30 SES 07 B, Student Learning Activities in ESE/ESD
This paper presents a synthesis of my doctoral thesis that aims to contribute with knowledge about teaching and learning craft as a matter of environmental and sustainability education (ESE).
Humans have always made things out of available materials. Historically, eras as the Stone Age or Bronze Age, are usually defined on the basis of the materials used. The current age is not defined by a specific material. Rather the term ‘anthropocene’, defined as ‘the expansion of mankind’ (Crutzen and Stoermer, 2000), has gradually gained acceptance as a way to define our current epoch (Johnsson and Morehouse, 2014). As a respond to the ‘expansion of mankind’ and the overconsumption of natural resources that many consumer cultures face today, crafting, upcycling activities and remake projects are often put forward as eco-friendly solutions and used in ESE. It is safe to say that the (re)use of material is critical to ESE, but still we know little about how they are important in teaching andlearning activities of craft. To contribute with knowledge about teaching and learning craft as a matter ESE, three objectives are formulated:
The first objective investigates, theoretically and empirically, what constitutes a craft subject content relevant for ESE. The second objective examines what and how students learn in an ESE crafting activity. The third objective examines how the crafting material participates in the learning activity of craft and thus, examines how the human-material relation emerges in the crafting process.
Theoretically, the thesis draws on Ingold’s (2013) making theory, which he defines as a ‘practice of correspondence’. According to Ingold, humans do not act upon materials, rather the crafting activity is a process of growth. Even if the material’s participation is acknowledged theoretically, there is a risk that materials’ participation disappears in favour for pedagogical aims (Sørensen 2009). To take this risk seriously, I have developed an analytical object “transactant” (Hofverberg and Maivorsdotter, 2017) that helps me examine how both human and more-than-human participates in the crafting activity. Further, I also use Sørensen’s (2009) concept of participation, performance and imagination, to empirically acknowledge what and how material participates in crafting activities.
First, to map a teaching and learning content text analyses were conducted of literature from and about three counter cultues (from 1900, 1968 and 2017) where craft is argued to contribute to a more sustainable future (article I). The text analyses (Säfström & Östman, 1999), were guided by four research questions: 1) What is the educative purpose of craft? 2) Which craft skills are valued to achieve the purpose? 3) Which approaches to learning emerges in the practice of craft? 4) What are the implications ESE? Second, observations were made in the Swedish craft subject ‘educational sloyd’, which is a compulsory subject in Sweden from grade 3 – 9. The empirical data was collected in the autumn of 2015 in a Year 8 by using two mobile devices. A so called “GP-PRO” camera attached to the teacher and a hand held camera used by the researcher. There were 15 students in the class and the raw data amounted to about 40 h of film distributed over 20 weeks. Two projects were filmed, a remake project and an embroidery project. In the remake project students made new products out of old garments and textile refuse. Practical Epistemological Analysis (PEA) (Wickman and Östman, 2002) and ‘transactant’ as an analytical object were used to examine how the teaching and learning activity emerged in the remake project (article II). In the embroidery project the thread was empirically examined as an agent of knowledge in human-material correspondences. By using Sørensen’s (2009) notion of participation, performance and imagination, I was able to empirically examine and describe how the thread participated in the crafting activity (article III).
The results of mapping a craft subject content relevant for ESE, show a multiple of craft purposes. For example, to provide the craftsperson with joy, perform a political act or as taking responsibility for the community. However, the skills and the pedagogies that are valued in relation to the craft purposes often point to different sustainability goals and how the human-material relations are materialised. The findings of the remake project show how students transact with a specific product idea, the material’s capabilities and remaking techniques in quite complex teaching and learning activities. The material, the students, the teacher, time and assessment were all identified as ‘transactants’ and provided certain limitation, possibilities and specific human-material relations. The analysis of the embroidery project identifies three human-material relationships: attuning, troubling and tracing correspondences. Drawing on the findings, students do not act upon passive materials and therefore an instrumental approach to materials will neglect important aspects of the teaching and learning activity. The thesis main argument is that the activity of teaching and learning craft is necessary to examine in ESE as a matter of human-material relations. Teaching and learning craft are not only about using environmental friendly materials or to save resources in remaking activities. A student also learns how to answer to the material (regardless what that materials are or what is crafted/or not crafted). The thesis map teaching and learning craft content, empirically demonstrates human-material correspondences and more-than-human participations in the teaching and learning craft activities, relevant for an ESE craft pedagogy. An ESE craft pedagogy is, in short, paying attention to the teaching and learning content in a crafting activity that is constantly emerging (products and processes) as humans and materials correspond to each another, and in doing so, (un)sustainability stories are crafted.
Crutzen, P. J., and E. F. Stoermer. 2000. The Anthropocene. IGBP Newsletter. 41 (17): 17–18. Hofverberg H., Kronlid, D., Östman, L. 2017. Crafting sustainability? An explorative study of craft in three countercultures as a leaning path for the future. Nordic Journal of Science and Technology Studies, 5(2) 8-21. Hofverberg, H., Kronlid D. 2017. Human-material relationships in environmental and sustainability education – an empirical study of a school embroidery project, Environmental Education Research, DOI: 10.1080/13504622.2017.1358805 Hofverberg, H., Maivorsdotter N. 2017. Recycling, crafting and learning – an empirical analysis of how students learn with garments and textile refuse in a school remake project, Environmental Education Research, DOI: 10.1080/13504622.2017.133867 Ingold, T. 2013. Making – anthropology, archaeology, art and archi- tecture. London and New York: Routledge Taylor and Francis Group Johnson, E., and H. Morehouse, eds. 2014. “After the Anthropocene Politics and Geographic Inquiry for a New Epoch.” Progress in Human Geography 38 (3): 439–456. Säfström, C-A and Östman, L., eds. 1999. Textanalys [Text analysis]. Lund: Studentlitteratur. Sørensen, E. 2009. The Materiality of Learning – Technology and Knowledge in Educational Practice. New York: Cambridge University Press. Swedish National Agency for Education. 2011. Curriculum for the Compulsory School, Preschool Class and the Recreation Centre 2011. Stockholm: Ordförrådet AB. Wickman, P. O., and L. Östman. 2002. “Learning as Discourse Change: A Sociocultural Mechanism.” Science Education 86(5): 601–623.
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