Storytelling for Sustainability in Higher Education: An Educator's Handbook, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Storytelling for Sustainability in Higher Education

An Educator's Handbook, 1st Edition

Edited by Petra Molthan-Hill, Heather Luna, Tony Wall, Helen Puntha, Denise Baden


576 pages

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Hardback: 9780367260262
pub: 2020-04-09
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To be a storyteller is an incredible position from which to influence hearts and minds, and each one of us has the capacity to utilise storytelling for a sustainable future. This book offers unique and powerful insights into how stories and storytelling can be utilized within Higher Education to support sustainability literacy. Stories can shape our perspective of the world around us and how we interact with it and this is where storytelling becomes a useful tool for facilitating understanding of sustainability concepts which tend to be complex and multi-faceted.

The craft of storytelling is as old as time and has influenced human experience throughout the ages. The conscious use of storytelling in Higher Education is likewise not new though less prevalent in certain academic disciplines; what this book offers is the opportunity to delve into the concept of storytelling as an educational tool regardless of and beyond the boundaries of subject area.

Written by academics and storytellers, the book is based on the authors’ own experiences of using stories within teaching, from a story of "the Ecology of Law" to the exploration of sustainability in Accounting and Finance via contemporary cinema. Practical advice in each chapter ensures that ideas may be put into practice with ease.

In addition to examples from the classroom, the book also explores wider uses of storytelling for communication and sense-making and ways of assessing student storytelling work. It also offers fascinating research insights, for example in addressing the question of whether positive utopian stories relating to climate change will have a stronger impact on changing the behaviour of readers than dystopian stories.

Everyone who is working as an educator should find some inspiration here for their own practice; on using storytelling and stories to co-design positive futures together with our students.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

Petra Molthan-Hill, Tony Wall, Helen Puntha, Denise Baden

Part I: Storytelling as a Pedagogical Tool (Research and Conceptualisation)

2. The Storyteller Who Wanted to Change the World

Rachel Howell

3. Changing Worldviews through a Stories Collection and the Earth Charter

Grian Cutanda

4. Storytelling for Sustainability: A Definition and Its Implications for Education and Communication

Daniel Fischer, Hanna Selm, Anna Sundermann, and Martin Storksdieck

5. How to Tell Stories

Uthpala Sankalpani

6. Storying the Past: Using Historical Fiction to Teach Sustainability

Nikhil Chandavarkar

7. Storying the Future: Storytelling Practice in Transformative Systems

Chris Riedy

8. Which Work Best: Cautionary Tales or Positive Role Models?

Denise Baden


Part II: Applied Storytelling

9. Digitally-Enhanced Learning through Collaborative Filmmaking and Storytelling for Sustainable Solutions

Joerg Altekruse and Daniel Fischer

10. Examining Sustainability Challenges Using Science Fiction Film Scenarios

Jeffrey Barber, Karen Onthank, Tony Wall, Dr Nerise Johnson, Anna Mackenzie

11. "The Future has Gone Bad; We Need a New One": Neoliberal Science Fiction and the Writing of Ecotopian Possibility

Anthony Nanson

12. Reading Ecological Memoirs: What Narrative Therapy Can Tell Us about the Power of Discussing Books in Groups

Alette Willis

13. ‘Inside Story’: Participatory Storytelling and Imagination in Eco-Pedagogical Contexts

Maria Nita

14. Use of Storytelling within Assessment to Support Sustainability Literacy

Helen Puntha, Anne Touboulic, and Tony Wall

Part III: Storytelling through the Disciplines

15. Consumer Privileges and the Socio-Cultural Dimensions of Production and Consumption

Bob Manteaw

16. The Secret of Dreaming: Introducing Systems Thinking and Worldview

Grian Cutanda

17. Using Memoirs in Science Communication for Transformational Learning

Alette Willis

18. Sustainable Use of Chemicals in Practice

Chalani Rubesinghe

19. Cowboys, Cooking Stoves, and Corporations: Engineering a New Future through Storytelling

Mike Clifford

20. Going for a Walk: Using Psychogeography to Explore Sustainability in Art and Design

Joanna Cooke and Nicola Mace

21. To Invest or Not to Invest? Anita’s Dilemma

Madhvi Sethi and Katrina Plumb

22. Storytelling for ComplexSustainability Perspectives in Business and Management

Nerise Johnson, Anna Mackenzie, Tony Wall, Jeffrey Barber, Karen Onthank

23. Exploring Sustainability Perspectives in Accounting and Finance through Contemporary Cinema

Nerise Johnson

24. Storytelling in the Field of Law and Sustainability: Five Different Stories about "The Ecology of Law"

María Dolores Sánchez

25. Stories for Well-being, Resilience and Mental Toughness in Primary and Secondary Education – Ideas for Pedagogy Practitioners

Sandra Hopkins and Megan Bettinson

26. Communicating Sustainability and Climate Change Messages through 360 Film and Virtual Reality

Rebecca Cunningham and Cody Kartuz

27. Social Entrepreneurship: A Facilitator of Social Progress

Pradnya Vishwas Chitrao, Pravin Kumar Bhoyar, and Brig. Rajiv Divekar

28. Accounting for the Planet?

Caroline Aggestam Pontoppidan

29. Using Stories to Engage and Educate School Children and Teachers in Sustainable Development

Joanna Jones, Petra Molthan-Hill, Roy Smith

31. Conclusion: Stepping into Sustainable Futures: Actions, Developments and Networks

Tony Wall, Helen Puntha, Petra Molthan-Hill, Nicola Kemp, Sapphire Puntha, Denise Baden

About the Editors

Petra Molthan-Hill leads the Green Academy at Nottingham Trent University (UK) supporting all faculties to integrate ESD, a subject on which she has published widely. She is co-designing the UN PRME Carbon Literacy Training for Business Schools, following her related research in the television industry.

Heather Luna was a lecturer for the Green Academy at Nottingham Trent University. Between 2005 and 2012, she was the Education for Sustainable Development Project Coordinator for the UK’s Higher Education Academy. She co-edited the Routledge book, The Sustainable University.

Tony Wall is Founder and Head of the International Centre for Thriving, a global scale collaboration between business, arts, health, and education to deliver sustainable transformation. He is an Advance-HE National Teaching Fellowship and holds three Santander International Research Excellence Awards.

Helen Puntha is a Learning and Teaching Adviser and Green Academy Deputy at Nottingham Trent University. She co-founded the SPUR undergraduate researcher scheme, co-designed the innovative Sustainability in Practice online certificate and is currently working on the Guardian award-winning SCALE-UP active learning project.

Denise Baden researches and teaches sustainable business and business ethics at Southampton Business School, University of Southampton. She leads the Green Stories writing competitions which aim to solicit positive visions of what a sustainable society might look like.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Business Ethics
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Development / Sustainable Development