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Educational drama in education for sustainable development : ecopedagogy in action

McNaughton, M.J. (2010) Educational drama in education for sustainable development : ecopedagogy in action. Pedagogy, Culture and Society, 18 (3). pp. 289-308. ISSN 1468-1366

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The research on which this paper is based is a response to the UNESCO directive for the Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) 2005-2014. Educators are advised to prepare young people for sustainable development and global citizenship and the Arts should be included in programmes in ESD. This paper presents an overview of a research project based on the hypothesis that educational drama might be a useful medium for teaching and learning in environmental, sustainable development and global citizenship education. Central to the project, an ethnographic case study employing a multi-case approach, based on three research questions, was a series of drama-ESD lessons, taught to three classes of 10-11 year old children in three primary schools in the West of Scotland. Data were gathered using a range of instruments: interviews; observation schedules; pupil evaluations; research-practitioner reflective field notes; and video-recordings of the lessons. This paper presents a summary of the results of the extensive, multi-dimensional analysis of the data, in terms of the pedagogical themes that began to emerge. The final section of the paper suggests that there are many pedagogical approaches common to educational drama and ESD and that, indeed, a range of dramatic techniques and conventions can be an important addition to the repertoire of active learning approaches employed by the ESD educator.