From its formation four years ago, the Small Earth institute has had as a central premise the need to train teachers in environmental consciousness and ecological literacy. We have been working with teachers throughout Norway and abroad, offering seminars, presentations, and engaging interactive workshops. We welcome the recent changes to the Norwegian curriculum and specifically to trans-disciplinary focus on environmental awareness and offer here a variety of workshops for teachers in Norwegian schools as well as new seminars for international schools.
Environmental consciousness is a key to making change. However, in our current situation, awareness often leads to malaise or overwhelm, even among teachers, and certainly among young pupils. An emphasis on sustainability that comes across as an admonition of what we must do can lead to frustration and anger and burnout when we become aware of just how much change is needed quickly. Teachers know we must act as leaders in environmental change, but we are often unsure the best way to do that. Awareness alone is not enough without a foundation of deep appreciation and a change in how we relate to the world around us.
Eco-literacy goes beyond awareness to develop a shift in perspective to one that acknowledges the interconnectedness of systems thinking and applies this to all of our interrelated subject matter in a transdisciplinary format. Systems thinking, and particularly developing Earthfulness- an orientation toward our interconnectedness with all Earth processes and Earth systems, is essential to developing the mindset that can help teachers guide students toward healthy and active environmental awareness that will move our entire society toward a healthy relationship with our environment.
We would like to offer a preliminary talk of one hour that can be followed up with a longer workshop format for schools that are willing to commit to this. We believe we offer a unique and engaging workshop that culminates in direct collaborative work with teachers and curriculum development.