Research outputs

Three research studies will be carried out within the project. Together the research studies provide knowledge from classroom work in primary schools as well as from teacher education. This knowledge will play a crucial role for further development regarding education and issues of sustainability, both directly at a school level, and indirectly at teacher education. These two directions will enrich the two sectors and build a strong foundation for future work on education that includes sustainability.
The research part of the project will produce at least three academic articles in peer reviewed journals, relevant for improving education for the future. Relevant journals are for example Teaching and Teacher Education, Journal of Education for Sustainable Development and Environmental Education Research. The articles will be presented at conferences; apart from the Storyline conference in Gothenburg 2022, we may present the results at Nordic Educational Research Association (NERA), Nordisk fagdidaktisk konferens (NOFA) and European Conference on Educational Research (ECER). The articles will also be presented in popular academic journals.

Academic articles

Learning About And Through Sustainability: Relational Pedagogy And Storyline As A Teaching Foundation

Margaretha Häggström University of Gothenburg, Faculty of Education

This article studies how environmental sustainability is integrated in a Storyline, which include learning about and through sustainability, conducted in two primary school classes, Grade 2 (children’s age 8-9) in Sweden. It examines the significant aspects of the Storyline approach in relation to democratic values and young pupils’ sense of agency. In addition, it examines how pupils comprehend the concept of sustainability, and the Storyline approach itself. The empirical material consists of classroom observation and individual semistructured interviews with 20 pupils and 2 teachers. Theories of relational pedagogy are used to analyze the material. The results show that Storyline work depends on a skilled, compassionate and caring teacher, who creates an open climate in the classroom. It is argued that both a pedagogical theoretical foundation, such as relational pedagogy, and a deliberate teaching and learning approach, such as Storyline, are crucial when implementing issues of sustainability in primary school education.

Utilizing a storyline approach to facilitating pupils’ agency in primary school sustainability education context

Margaretha Häggström University of Gothenburg, Faculty of Education

This article presents a six-week long action research study in two primary school classes, with the aim of exploring how a Storyline approach can facilitate learning and acting on sustainability issues, and how this approach might enhance pupils’ agency. This study is underpinned by and analyzed through theories of relational pedagogy, in which communication processes and interaction are central aspects of the learning process. The empirical material consists of video observations from classroom situations. The results show relational aspects of the teacher’s work in a Storyline and highlight the importance of the teacher’s caring role Storyline instruction. Further, results suggest that the reflective process entails critical thinking and has potential to support development of pupils’ democratic capabilities, including a civic dimension. This action research study adds to evidence concerning how relational agency has been exercised and performed through features of a Storyline.

Aim and research questions
The overall aim of the research is to explore a meaningful, positive, constructive, active and sustainable way of teaching and learning, and to examine in what ways the implemented Storyline work in the three schools in the three countries addresses perspectives on sustainability. The study will be guided by the questions of what, how, why so, who will do what, for whom are the activities planned, which are the underlying ideas/pedagogical theories, what are the driving forces and what are the anticipated outcomes. The intention is to elucidate these didactic principles.

 Research questions:

  • How are the actual lessons planned? (What are they based on theoretically, practically and from what kind of best practice?).
  • What kinds of activities are made possible through the teaching and learning activities?
  • In what way are issues of sustainability integrated in the Storyline?
  • How do the students experience the planned activities?
  • How is students' emancipation encouraged through the Storyline-work?

One way of promoting reflective practice and provide a concatenated pedagogical approach, including a creative student-centred pedagogy, is to implement Storyline in educational settings, both in primary school and at teacher education programmes.
Report 210910
The research group has begun work on the various intellectual outputs according to the schedule. The three action research studies is lead by Kristine Høeg Karlsen and Virginia Lockhart-Pedersen at Østfold College University, Norway, Ann-Catherine Henriksson at Åbo Academy, Finland, and Margaretha Häggström at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. Each action research will be carried out separately, although the collected empirical material will be compared and used for at least one common article.

Action research 1, led by Margaretha Häggström has been conducted during spring 2021, in a school, where all teachers and classes already work with The Storyline Approach. It has resulted in three academic articles; one is submitted to an academic journal, two will be proofread first. A review of these articles is in progress and will be published at the project's website when ready.

Action research 2, led by Virginia Lockhart-Pedersen and Kristine Høeg Karlsen is now in progress. Østfold College University had to adjust their research due to the restrictions of Covid.  They have conducted a Storyline with student teachers, and have initiated three interviews with students and the teacher educators involved. In addition, they have video-taped the planning meetings before, during, and after implementation, as a base for an article that investigates teachers' planning for Storyline.   Two outside schools have been contacted for initial opportunities for teacher observation and participation in a Storyline at the University and observation and implementation of a Storyline at the public schools.  

Action research 3, led by Ann-Catherine Henriksson, is in progress. Teachers in a primary school are planning to start a new project "Pupils as agents for sustainability" in autumn 2021.

Report 220930

Three action research studies have been carried out separately.Two of them provide knowledgefrom classroom work in primary schools (Sweden and Finland), one from teacher educationNorway. This knowledge will play a crucial role for further development regarding education andissues of sustainability, both directly at a school level, and indirectly at teacher education.Relational Pedagogy has been employed as a theoretical background for the action researchstudies in Sweden, which has not been done in previous Storyline studies. The action researchstudies in Norway are using Case study as a method, and one project will be using a thematic textanalysis.

The research has hitherto published two articles (Sweden) in international journals, andone article (Sweden) is submitted, yet another article is finished and ready for submission (Finland),and 1-2 articles are in progress (Norway). The collected empirical material will also be comparedand used for one common article. All articles are and will be published in journals that use openaccess, and the articles can then be published on the project’s website, which the two first articleshave been. Results from the published articles have been presented at the multiplier event inStockholm (autumn 2021), and at the event and Storyline conference in Gothenburg (March 2022),and at the University of Dalarna and The University of Jönköping. A panel discussion was held at Gothenburg Book fair (September 2022), when results from the published articles were presentedand discussed. A minor presentation will also be held at the Golden Circle event. Häggström isinvited to UNDP to talk about the result and discuss young pupil’s opinions on sustainabledevelopment (at Natural History Museum, September 2022). The plan is to present all results fromall articles at relevant conferences, and to hold a symposium.

The overall aim of the research is toexamine teachers’ Storyline work that includes sustainable development. The teachers exploremeaningful, positive, constructive, active and sustainable ways of teaching and learning. Thestudies will examine in what ways the implemented Storyline work in the two schools in Swedenand Finland, and at teacher education in Norway. The studies are guided by the questions of what,how, why so, who will do what, for whom are the activities planned, which are the underlyingideas/pedagogical theories, what are the driving forces and what are the anticipated outcomes. Theintention is to elucidate these didactic principles.

The research group from the three countries metand worked together at the University of Gothenburg in March 2022 to plan a common text. Theyhave met online to discuss the work and will meet in Åbo, in October 2022, to plan for furthercollaboration. Lockhart Pedersen and Häggström had two presentations in TAL, a conference heldin Copenhagen, November 2021. Häggström and Motzfeldt have met several times, both inGothenburg and Halden and online for a collaboration, and are working on a book chaptertogether. The ongoing research in Norway will be presented as a blog at the project’s Website.Motzfeldt has developed a template that will be used in three anthologies about Storyline as ateaching and learning approach. New with this storyboard includes anchoring the storyline in thecurriculum LK20 and the op