Three research studies have been 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.

Thoughts about Storyline

In this film you will meet the researchers from the project and can hear their thoughts about working with Storyline and Sustainability issues.

Academic articles

Three academic articles have been published so far. Two written by Margareta Häggström and one written by Ann-Catherine Henriksson. 

What do we learn when we read your article?

Margareta Häggström

PhD in Educational Practice
University of Gothenburg

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.

International Journal of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences Studies.pdf

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.

Utilizing a storyline approach to facilitating pupils agency in primaryschool sustainability education context.pdf

What do we learn when we read your article?

Ann-Cathrine Henriksson

Åbo Akademi

Primary school students’ perceptions of a sustainablefuture in the context of a Storyline project

Ann-Catherine Henriksson, Åbo Akademi University, Finland

All human decision-making is based on different expectations and assumptionsabout the future. Futures literacy, consisting of knowledge, emotions, and skills, isan essential competency for the 21st century. Educational steering documents, asthe Finnish national curriculum, state that the teachers shall scaffold the studentsin problem solving, critical thinking and into a sustainable lifestyle now and in thefuture. The task is complex and challenging for the teachers. In this study a Storylineproject was used as a frame for learning about sustainable living. The aim of thestudy was to study how students’ perceptions of sustainable futures are visualizedthrough the Storyline project and the meta-reflective dialogue. The research material consists of recorded group interviews with primary school students. The resultsof the thematic analysis show that different ecological skills, ecological concepts,and entities related to ecological sustainability, as well as cause-and-effect descriptions related to science, are present in the students' descriptions of the future. Asemotional skills, students bring out empathy; empathy both for other people andfor plants and animals. Students rely on their own competence to involve in sustainable development and as resources they highlight e.g. technological innovations, the importance of scientific knowledge, circular economy thinking as well aslearning skills and social skills.

Primary school students’ perceptions of a sustainablefuture in the context of a Storyline project.pdf 

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.