The discourse of environmental children’s literature – teaching environmentalism and sustainable thinking in the classroom
MetadataShow full item record
In this master’s thesis we study the topics of environmentalism, sustainability, and environmental education. We wish to find ways of working with these topics in the primary school classroom and have chosen to use fictional literature as its benefits are well documented. We analyse five selected children’s books pertaining to nature: Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar (1969), and The Tiny Seed (2005); Jen Cullerton Johnson’s Seeds of Change: Planting a Path to Peace (2010); Colin Dann’s The Animals of Farthing Wood (1993); and Piers Torday’s The Last Wild (2013). The aim is to use Critical Discourse Analysis in order to identify how nature is portrayed in its relationship with humans, as well as to ascertain whether the author’s ideology can be found hidden in the text. We find that most of the books show clear signs of the authors being very critical to some aspects of human society, industry, and philosophy towards nature. Afterwards, we discuss how one might use these books in an educational setting, specifically in order to teach each grade about sustainability and environmentalism. Each book can be used to create a space where positive, environmentally sustainable attitudes, and relevant knowledge can be imparted to the pupils, which will hopefully inspire them to become more conscious of their impact on the world they live in.
Master i grunnskolelærerutdanning 1. - 7. trinn, engelsk. Høgskulen på Vestlandet, campus Bergen