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Amplifying John Muir’s life: A third sector intervention in providing alternative narrative resources to secondary schools

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    Rights statement: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Environmental Education Research on 11 Jul 2017, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13504622.2017.1344192.

    Accepted author manuscript, 671 KB, PDF document

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1050-1061
JournalEnvironmental Education Research
Issue number7
Early online date11 Jul 2017
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2018


In 2014, Scottish Book Trust (SBT) published and distributed classroom sets of a graphic novel about the life of pioneering environmental activist John Muir to all secondary schools in Scotland, where he is still relatively unknown. This paper outlines the collaborative process SBT used in producing the graphic novel and sets out to trace the impact of this intervention through teacher and pupil surveys. The former survey reveals that not all teachers were able to make use of the classroom sets but that those who did found it useful in bringing up environmental issues in a range of disciplinary and cross-disciplinary contexts. The book served as a narrative resource for some teachers in designing lesson plans and even in designing entire courses. The pupil survey found significant mean shifts in the New Environmental Paradigm Scale for Children (NEP-C) and the Inclusion of Nature in Self Scale (INS) in participating classes and across all classes. Building on insights from narrative therapy and narrative ethics, we argue that shifting attitudes and values requires new narratives alongside new experiences and the space in which to dialogue about the two in community. Further research into reading and environmental education is advocated.

    Research areas

  • reading, environmental attitudes, values, narrative ethics, John Muir, graphic novel

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