Swimming with Dolphins and Cherry Blossom Trees: Exploring Sustainable Behaviour in School         Design Workshops with Y...
Designing New Schools and the BuildingSchools for the Future programmeThe Building Schools for the Future programme, launc...
Zero Carbon SchoolsSince 2005 it has been a requirement that major school building projects achieve aminimum BREEAM rating...
A new law to place a duty on all maintained schools in England and Wales to considerthe views of children and young people...
Children’s Worlds and Culture Children’s natural social interactions: What would it be if architects couldrespond to thes...
Discussions                   1. “Global Warming Panic”Children described how they had been frightened by discussions of g...
2. “Is it our responsibility?”In the context of discussion about my role and purpose as a researcher, there were alsodiscu...
3. “The Credit Crunch: It costs             more to be environmentally             friendly doesn’t it? “Greed,          c...
4. “The problem of habit”The idea that sustainable behaviour is a matter of habit was also part of the discussion, as    d...
5. “Children’s agency …”Significantly the young people interviewed also believed they had agency and could behave in the  ...
Beach House Schools, Dolphins, RainbowFish, Pets in Schools, Blossom Trees,Tropical Gardens….                             ...
Submarine Schools, Arcades in Schools,Bus Schools, Football Schools                                   12
The Difficult Problem of Gender inEducation – Why address this in thecontext of education for sustainable           develo...
WORKSHOPS(Doing being a researcher…A PERFORMANCE) School 1Learning from      Eco-friendly       Recyclingcomputers and    ...
WORKSHOPSRecycling bins   Is there anything we   The Documentary about                 can do about global    the school w...
WORKSHOPS(A documentary about the school we’vedesigned…A PERFORMANCE)The Documentary about The Documentary – the   The Doc...
WORKSHOPSSchool 2Politics and the credit   Adults the environmentcrunch                    and ownership                  ...
WORKSHOPS(School 1. Some reflection…and Year Eights) The Documentary – it’s   Year 8 Group: What a        Year 8 Group: Th...
WORKSHOPS(School 3. Some reflection…and Year Six)                                  Year 6                                 ...
For sustainable behaviour to be encouraged children will have to reconcile the needfor reduced consumption with consumeri...
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Realising Participatory Design With Children in Schools, University of Coventry, School of Art and Design (Design and Ergonomics Applied Research Group) 10 March 2009

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Andrea wheeler (2009) Swimming with Dolphons and Cherry Blossom Trees

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Realising Participatory Design With Children in Schools, University of Coventry, School of Art and Design (Design and Ergonomics Applied Research Group) 10 March 2009

  1. 1. Swimming with Dolphins and Cherry Blossom Trees: Exploring Sustainable Behaviour in School Design Workshops with Young People and the Difficult Issue of Gender. Andrea Wheeler, ESRC Early Careers Interdisciplinary Research Fellow, The University of Nottingham, Institute of Architecture and School of Education ESRC Project (RES-152-27-0001): How Can We Design Schools As Better Learning Spaces and To Encourage Sustainable Behaviour? Co-Design Methodologies and Sustainable Communities. 1
  2. 2. Designing New Schools and the BuildingSchools for the Future programmeThe Building Schools for the Future programme, launched in 2004, is described asbeing set up to improve the fabric of school buildings, either through refurbishmentor new buildings, and at the same time transforming learning and embeddingsustainability into the educational experience (Blair, 2004).The UK government has created a unique educational opportunity with thisprogramme and it has high ambitions, however, so far, only 42 schools have beenrevitalised using the programme funds (Building, 2009). Delays have caused suspicionthat the government will meet its ambitious targets neither in terms of schedule, norindeed, in quality (HoC, 2007).References-----“BSF Schools: Why is it so difficult?” Building, 09 January 2009Blair, 2004 PM Speech on Climate Change 14th September 2004, Archive No. 10 Downing Street, London,http://www.number-10.gov.uk/output/Page6333.asp (accessed 06 May 2008)House of Commons, Education and Skills Committee, “Sustainable Schools: Are we building schools for thefuture? Published 9th August 2007, p. 3DFES (2006) Sustainable Schools Framework. DfES Publications. 2
  3. 3. Zero Carbon SchoolsSince 2005 it has been a requirement that major school building projects achieve aminimum BREEAM rating of ‘very good’. More recently, the Government has detailedan ambition to build Zero Carbon Schools and that all new school buildings be zerocarbon by 2016. It has even set up a Zero Carbon Schools Taskforce to explore how toachieve this aim (DCSF, 2007, p. 107).ReferencesDCSF (2007) The Childrens’ Plan: Building Brighter Futures. TSO. 3
  4. 4. A new law to place a duty on all maintained schools in England and Wales to considerthe views of children and young people was passed by the House of Lords on 11thNovember 2008. The is one of the first major actions to protect children’s rights takenby new children’s minister Baroness Delyth Morgan of Drefelin. She stated: “As aminimum, schools should seek and take account of pupils’ views on policies on thedelivery of the curriculum, behaviour, the uniform, school food, health and safety,equalities and sustainability, not simply on what colour to paint the walls” (BaronessMorgan, 2008). This is new law is being argued as having the potential to transform theculture of schools.References:Morgan, Baroness (2008) Official Report, House of Lords, 11 November 2008; Vol. 705, c. 573. 4
  5. 5. Children’s Worlds and Culture Children’s natural social interactions: What would it be if architects couldrespond to these different values, priorities, interests, wishes – the importancechildren place on certain activities and relationships? Is this a way to develop an approach to responding to difference in architecture –sexisms, racisms etc, (cf. Luce Irigaray or Elaine Unterhalter’s ‘pedagogies ofconnection’). Girls’ worlds and culture? How in these drawings and imaginative fantasies aregirls differently in the world with others, with animals, in the environment? (Bulter,2008): “…education is not just about the transmission of knowledge, skills and values,but is concerned with the individuality, subjectivity, or personhood of the student,with their ‘coming into the world’ as unique, singular beings (Beista, 2006, p. 27).References:Opie, I.A. and Opie, P. (1969) Children’s Games in the Street and Playground. Oxford, Clarenden Press.Bulter, Carly W. (2008) Talk and Social Interaction in the Playground. Ashgate Publishing LimitedIrigaray, Luce (2008) Sharing the World. Continuum. 5
  6. 6. Discussions 1. “Global Warming Panic”Children described how they had been frightened by discussions of global warming and also feltsuspicious of the extreme perspective they felt in some of the arguments they had heard.V1: Has anyone seen that movie? The Day after Tomorrow?V2: YesV1: Some people that that is going to happen, The Day after Tomorrow.V3: Oh is that the one where the earth gets flooded? Yes, the world all gets flooded and stuff like that.V4: I gave all my clothes to the Tsunami when that happened.V3: What do you wear then?V2: I don’t know what’s going to happen to the world, who knows what’s going to really happen. Whether we’re going to get finished off by flooding, whether it’s going to fly into the Sun, whether we’re all going to die due to global warming.V3: We’ve got a few years left.V2: Whether the magma’s going to come out and flood the world with magma. Who knows whether someone will create a zombie virus and bring zombies, dead people back to life. Who knows if aliens don’t exist and they might destroy the earth. I’m just coming up with theories about what might happen to the earth. I’m thinking be might implode. 6
  7. 7. 2. “Is it our responsibility?”In the context of discussion about my role and purpose as a researcher, there were alsodiscussions of whether it was indeed children’s responsibility to change their own behaviour. Thiscan be seen in an example of dialogue from a workshop, during initial focus-group-typediscussions:Researcher: So what do you think it would take to make people behave more sustainably?V1: There’s a lot of rubbish on the field, more bins around the back for the school… […]V2: Supermarkets are saying to people [to recycle], but they put drinks in packets and wrappers […]V3: On some packing it says you can recycle it, but some people just chuck it on the floor […]V2: Because some games, computer games, there’s like plastic and you’ve got to separate it […] they should make an easier way torecycle.V3: It’s not just like the public getting it wrong because the Government aren’t really doing much about it […] and they aresending it to India!Researcher: Yeah, I saw that TV programme too.V2: Everyone is just worrying about the credit crunch, the credit crunch at the moment.V3: It might be about the public, but it is the Government as well. 7
  8. 8. 3. “The Credit Crunch: It costs more to be environmentally friendly doesn’t it? “Greed, consumerism and other vices?””There were also discussions of greed and the cost of being environmentally friendly. Young people understood sustainable lifestyles as more costly, and yet they could also understand the criticism that consuming less may be less expensive. A typical transcript from a workshop with Year 7 children demonstrates this:Researcher: Do you think the credit crunch […] or the ‘economic crisis’ has something to do with global warming?V1: Yeah [boys responding to the question].V1: Because the banks are lending money, but people aren’t paying it back…V2: Because it’s like [a man] maxed out like six credit cards and killed himself, and then his wife had to pay it off.V1: Because like if moneys gone out of your bank account you won’t have enough money to buy light bulbs.V2: People want, want, want, they want to go on holidays, they want big cars, they want their children to have the latest video games.Researcher: Do you think people could stop behaving like this?V1: Some kids get spoilt a bit sometimes […] because kids get spoilt my Dad started saying things I don’t need and I want I have to buy it myself. It teaches me how it’s going to be like when I grow up. You’re limited in what you can buy. And ones that get spoilt should do it as well […] because when they’re older it’s not going to happen and you need to work 8 it. for
  9. 9. 4. “The problem of habit”The idea that sustainable behaviour is a matter of habit was also part of the discussion, as demonstrated in conversation with one of the girls in the workshops:V3 [girl]: Is it about habits? It takes a lot to break habits. […] you know with the green umm… thing it’s the way you’ve been brought up, I think, and the way you act. If you act like you share all the time, you won’t be greedy, but if you don’t share and you say “no I want that now” not later, that’s just greed.V1: And if you want it, it’s better for like the credit crunch and everything, and it’s cheaper, a week later. 9
  10. 10. 5. “Children’s agency …”Significantly the young people interviewed also believed they had agency and could behave in the way they wanted to:Researcher: Do you think it is young people that recycle and care more than their parents?V1: Yeah they might.V2: Depends on their attitude.V1: I want to say that it doesn’t depend much on the adults, it’s like you act, you don’t have to copy them. You can just say “no”, “not doing that”.V3: Life is too short to live someone else’s life.V4: Life is what you make it.V2: That was on an advert. 10
  11. 11. Beach House Schools, Dolphins, RainbowFish, Pets in Schools, Blossom Trees,Tropical Gardens…. 11
  12. 12. Submarine Schools, Arcades in Schools,Bus Schools, Football Schools 12
  13. 13. The Difficult Problem of Gender inEducation – Why address this in thecontext of education for sustainable development? 13
  14. 14. WORKSHOPS(Doing being a researcher…A PERFORMANCE) School 1Learning from Eco-friendly Recyclingcomputers and Schools and WindTV (continuation Turbinesfrom Robots…) 14
  15. 15. WORKSHOPSRecycling bins Is there anything we The Documentary about can do about global the school we designed… warming? The Girls (1) “credit-crunch”. 15
  16. 16. WORKSHOPS(A documentary about the school we’vedesigned…A PERFORMANCE)The Documentary about The Documentary – the The Documentary – Whythe school we designed… design… we can’t …(2) 16
  17. 17. WORKSHOPSSchool 2Politics and the credit Adults the environmentcrunch and ownership 17
  18. 18. WORKSHOPS(School 1. Some reflection…and Year Eights) The Documentary – it’s Year 8 Group: What a Year 8 Group: The School not just about schools sustainable school should We’ve Designed… – End be like…(for everyone) 18
  19. 19. WORKSHOPS(School 3. Some reflection…and Year Six) Year 6 My School and a critic 19
  20. 20. For sustainable behaviour to be encouraged children will have to reconcile the needfor reduced consumption with consumerist norms. Young people will have to be ableto deal with peer pressure, traditions and habits, and will need confidence and courageto do so. These are profoundly difficult issues for young people. There is thus a real need for new pedagogies. Pedagogies of connection are a visionfor education which stresses the importance of justice as a key value, supportsfreedoms, human flourishing, nurturing world citizenship and narrative imagination. 20

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