Project overview

Waste Stories launched on 17th May 2021 and will run for three years.

During the first year of the project, we will conduct site visits and interviews at waste processing/management facilities and interviews with practitioners in the sector. During the site visits, we will collect visual and other sensory impacts as well as verbal data. Our sociomaterial perspective leads us to explore the sights, smells and textures associated with waste; the fieldwork will identify objects, images and sensory experiences providing the seeds for story-telling through prose and poetry.

The research team will then work with consultants Ron Butlin (poet, children’s author and former Makar of Edinburgh) and Regi Claire (an award-winning fiction and poetry writer), who will provide feedback and guidance as the team produce a series of Waste Stories – fictionalised and fictional accounts arising from the sensory prompts generated in the field research.  We will also draw the consultants extensive experience of designing and facilitating writing and reading workshops to create guidance for children and young adults to create their own Waste Stories.

The final 18 months of the project will involve co-research with students undertaking initial and postgraduate education degrees at the University of Stirling. We will explore how stories such as those generated in the first two stages can be used to provide learning experiences for children at a range of levels, with a focus on assisting children to create their own Waste Stories. Student and practising teachers will encounter and respond to the Stories, and be encouraged to imagine ways in which they might use them in pedagogical contexts, in a series of focus groups/workshops.  We will also support a small number of student teachers to enact these new teaching practices in their placement contexts, and to record the responses of children and young people, expressed in the form of new creative works, as part of teacher-led action-research.