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CNL at the 7th Forum Anthropocene

"Water. Source of life in the climate crisis": This was the topic discussed by national and international experts at the 7th Forum Anthropocene from 13 to 15 June 2024 in Heiligenblut. The topic demands interdisciplinarity: knowledge about the state of drinking water supply and wastewater treatment; knowledge about the global water cycle and its threats; knowledge about innovative ways of knowledge sharing. The location at the foot of the Grossglockner in the Hohe Tauern National Park offers the ideal opportunity to contrast the visible consequences of climate change, such as glacier melt and forest destruction by the bark beetle, with the myths of the purity of mountain water and Austria as a country rich in water. The impressively presented figures, data and facts emphasise the urgency of the global community working together in solidarity – as well as the need to translate them into stories and images that enable everyone to understand the complex interdependencies. Carmen Sippl(PH NÖ), together with Barbara Pucker (NPHT), presented the CultureNature Literacy (CNL) project at the Climate Workshop Climate & Education and recommended the Lehr-/Lernmaterialien for climate education developed in the project.

Learning Scenario of the Month

June 2024

This section is updated monthly by a member of the CNL project and presents one of the learning scenarios developed by the project partners.

June – the beginning of summer, the end of the semester, the summer solstice, Pride Month ... June, as the middle month of the year, encompasses many beautiful and significant moments. For me, as a cherry enthusiast, this month is primarily dedicated to this wonderful, versatile fruit. Although cherries are native to and grow in Austria, 35% of the cherries offered in supermarkets are still imported (source: Greenpeace).

To learn more about how to explore this important topic with learners, I recommend the learning scenario “Where Do Our Foods Come From? (Woher kommen unsere Lebensmittel?)” by Stefan Jarau. This scenario offers valuable insights and suggestions on how to discuss and experience the origin and sustainability of our foods in the classroom.

Newsletter at the End of WP2 

At the heart of Work Package 2 were the CNL learning scenarios and the CNL learning platform. The learning scenarios and the platform were developed collaboratively. The CNL platform, under the heading CNL for Teaching, collects all the learning scenarios that have been created and makes them available to teachers at schools and universities free of charge in digital and printable PDF format to support the development of CultureNature Literacy as a key competence for shaping the future in the Anthropocene. The teaching and learning materials are based on the CNL handbook and refer to the conceptual and methodological-didactic foundations presented there. The platform and learning scenarios were also tested by teachers and used in school lessons before they were put online.

CultureNature Literacy for Growing Futures

By addressing ethical, philosophical, pedagogical and aesthetic questions regarding the relevance of plants in children’s and young adult ecofiction, the conference “Growing Futures: Vegetal Encounters in Contemporary Children’s and Young Adult Ecofiction” at the Multidisciplinary Environmental Studies in the Humanities (MESH) at the University of Cologne explored April 25-27, 2024, how vegetal encounters are re-imagined for a younger readership against the backdrop of a deepening environmental crisis. Since the conference intended to forge a dialogue between ecocritical research and literature pedagogy, Carmen Sippl presented the concept of CultureNature Literacy and the CNL narratives as examples how primary and secondary school teachers can address the troubled relationship between human beings and the vegetal world in language learning contexts.

CNL on the Hiking Trail - A Report by Berbeli Wanning

On April 27, 2024, a special hiking event took place in Siegen as part of the city's 800th anniversary celebrations (first mentioned in 1224): The official inauguration of a model of a La Tène period bloomery furnace on the Historical Trail Achenbach by the Mayor of Siegen, Steffen Mues, accompanied by a small ceremony before the actual hike began. This unique event provided Berbeli Wanning with the opportunity to present the fundamentals of the CNL project and its application in the design of outdoor learning sites to a broader audience through a brief lecture, and to discuss with interested participants during the hike. Please find the report here.

User Manual for the CNL platform

You will now find a user guide for the CNL platform in both German and English, which serves as an orientation for users of the learning scenarios in schools and universities.

TNP4 meeting at the University of Tartu, April 2024

The TNP4 meeting took place online under the lead of the University of Tartu from April 10 to April 12, 2024. During the project meeting, we devoted time to the discussion of the work in the project, chiefly, concerning Learning Scenarios in WP2, the CNL MOOC in WP3 and CNL Narratives as part of WP4. Report by Emanuele Bardone.

CNL Learning Scenarios: Successful Testing in Vorarlberg Schools

On March 12, 2024, CNL learning scenarios were tested and implemented at a total of 3 school locations in Vorarlberg. The teaching and learning sessions were well executed by the teachers, and the topics were highly engaging for the students. Overall, the application of CNL teaching materials can be described as extremely successful. You can download the full report here.

The CNL learning scenarios are well received!

On March 6th and 7th, 2024, two learning scenarios were tested as part of the CNL trial phase with the 4th grade students of Mittelschule Obervellach and Volksschule Pogöriach. We received many positive feedbacks from both students and teachers. During the testing, not only were the learning scenarios evaluated but also the CNL platform, where these scenarios are available as open-source for all interested parties. You can read the report here.

Training for German Teachers at secondary schools

The training session on the topic of school readings related to ESD (Education for Sustainable Development): Promoting ESD key competencies in German language classes took place on March 1, 2024, at Heinrich-von-Gaggern Gymnasium in Frankfurt/M., commissioned by the Hessian Ministry of Education (Wiesbaden). The event was structured in two parts: the first part began with an introductory lecture followed by a Q&A session on CNL, while the second part involved group work on various readings. The CNL approach sparked particular interest among practicing colleagues. Please read the report by Berbeli Wanning  and find the program brochure for upcoming events here.

Seminar "Can Literature Save the Climate?" at the University of Siegen

In the winter semester of 2023/24, the seminar "Can Literature Save the Climate? The Contribution of German Literature Education to Climate Education" was held at the University of Siegen. The focus initially was on the CNL manual and GreenComp. This was followed by a practical phase aimed at BA students (majoring in German for secondary schools and high schools) developing and preparing learning scenarios independently for publication on the platform. For further information, please refer to the full report and the appendix on working with learning scenarios in university seminars.

Daily Networking and Animal Support Group

In the course "Perfoming," students of primary education at the University College of Teacher Education Lower Austria have created videos exploring the human-nature relationship from an animal perspective. These CNL narratives are thematically rooted in selected narratives of the Anthropocene. The stories were inspired by ideas from author Melanie Laibl. The CNL project partners reviewed the videos as critical friends and commented on their use in teaching/learning contexts to promote CultureNature Literacy. You can find the videos here.

CultureNature Literacy: Exploring the Aesthetic Perspective

Students of primary education at the University College of Teacher Education Lower Austria have engaged in aesthetic research to craft CNL narratives and design learning activities aimed at fostering an appreciative perception of the environment as our world. They presented their projects to the CNL research team as critical friends on January 23rd and 30th, 2024.

Multiplier Event on October 19, 2023, at Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich

The Green Multiplier Event on October 19, 2023, in Munich aimed at fostering networking and active participation. The program points were not only informative but also emphasized collaborative and co-creative exchanges. You can download the report here.

Training "Cultural Sustainability as a Transformative Educational Concept: Best Practice Examples for Teaching and Education"

On October 19, 2023, LMU Munich invites you to the Multiplier/Green Event of the ERASMUS+ Project CultureNature Literacy (CNL), offered in a hybrid format as a training for educators.

For registration from Austria via PH-Online, please follow the link. Additionally, you must register through this link with the host, LMU Munich.

The program is available for online viewing [here] and for download [here] (including registration links). It also contains the Zoom link for the event.

Newsletter at the End of WP 1

At the center of work package 1 was the CNL manual. It was written collaboratively as a handbook for the conceptual grounding of the new research term CultureNature Literacy and contains

  • the definition of Anthropocene Literacy in a variety of forms,
  • the outline of framework conditions for its realization
  • and recommendations for its curricular implementation.

#ErasmusDays 2023: Photo-Challenge #CultureNature at Campus Baden

From October 9 to October 14, 2023, PH-NÖ-Campus in Baden will showcase its European commitment during the Erasmus Days and invites students and staff to participate in an Instagram photo challenge. The contest is inspired by the Erasmus+ project "CultureNature Literacy". In this project, the University of Education Lower Austria promotes Anthropocene competence and cultural sustainability, together with nine European partners. The university community is warmly invited to participate! Details and information about the prizes can be found [here].

Sustainability for All Educational Paths

From September 18th to 20th, 2023, 13 Swiss school principals and education researchers met their colleagues at the University of Education Lower Austria (PH NÖ). Sustainability as a cross-cutting theme for all educational paths was a program focus. The PH NÖ presented the ÖKOLOG network and the CultureNature Literacy (CNL) project: [Read the report here]


Childhood and Ecology

At the international IRSCL Congress "Ecologies of Childhood" from August 12th to 17th, 2023, at the University of California in Santa Barbara, Carmen Sippl (PH NÖ) and Berbeli Wanning (Uni Siegen) presented initial results of the Erasmus+ project CultureNature Literacy for discussion: [Read the blog post here]


Environmental Humanities meet Education

CultureNature Literacy: During the transnational project meeting, organized from April 12th to 14th, 2023, by the University of Siegen, the first milestone of the Erasmus+ project was presented: [Read the blog post here]

Teach and learn NatureCulture (NaturKultur lernen und lehren)

“Nature is, who we are. Culture is, what we do” with these words, Erwin Rauscher , Rector of the PH NÖ, opened the kick-off meeting for the Erasmus+ project 'CultureNature Literacy' (CNL). It took place on November 14th and 15th, 2022, at the Visitor Center of the Hohe Tauern National Park in Mallnitz - a location deliberately chosen by the host, Sabine Seidler (EKUZ/Forum Anthropozän), for this international educational project: [Read the blog post here.]


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