How schools are involved

We recruited primary-school classroom teachers from seven schools across the two countries, with one thing in common: an interest in innovative, cross-curricular approaches to global citizenship and environmental education. The teachers are at various stages of their careers and have a variety of subject specialisms.

Following introductory meetings and art workshops in the two countries, the teachers designed a classroom project that invited children in years 3-6 to learn from their peers about the spaces and issues that matter to them, and the futures they would like to live in, using art and literacies in a variety of digital and non-digital media. Some of the classroom projects have finished already, while others will continue after the summer break.

The team of researchers and teachers are analysing whether and how the project supports children’s social, emotional and ethical understanding of the world, their reflectivity and empathy and their sense of self as global citizens. We are interested in what transformative education might look like, and how teachers can embed contextually relevant pedagogies for transformative learning within the existing curriculum.

The study has been reviewed and approved by Oxford Brookes University Research Ethics Committee (reg. 221615).

A multimedia piece created from watercolour paints, paper, recycled card, tissue paper, pipe cleaners, cotton wool and silver foil. Image: a river with a bridge and rocks runs diagonally through the garden. Trees and brightly coloured flowers are planted around the edge of a grassy area. The garden also contains two wooden structures, one with a ladder leading to it and the other with flowers growing from it.

[The children] are going to gain so much. And actually, they’re going to gain so much that is measurable. It doesn’t have to be measured in a sit down formal ‘Can you answer these questions about climate change, our planet and biodiversity?’ It can be measured in conversations with children, it will be measured in how they live their lives, how they take on what they’ve learned, and what they do with it in the future. 

Project teacher