Eva Österlind: Drama Workshop on Sustainability – could the context confuse the content?

This study is based on a drama workshop designed to explore sustainability issues from several perspectives.

Previous research on Education for Sustainable Development, ESD, reveals that many young people associate environmental problems with feelings of helplessness, guilt and insecurity. Therefore, new ways of teaching that gives students an opportunity to learn more about sustainable development, despite emotional constraints, needs to be developed. Research suggests that aesthetic forms of instruction, like drama, may open up for more experience-based and value integrated learning processes. Previous research on the potential of drama related to education for sustainable development is, however, limited. This study is based on a drama workshop designed to explore sustainability issues from several perspectives. It was given to university students in Athens, Helsinki and Stockholm during 2017. The participants answered a questionnaire. Preliminary results will be presented, comparing students’ experiences of exploring the complexity of sustainability from several perspectives by means of drama.

Eva Österlind, PhD in Ed. Sc., Professor in Drama Education at Stockholm University, has recently studied drama in the Nordic curricula, and conducted comparative studies of upper secondary students’ experiences of Drama. She has also analysed the transformative potential of drama, using Bourdieu’s concept of habitus, and discussed how evaluation of theatre for social change could be improved. Her main field of teaching is teacher education and CPD courses for teachers. She designed the first drama courses at advanced level in Sweden and now leads Master Education in Drama and Applied Theatre. She also tutors doctoral students. Her research interests concern the potential of Drama in Education, Forum Theatre as a tool for active citizenship and, last but not least, Process Drama in Education for Sustainable Development.

Tegan Arazny (Facilitator & Documenter)
Tegan is a strong advocate for the development of Theatre and the Arts in community settings and has been involved with numerous Applied Theatre programmes throughout her professional training and experience. Tegan graduated with a Master of Arts with Distinction in Applied Theatre from The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London. She has professional experience in Community Performance that engages young people in contemporary social issues. Tegan has also collaborated and performed with award-winning theatre company PuppetSoup to deliver puppetry workshops and tour their new bilingual show, ‘Arthur the Bear King’, to rural and socially deprived areas of Wales. Tegan is currently working with The Blue Datto Foundation as a Project Coordinator to expand and develop their interactive road safety education program to young people and communities throughout New South Wales, Australia.