Ecocritical literature conversations – An arena for increased awareness of ecological interplay?

by Nina Goga

– By autumn 2020 a new national school curriculum (LK20) will be introduced in Norway. Some of what is new in LK20 is the introduction of cross-curricular themes and core elements in all school subjects. In this article I turn the attention to the cross-curricular theme sustainable development to discuss how this may be integrated into the school subject Norwegian and with a special emphasis on the core elements text in context, critical approach to text and oral communication.

The discussion is based on theoretical perspectives on ecocriticism, literature conversations and scaled reading, and on a specific proposal for how teachers may prepare for ecocritical literature conversations on representations of the relationship between children and trees in two literary classics for children.

The article argues that this bridging between careful reading of and conversation about children’s literature may evolve a critical approach to verbal depictions of multisensory nature experiences and hence contribute to increased awareness of ecological interplay. Such knowledge may prove significant to children’s linguistic skills needed to orientate in the overall climate discourse and to how they understand themselves as ecocitizens.


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