Made by PhD-student Tassy Thompson
The scope and aims of the research group
LET’S encourages studying, promoting, exploring and developing ways to facilitate teaching and learning for sustainability at all levels in education. The term sustainability is understood as in Brundtland’s (1987) definition: “Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” More precisely, care for future generations concerns humans as part of the natural world. Consequently, not compromising the needs of future generations also means conserving the diversity of animals and plants on the planet we cohabit.
Learning and teaching for sustainability is different from learning about sustainability. The main aim of LET’S is to support the development of pedagogical approaches that can motivate learners to engage, take initiative and act with responsibility towards their local and global environments.
Knowing that our values and worldviews influence our behaviour, there is a need to turn towards more responsible and caring lifestyles. This requires much more than information and traditional forms of education. Modern forms of living with wealth and welfare can be difficult to conform to sustainable mindsets. Sustainability demands thinking about others even at the expense of one’s own comfort (for instance investing leisure time in recycling). Teaching for sustainability is challenging, because it works against the established hierarchy of power between species on our planet. More sustainable mindsets requires less egocentrism, increased global awareness and care for others one does not know - people living other places on Earth, future inhabitants of our planet, plants and animals one has never seen.
Innovative ways of teaching and learning are needed in order to change values on a deeper level and motivate learners’ social responsibility. LET’S aims to support and encourage pedagogies that are interdisciplinary, collaborative, real-life oriented and focus on experiential and holistic forms of learning. The term “holistic” refers to acknowledgement of emotions, senses, individual’s experiences and creativity as integrated aspects of every process of learning and teaching. Such a holistic approach is usual in creative activities like music, drama, creative writing, food-making, gardening, crafting, building, designing and diverse forms of physical engagements in outdoor environments, as well as types of experiential learning and teaching.
Developments of sustainable mindsets in new generations depend on their teachers. LET’S is anchored in teacher education and has the potential to influence future pre-school- and school teachers during their education. Furthermore, the development of appropriate curricula and teaching methods demand engagement among teacher educators and researchers. LET’S will host small and larger projects at different levels of education. LET’S will encourage innovation, critical reflection, collaboration. It will function as resource group for researchers and students at Masters and Phd-level.
LET’S is an invitation to our fellow colleagues: LET US take initiative and do what we can to support ways of learning, teaching, thinking and acting toward sustainability.
Completed and ongoing projects
- Den Magiske Fabrikken
- “Music and Sustainability”
- Eco-creativity in Early Childhood
- “Secret love for trees”
- Tassy Thompson’s PhD-project
- Nina Fallingen’s PhD-project
- Valdis Kristin Dolve's PhD-project
- Anthologypublication (Springer/Universiitetsforlaget) Crafting with Environments
- International book project: Education for Ecological Sustainability through Creative Practices: Crafting-with Environment, published in Springers series Landscapes: the Arts, Aesthetics, and Education.
- Internasjonalt prosjekt Learning with the land i samarbeid, blant annet, med University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada
- Sustainabile development as a interdisciplinary theme in teacher education
Associated research groups
- USN’s research group EMAL: Embodied Making and Learning, University of South-Eastern Norway
- Norwegian national research network for sustainability and education: NABU
- International Partner Network of the UNESCO Chair on Education for Sustainable Lifestyles
- Embodied Learning: University of Valladolid, Spain, Faculty of Education, Palencia Campus
- Research group at University of Oslo: Challenges of Sustainability in Educational Research COSER, University of Oslo
- Professor Helene Illeris, University of Agder
- Associate professor in Social Psychology Fatima Cruz, University of Valladolid, Spain
- Associate Professor Ana Sarvanovic, University of Belgrade, Serbia
- Associate Professor Walter S. Gershon, Rowan University, USA
- Professor Rita Irwin, University of British Columbia, Canada