There will be two interim evaluation report and one final report during this project and they will all be published here. 

First interim report 210910.pdf

Second interim report 220930.pdf

Project Summary 231016


This project was initiated by Backatorpsskolan, Gothenburg, as the school board recognised the goal 4.7 in Agenda 2030: Education for sustainable development and global citizenship as a considerable challenge. Thus, the application for this project was driven by the recognition of the pressing issues related to sustainability and the need for education to meet the aspirations of the new generations. Knowing that many students have climate anxiety, and that some of them regard school’s education less relevant made the project urgent. Traditional school framing, divided into several different subjects, describing reality in small parts, no longer addresses the issues students are looking for. Fridays For Future has spread all over the world and some students feel that it's more relevant to protest than to attend school. The underlying need for the project was to find ways of changing our schools to be more relevant for students.
The school acknowledged the need for help from other countries’ curriculum work, to develop teaching approaches for sustainability and resilience, and the need for including researchers to analyse these approaches. Schools in Slovenia, Iceland and Finland were asked to participate, as were the universities of Gothenburg in Sweden, Østfold in Norway and Åbo Akademi in Finland, since they were all working with sustainability and student-centred teaching. In addition, two organisations from Sweden, NAV and Storyline Sweden were invited; both have long experience in innovation and learning. We wanted to bring researchers, schools, and professionals outside the school system together to try to develop new ways of dealing with sustainability issues in schools, but also to examine closely the personal, and dynamic group processes, when working with the way we view the world and how we affect it. We therefore wanted to bring together individuals from different age groups, disciplines, trades, and organisations.
Our project sought to address the challenges we face today and the challenges of how education can meet the new generations’ call for action as demonstrated by the massive school walkouts in 2019-2020. The participating partners in this project wanted to develop current strategies for sustainability education by moving away from instructing students in predictable directions towards providing them with a sense of agency. We wanted to develop teaching and learning methods that empower students and enhance qualitative pedagogical methods by using the student-active Storyline approach as a framework, as it is interdisciplinary, and various school subjects are intertwined. We sought to create stories that inspire students as well as teachers, to view themselves as agents of change to be better prepared for an uncertain future. Subsequently, the underlying aim was to develop the pedagogical approach of Storyline itself, foremost as a pedagogical tool to increase learning for sustainability.
We wanted to gather people with different backgrounds to share and discuss how we could develop the Storyline approach to engage students. By analysing different Storylines we wanted to identify what, how and why the elements in a Storyline work. Also, we wanted to contribute new knowledge to the Storyline community as well as to the broader educational field. By engaging researchers from three different countries we wanted to study the approach and shed light on the method’s opportunities and obstacles. We believed it was crucial that practitioners and researchers collaborated to find these results.


The project aimed to develop and provide new knowledge about the pedagogical approach of Storyline in relation to Education for Sustainable Development. We expected an enhanced understanding of how to use Storyline in the twenty-first century in general, and how to use Storyline in relation to education for sustainable issues specifically.

We expected that the project, while developing the Storyline approach as a tool for teaching and a method of learning about sustainability, would have an impact on students, teachers, teacher educators and the research community. The impact we wanted to achieve was on a practical level – e.g. by developing and testing pedagogical tools for teaching and learning about sustainability – and on an intrinsic level while supporting the feeling of agency, and competency to act towards sustainability, amongst students, student teachers, teachers, and researchers. This enhanced understanding encompasses all participants, the participating organisations as well as target groups, although on different educational levels, still interlinked. Specifically, we expected that the project would have both an impact on a practical level in schools, and on a theoretical level amongst scholars in the educational field. Conversely, we consider the practical and the theoretical aspects of education as a reciprocal process, hence both practitioners and scholars need to enhance their understanding of both sides of this coin. In turn, target groups, such as students, would benefit from the development.

We wanted to spread the project’s results by creating a webpage including research results, and practical experiences; that is, a resource bank. For example, we wanted to develop pedagogical tools and theoretical understandings on different educational levels, and at the same time on different regional levels. That was to have an impact 1) locally, on the schools in the participating countries, 2) nationally, on the Universities included in the project, 3) globally, on the Storyline community. Though, we hoped that the pedagogical tools would be spread among schools in the regions and hopefully extend to other regions and eventually, also nationally. Our plan for that to happen was to make the tools known through, amongst other things, a website, video recordings, instructions, and other multimodal texts. In addition, we hoped that the theoretical understanding could reach out to teacher education, teachers, head teachers, scholars and others interested in how to develop education regarding sustainability and resilience. Furthermore, we hoped that the pedagogical tools and theoretical understanding would influence the Storyline community and inspire new projects that will develop Storyline and education for sustainability even further.
By implementing the project, we aimed to:

  1. Engage researchers, teacher educators, teachers, and students in developing the Storyline approach as a pedagogical tool for teaching and learning about sustainability in the twenty-first century. Through collaboration we aimed to refine and expand the effectiveness of the approach.
  2. Allow the participating partners to meet for in-depth discussions about their experiences with teaching and learning about sustainability. We aimed to foster collaboration and networks of participation both locally and internationally and sought to create a platform for sharing experiences and exchanging best practices.
  3. Develop pedagogical tools for teaching and learning about sustainability and make these tools available to teachers and researchers globally. The pedagogical tools are shared through an open Educational Resource Bank that focuses on approaches for teaching and learning about sustainability and resilience. It includes research articles, filmed lectures, teachers' plans, assessment tools and motivational videos.
  4. Develop competence and foster long-term behavioural changes amongst students, student teachers, and teachers to become agents of change, supporting sustainability. Through education, we aimed to inspire students and educators to act in the areas they could influence, fostering changes in individual preferences, consumption habits, and lifestyles that support sustainability.
  5. Promote didactical discussions on all pedagogical levels, that would be useful in developing future-oriented curricula. On a broader and longer-term basis, the innovative developed practices would have a positive impact on human behavioural changes, changes of individual preferences, consumption habits, and lifestyles that will support resilience and a sustainable worldview.

Overall, our goal was to prepare students for the future by equipping them with the knowledge, skills, and mindset necessary to address sustainability challenges effectively. We aimed to make a lasting impact by promoting sustainable behaviours, strengthening collaboration, and providing resources and tools for educators globally.


To achieve the overall aims of the application, we implemented the following activities:

  1. Six physical international meetings: These meetings, with practising teachers, researchers, and teacher educators, provided a platform for in-depth discussions, sharing experiences, and exchanging best practices related to the implementation of the Storyline approach in teaching sustainability. They contributed to strengthening collaboration and networks of participation both locally and internationally.
  2. Over 30 international online meetings with the project team: These virtual meetings allowed for regular communication and collaboration among the project team members from different countries. They facilitated coordination, progress updates, and knowledge sharing, ensuring a cohesive and coordinated approach to the project's objectives.
  3. Project research team collaboration meetings: These meetings brought together the research team members to discuss and collaborate on research activities related to the project. They involved sharing research findings, analysing data, and discussing implications for teaching and learning about sustainability.
  4. Two international conferences: These gave the researchers opportunities to disseminate the research results, and the involved schools to spread their developing school projects. One of the conferences was part of the first Multiplier Event, and also the 8th international Storyline conference (see point 8).This contributed to the broader academic and educational community. This activity helped to raise awareness and engage a wider audience in the project's goals and outcomes.
  5. Teacher workshops on Storyline and Sustainability: These workshops were conducted to provide professional development opportunities for teachers. They focused on introducing and exploring the application of the Storyline approach in teaching sustainability. The workshops aimed to equip teachers with the necessary knowledge and skills to effectively incorporate sustainability themes into their teaching practices.
  6. Shared discussions and reflections on Storyline and Sustainability: Throughout the project, shared discussions and reflections were facilitated among the project participants. These discussions provided a platform for exchanging ideas, insights, and experiences related to the implementation of the Storyline approach in teaching sustainability. They fostered a collaborative learning environment and allowed for continuous improvement and refinement of pedagogical practices.
  7. Shared experiences with Storyline and Sustainability: The project participants actively shared their experiences, successes, and challenges encountered while implementing the Storyline approach in teaching sustainability. These shared experiences helped to build a collective knowledge base and provided valuable insights for further development and improvement of the approach.
  8. 8th Storyline Conference: This activity played a vital role in disseminating knowledge, promoting dialogue, and fostering a global community of educators committed to teaching sustainability through the Storyline approach. It exemplified the project's aim to develop pedagogical tools, inspire educators, and empower students to become agents of change for a sustainable future. By bringing together a diverse group of participants from different nations, the conference cultivated cross-cultural learning and collaboration. It allowed educators and researchers to share their insights, challenges, and successes. It enriched the collective understanding of effective pedagogical practices regarding sustainability issues and education. It served as a networking opportunity, enabling participants to establish connections, build relationships, and strengthen collaboration within the field of sustainability education. The exchange of ideas and experiences at the conference contributed to the long-term goal of enhancing collaboration and networks of participation both locally and internationally.
    By implementing this activity, we intended to engage stakeholders, promote collaboration, generate and share knowledge, and enhance pedagogical practices in teaching sustainability through the Storyline approach.

At the start, the project plan was revised because of the lower budget and financial changes necessitated by Iceland’s withdrawal. For example, all planned activities at the Icelandic school had to be re-prioritised and spread out at other events.
Changes were also made because of Covid19, and in relation to the comments and critique of the project description received from the external experts in the application.


We have followed the project plan, and all planned outputs are completed and published in the Educational Resource Bank. We have published more material than originally planned, such as films, articles, lectures, and other resources. We have also used the resources ourselves in our own organisations. For example, Backatorpsskolan has used filmed lectures, teachers' plans, inspirational movies etc from the resource bank in a number of different ways and levels, according to our needs. As the material is easily accessible, it can serve as a platform for Inservice training for years.
There are many things that we would like to describe, to share the uniqueness of the project.

Classroom level

  1. Interdisciplinary teaching methods have been used as a change from schools’ traditional single subject teaching. The Storyline work has stretched over up to eight weeks at a time. This is unprecedented and has been repeated in Slovenia and Finland during the project. All students, classes and teachers have been involved in Storyline work once a year at Backatorpsskolan.
  2. We have deliberately worked with emotions in the classrooms. Through the characters, students have discussed anxiety, worries and personal emotions. Hence, they have been able to express their own feelings.
  3. We have focused on strengthening the students’ sense of agency. The ability to act in a fictive situation may make them see that they can act in similar situations in real life.


  1. We have acknowledged the importance of bringing the staff's worries, anxiety, and emotions into the discussions. Teachers need to start with themselves to be better equipped to integrate emotions in teaching.
  2. We have found that it is important that the whole school share experiences if we want progress. All staff read the same texts, listened to the same lectures, and discussed different questions in depth at Backatorpsskolan. The result of this deliberate work, where all discussions about sustainability and resilience have been taken seriously, is a major change in the school’s schedule, with more time for thematic work.
  3. We have found that the school's headteacher and other leaders are crucial for the development of the school. Individual teachers can do great work but to get a lasting change at a school the leading team is crucial.


  1. During the project it has been possible for the teachers to attend conferences, meetings, and study visits abroad and to discuss what they have learned.
  2. The teachers have had the possibility to work closely with researchers and have also been challenged to describe the work they do in an anthology led by a researcher.
  3. It has been possible to support teachers who have shown special interest in certain fields. Some have had time to develop thematic work, others to develop an assessment tool and others to develop lectures and workshops that have been held for teachers from other schools.


  1. Researchers from three countries have worked closely together for a common goal and have written articles together.
  2. They have been able to reflect on sustainable development through their different curriculums.
  3. Teachers and researchers have met and become colleagues. The trust developed by that has made it possible for new collaborations. Together researchers and teachers have developed discussions based both on science and proven experience.

A Swedish anthology was published in 2022, edited by Häggström, and written by teachers at Backatorpsskolan and six student teachers from the University of Gothenburg. In addition, six student studies were undertaken, which resulted in six academic theses.
The research studies have also resulted in two practice-based chapters for a Norwegian anthology and four research-based peer-reviewed chapters for another anthology.

Website educational resource bank
The resource bank contains the productions that we set out to produce in the project plan and many more outputs, which have been used by participants in the project. We have continuously mirrored the process throughout the project. Every lecture has been published on the website instantly. We have over 50 filmed lectures, instructional films, interviews with teachers and researchers published, with English text to be accessible from all over the world.

The conference, the first Multiplier Event
The planned conference in Gothenburg in 2021 was postponed to 2022. Due to Covid19, we gathered people on-site, and participants on-line. In some places participants organised hubs where people met and took part in the conference together. By doing so they had the chance to hear all lectures, but also to discuss with others face to face. We think this is something that should be developed further since travelling by air is not compatible with sustainable living. Participating in conferences on-line individually limits interactions, but taking part as a group enables it, which may enrich the experience.