and Sweden was also present on site at NAV in Stockholm. We focused on educational and social futures, climate change leadership with a focus on sustainability. We started of with a check in and an introduction of our project leader Eva Marsh.
Then we listened to a lecture from Anne-Kathrin Peters, who is an associate professor in technology education whith a focus on sustainability at KTH in Stockholm.
She told us about her own development from being in a technical IT-world to more and more work with sustainability issues. She spoke about the importance of being in nature to be able to care about nature. Her lecture was appreciated and the evaluation afterwards show that participants appreciate her talk about the importance of connecting with nature and that we do not now what the future will be like so we need to make students develop skills. One comment said ” Her insights to challenges of education will help me further reflect on our posistion in higher education.”
After that we listened to Pella Thiel from the Transition movement and End-ecocide Sweden who talked on pain and participation, transformation and resilience in a living world. Pella is an environmental activist working with eco-cide law. She hit us with facts and feelings and engaged us in different exercises where we had to meet our own feelings, worries and thoughts about the state of the world today. It made a big impression on the participants and left no one untouched. One participant wrote ”Her exercises moved me. To stop and look at the state of the world made me dazed. To stop, feel, reflect is very important.”
Then we moved on to discuss how we can use Storyline in the work with our students to deal with sustainable development. Ylva Lundin, Storyline Sverige, held a workshop where we got a character each and worked through them. One participant wrote in the evaluation ” Ylva helped us to see and reflect on how we in this project can improve the commitment of the children through their characters, and through them understand the complexity of sustainable development -conflicts of interest, emotions, fears”
Next was a presentation by Margaretha Häggström from the University of Gothenburg. She has been following the Storyline work at Backatorpsskolan and done classroom observations over a period of six weeks, 40 interviews with pupils and seven interviews with teachers have been conducted. Three different studies, based on these observations and interviews has been conducted, which resulted in three academic articles which she presented for us. Amongst her findings she stressed the importance of the characters in the storylinework and also discussed the role of the teacher. The evaluation shows that the participants were impressed by the work and felt that it is important to get a scientific view on what we are carrying on in the classrooms during the project.
Then we had a session on transformative learning where we discussed what we actually mean by the concept Transformative learning. The feeling amongst the group was that we need to take this further and deal with the concept again at the meeting in december.
Then there was a second session with Ylva Lundin where the participants was made to take the work with the characters further to discuss feelings that the question about sustainable development arise in the characters. They got the opportunity to place their characters on the Kübler-Ross scale and also from there to move to discuss their own personal feelings. There was a deep discussion where a lot of personal feelings were lifted in the open. To deal with the state of the world today arise a lot of difficult thoughts and feelings and together we felt so secure in the project so we could share theese feelings with each other.
After that we listened to Ann-Cathrine Henriksson from Åbo Akademi in Finland. She presented a study about young people and eco-anxiety. Many participants in the study endorsed a range of negative emotions, with over 50% of respondents saying they had felt afraid, sad, anxious, angry, powerless, helpless, and/or guilty. The emotions least often reported were optimism and indifference. Respondents endorsed a range of negative thoughts, with 77% saying the future was frightening. Among those who said they talked with others about climate change (81·2% of the sample), almost half (48·4%) reported that other people had ignored or dismissed them. Results for thoughts and feelings about climate change varied significantly by country but were strikingly present in all populations
One participant wrote like this in the evaluation ” The homework she did with the new report on young people's concerns about climate change along with the questions she prepared for this session made the connection betweeen our work with Storyline and Sustainability more relavant.”
We had all read an article written by Dr. Panu Pihkala before the meeting but now we also got a lecture "Eco-Anxiety and Environmental Education" from him via link. Ann-Cathrines introduction and questioning afterwards helped us all to bring the findings of dr Pihkala together with our own work.by We also had the oportunity to ask questions via link.
Apart from the above we spend time together during lunch, coffee and dinner where we got to know each other further.
Theese times with no programme is very important for the project since we build trust and feel more connected to each other. It is a difficult subject that we have choosen for our project and during this event in Stockholm we have all been aware of that we can not leave our own personal feelings out of the work. We really need to explore our own sadness, sorrow and anxiousness to be able to work with this subject with our students.
In order to prepare for the on-line event the first of December 2021 Ann-Cathrine Henriksson from Åbo Akademi in Finland presented a reflection task for all of us to bring home from the meeting in Stockholm. The reflection could be done individually or together with colleges in your organization. Information about the reflection task can be found in the pdf to the right.
Åbo the first of December
Part two of the event was broadcasted on-line and most of the event was also recorded.
The day was opened by Catharina Groop, the deputy Director at Åbo Akademi / Centre for Lifelong Learning who told us about Åbo Akademi. Then Eva Marsh, coordinator of the Project Erasmus + Education for sustainability and resilience greeted us all and went through the program for the day.
The first session was then "Entrepreneurial learning - possibilities and challenges". We were given examples from different national curriculums from Johanna Gagner and Daniel Lundqvist. Teachers’ role and students’ role were discussed as well as 21st century skills. The session was very appreciated and all responses at the evalutation afterwards gave a six or a five on a six grade scale. One reflection was "Seeing entrepreneurial learning as creating value for someone else makes the concept more manageable for me. It made me realize that there is a lot we already do that is good, even though most of it happens within the school's
own walls. Wondering what is stopping us teachers from daring? Fear of chaos? Johanna gave me some food for thought when she compared the teacher to a gardener. “We sow seeds and constantly pick them up to see if it has grown instead of relying on the process, that the seed grows. Many of us teachers need to dare to let go of the need for control. How do we do that? We need to continue to set good examples and be inspired to give ourselves the courage to dare."
Session two was called Transformative learning – scientific background and implications for education on different levels. Teachers’ role and students’ role. Thiss session was delivered by Margaretha Häggström and Ann-Catherine Henriksson. The evaluation shows that several participants are struggeling a bit with the meaning of the concept but it was clearer to most of us after this session. Voices from the evaluation says "As a teacher it is very important to acknowledge the importance of transformative learning. This presentation was a great example of in-depth research of transformative learning and how pupils develop different feelings and connections to nature."
"I really like when researchers share their thinking. It is very important that we get what we do in school looked upon."
Session three was a practical workshops where the participants had the opportunity to try out short episodes from different Storyline topics. It was lead by Virginia Lockhart-Pedersen who has experience in leading storyline work with her students during lockdown. It is challenging to get the same engagement in a storyline if you have to rely on digital tools but Virginia showed us some tricks that has proved to be very useful at the teacher training in Norway. Evaluation voices says "For me developing a character is the most important part of Storyline. Finding out about different possibilities of characters was very useful."
"I learned a lot of new things in how to use the digital tools. I also liked the way that she had taken what we have done in the project before into her presentation . She really showed that we are taking big steps forward."
"I think her way of linking together what we all do and talk about, today and before is very useful for us as a group, it sum up what we think and learn each time. Also, I learnt to use Zoom better (The whiteboard). She also included some new features to the character and facilitated a giving discussion on this, which opened my eyes."
Session four was a workshop where we used open space for discussion and deeper understanding of UNESCO’s declaration. The question was: What does teaching look like when it meets the following goals. “It is not enough to supply each child early in life with a store of knowledge to be drawn on from then on. Each individual must be equipped to seize learning opportunities throughout life, both to broaden her or his knowledge, skills and attitudes, and to adapt to a changing, complex and interdependent world” (UNESCO, 1996: 85) The workshop was lead by Ylva Lundin - Storyline Sverige and facilitated on Zoom by Johanna Gagner and Daniel Lundqvist from NAV. The method was new to many of the participants and many that had experienced open space before had never tried it digitaly. The evaluation was positive and here are what some of the participants stated:
"That was a new experience for me and it was really nice."
"It is working better in real life that on zoom but still I think we got some value out of it."
"It is very useful to hear and discuss about different perspectives."
"Open space is an effective way for a group to have many discussions at the same time. It is the group itself that addresses the topics that are important, no one from above decides what makes most issues important. It is a good way to tie the bag together after a day. days of much input."
After the open space session Eva Marsh, coordinator of the Project Erasmus + Education for sustainability and resilience summond the day and closed the event.
Participants, representing the partners in Erasmus + Strategic Partnerships for school education
Backatorpsskolan, Sweden. Eva Mars, Anna Johansson and two more teachers.
University of Gothenburg, Sweden. Margaretha Häggström
Østfold University College, Norway. Virginia Lockhart-Pedersen, Hanne Eik Pilskog and Camilla Blikstad Halstvedt.
Katarinaskolan, Finland. Krista Kaihovirta and one more teacher.
NAV Sweden. Johanna Gagner and Daniel Lundqvist
Osnovna šola Ob Rinži Kočevje, Slovenia. Katja Ilc Virant, Janja Murn and Mateja Vidrih
Storyline Sverige, Sweden. Ylva Lundin
Åbo Akademi University, Finland. Ann-Catherine Henriksson and colleagues.
The event is part of Erasmus + Programme.
No fees were charged for participating in the event.