Ecocritical Engagement with Picturebook through Literature Conversations

This article addresses the need for student teachers to experience how to engage ecocritically with children’s literature to be able to support and develop the sustainability competencies of their future students. In order to respond to this need, we designed a research project examining how Norwegian and Catalan student teachers express and negotiate their ideas about an Italian–French picturebook in a teacher–researcher designed ecocritical literature conversation (ELC). The collected material, consisting of students’ notes and sound recorded and transcribed group discussions, was analysed following the steps of content analysis with an emphasis on finding evidence of dialogic competencies and ecocritical competencies. Although the students did not explicitly integrate ecocritical terminology in their discussions, we found that when structured in line with ideas of dialogic teaching, ecocritical thinking, and literature didactics, literature conversations proved to be a useful tool for these students to critically engage with and negotiate about representations of nature and ecological wisdom from the selected picturebook.

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