Postcards Across Borders

By Reesa Sorin, Carol Ann Stannard and Iain Gordon.

Published by The International Journal of Science, Mathematics and Technology Learning

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: May 11, 2015 $US5.00

This research builds upon earlier projects by Sorin & Gordon (2010) and Sorin (2012) and their studies on how arts-based learning - the exchange of postcards - can enhance understanding of students’ perceptions of local and global environments and sustainability. Study groups from these earlier projects were early primary (5 – 8) and kindergarten age (4 – 5). This research sought to ascertain how applying the same art-based technique could engage and encourage older students to reconnect with the environment and sustainability issues.

Students aged 8-9 years old from two different countries (Australia and Scotland) were paired together to exchange postcards comprising drawings and stories about their environment. Data were gathered from the students’ postcards, both the drawings and the text; and pre- and post-project interviews conducted with the students and their teachers.
Initial data analysis of pre- and post-project interviews revealed observable shifts in students’ understanding, concerns and knowledge of the environment. Post-project interviews reflected an appreciation of the environmental issues of their immediate environment and the other environment, and indicated that students were intrinsically directing their attention to the natural environment and authentic issues; rather than just being led by explicit teaching.

Keywords: Science, Environment, Arts-based Research

The International Journal of Science, Mathematics, and Technology Learning, Volume 22, Issue 2, June 2015, pp.11-34. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: May 11, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.264MB)).

Reesa Sorin

Associate Professor, School of Education, James Cook University, Cairns, Queensland, Australia

Dr. Carol Ann Stannard

The James Hutton Institute, Aberdeen, UK

Prof Iain Gordon

Chief Executive, The James Hutton Institute, Aberdeen, Aberdeen, UK