Life on earth is endangered. Climate change and its impact on earth is one of the issues concerning young people. We see this concern through the youth actions such as massive school walkouts and protest marches. The example of the Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg has made us all focus on the challenges we have today to make school meaningful for students. Greta stopped going to school when she could not see at school the connection between what she learned about climate change and the need for action. She stopped eating and speaking since she did not feel that her life, including school, had any meaning. The school perhaps provided her with the knowledge that leads to change, but it did not seem to provide her with the possibility of taking action.
The purpose of the partnership is to develop the Storyline approach as a pedagogical tool to increase learning for sustainability and as a tool that helps students to act on their knowledge. The project will take place in two contexts; education in compulsory schools and teacher education. The common content area for these two contexts is developing innovative educational practices regarding sustainability in a time of rapid change and uncertainty.
This project will explore how the Storyline approach may facilitate learning and acting on issues of sustainability that engage the learners in various ways. This exploration will be carried out on two levels: 1) in practice in the primary school classroom explored by teachers, student teachers and students 2) in theory explored by researchers studying and examining the practices.
The Storyline approach is a cross curricular method that uses the narrative perspective and involves students in creating a story together with their teachers. Within the classroom work during a Storyline a lot of other methods and working ways are used. Outdoor pedagogy, IT, entrepreneurial learning, active learning, aesthetic learning processes, and so on, are used and we will explore how these can be used more effectively.
Based on the objectives, one priority is to develop pedagogical methods and tools that encourage and inspire students, student teachers, and teachers in practice, to view themselves as agents of change. A second priority is to develop quality in cross-curricular teaching approaches. The main purpose of our project is therefore to enhance qualitative learning opportunities regarding sustainability using the student-active Storyline approach as a framework for learning and teaching about the environment and climate change. Each participating partner will reflect on their experiences using the Storyline approach for enhancing sustainability.