Swedish Local Network
During the first iteration of the SEAS implementation, the work of the Swedish local network revolved around Polhemskolan in Visby, situated on the island of Gotland. The main stakeholders who contributed during the first iteration was the Swedish International Center of Education for Sustainable Developmenet (SWEDESD) at Uppsala University, children, parents, the principal teachers and educare personnel at Polhemskolan, the Education and Planning Departments at the municipality of Gotland and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).
Polhemskolan houses both preschool classes and primary school classes; grades one to six. It opened recently, in August 2019, and has chosen science education and sustainable development as overarching focus areas, which provides interesting opportunities for the SEAS project to contribute to development of capacity in terms of transformative engagement in an open schooling network. In accordance with the SEAS objectives, the aim of the work together with Polhemskolan is to enable for teachers and students to address real-life sustainability challenges that are identified and dealt with together with the other stakeholders.
The workshops conducted focused n a piece of wooded land owned by the Gotland municipality in the vicinity of the school. The area has been designated as a “school forest” for both educational and recreational activities. It holds significant biological values, with e.g. many butterflies including the beautiful Mountain Apollo, but many citizens also frequent it and it is subject to littering.
As a way to bring a formal structure the cooperation around the school forest and enhance the engagement and motivation, the network has worked on an agreement between the school and the municipality for how the area can be managed in a way that safeguards and develops both natural and community values.
During the ongoing second iteration of SEAS, the local network has been expanded to include also the upper secondary school, Vimmerby gymnasium in Vimmerby, southern Sweden, as well as Energikontor Sydost, a non-profit working for sustainable energy systems and transports. The focus of the work together with Vimmerby Gymnasium is a theme day to be prepared during spring 2021 and held in May, with the purpose of learning about and finding possible solutions to local sustainability challenges.