Sustainability in education: A Norwegian experience

Picture of three students at campus, OsloMet, Pilestredet.

The three exchange students Ella Marie Barth from Germany, Yelco Kranefuss from the Netherlands and Guoyao Sun from China study the bachelor's course Sustainability in Education - Place, Justice, and Environmental Awareness where a lot of the classes are held outdoors, providing chances to connect with the local nature, city, and people. 

“One lesson was an outdoor lecture at Frognerseteren. We learned about local plants and animals, made a campfire, and even created ice cream and snow animals and got to know each other better.”

“We also did a city walk led by one of our Norwegian peers, visited various museums, a Sámi school, and parks.”

“At the end of May, the class went to an overnight trip to Tønsberg and Hvasser.”
“Through these activities, we explore both urban and natural regions, and learn how to incorporate these experiences into our teaching,” Ella Marie explains.

Diverse cultures and perspectives

“This semester, our class includes students from China, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, and Norway, as well as students who grew up in Canada and the United Kingdom. This diversity among the students highlights the different sustainability needs of different countries and regions,” Yelco adds.

“Our teachers are easy to communicate with. They assign tasks that are open-ended, promoting creativity and critical thinking. There is a good balance between studying literature and applying it during lectures.”

“They often engage in small group work, which lets us see each other's perspectives. Afterward, we discuss these views in class, enriching our understanding of the subject matter,” Yelco emphasizes.

Student are studying a plant

Studying different plants during the outdoor lecture at Frognerseteren in Oslo. Photo: Guoyao Sun

Real-world experience

“A significant part of the course was the three weeks project-based placement in a kindergarten or a primary school. Before the placement, some students were concerned about language barriers. The teachers and children were easy to communicate with and curious about us.”

“The placement was a memorable experience and we felt that we were integrated in the Norwegian society”, says Guoyao. 

A future-oriented course

“We chose this course for different reasons. Being an interdisciplinary subject, it aligns well with our studies in our home countries. It's also very future-oriented and focuses on the importance we place on sustainability.”

“A vital part of the course is learning how to integrate outdoor classes into our lessons. The friendships we have made are for life.  We spend a lot of time together and that is making the experience even more valuable,“ Ella Marie.

Students are walking at Ilene Nature Reserve at Hvasser

Students are visiting Ilene Nature Reserve at Hvasser to experience more about how to teach students about the importance of wetland. Photo: Guoyao Sun

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